Fitting that discontinuing so much quitting has to do with quitting

Well friends and neighbors, this is the end of the line, sort of.  This week marks the 52nd week I’ve quit something on Thursday.  As the title and subtitle allude to, I’ve decided that, with so much practice, it’s high time I got okay with quitting stuff.  Seems obvious because over the last year I’ve quit the following:

Answering emails after work hours-Clutter-pop-Eating after 9:00-T.V-candy-Drinking-Anger- 2 cups of coffee-hair-snooze-sweets-cussing-not crying-eating out-drive thru-making my bed-weekend alarm-fighting insomnia-not talking about depression-complaining/negativity-expectations-30 min Facebook & Twitter-not following a plan-putting off writing books- Letting words from my past affect my present-Letting others have ownership of what I do-Lying to myself about how easy or how hard something is going to be-Talking so much when I pray-Not saying something at a funeral-Trying to control all things in my life-Keeping score-Analyzing the crap out of everything-take action!-Ignoring my health-Not focusing on the task at hand and taking it to completion or logical stopping point before moving on to something else.-Avoiding things that make me uncomfortable/failure-Trying to be patient-Being a spaz-Putting up with crap that annoys me-not relying on God-waiting to pray-finishing the day with prayer-looking for a blueprint to follow for my blog- popcorn-not drinking water-not eating breakfast-multi-tasking/ Thinking I can do everything-waking up to an alarm on the weekday and doing anything other than talk on my phone while driving.

You’d think that with so much repetition over the course of a year my quitting muscle would be swole but you would be wrong.  I still have an aversion to quitting, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  I’m going to assert quitting is sometimes a good, if not the best thing, to do.  Let me explain.

In the past I truly believed quitting was a sign of weakness.  I thought if you started something or even had an inclination to do something, you simply must complete it.  I don’t see it that way anymore.  Call it maturity, call it being a realist (without being a cynic or pessimist) or call it whatever you like, quitting HAS TO happen once in a while.  Only you can know when to quit, when to throw in the towel, even when to admit defeat but make no mistake you must do it sometimes.  Perhaps it was my natural inclination to competition in the past that tripped me up.  I saw whatever I began as me vs. IT (not the Stephen King clown but the task/project).  I wanted to win and not only win but win on my terms and by my definition.  The level of success and completion was absolutely subject to my interpretation and often I never reached it.  So how did I feel?   Like I had failed, and that’s just not good.

Quitting isn’t an admission of failure, far from it.  Quitting requires an objective perspective of where you are, who you are and what you’re capable of.  Maybe that’s the difference between the 52 year-old me and the 22 year-old me.  Today I realize that quitting at this moment doesn’t necessarily mean quitting forever.  I know that I’ve had to quit in my attempt to make successive rides each day for each year of my life because my knee just won’t tolerate it.  However, just because I’ve quit this quest doesn’t mean I’ll never revisit and attempt it again.  In fact, my quitting will fuel my resolve to get my knee replaced and try again once I have the new joint.  That’s using quitting as leverage and we can all use as much of that as we can get.  Knowing I’ll come back to the project makes me feel good.

One of the things I resolved to quit was not letting go of things, things I allowed to bother me for long periods of time.  What I’ve found is that quitting, at least for now, empowers me in the tussle with whatever it is I want to accomplish.  If I quit today, I have taken control of the situation.  I am calling the shots and that feels good especially if I decide I will take a look at attempting the task at a set time down the road.  Again, this takes an objective approach and some discipline but it’s worth it.  It can also have the nice side benefit of making an evaluation periodically of whether or not the thing is still worth pursuing.  There have been numerous things over the years I wish I would have considered or thought through a couple of times before plunging headlong into them.  (Digging a pond in the back yard at our first house comes to mind)  I could have saved myself and my spouse a lot of grief but live and learn.

That’s what this whole “quit something every Thursday” thing has been about, living and learning.  I’ve found changing behavior is far, far easier than changing thinking.  I’ve learned changing habits is easier than thinking but unchecked those habits seem to have a sneaky way of trying to come back.  However, the most important thing I’ve discovered is that I can quit some things and I have.  I’ve found that quitting them can be as satisfying as not quitting or letting go of them; if that makes any sense.  Persistence is not dead but it’s also not blind.  With time and a few more years of selectively quitting things I might actually end up being a decent and acceptable human being after all.  But don’t hold your breath.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this odyssey into the crappy stuff I do that I need to get rid of.  We all have something; maybe a lot of somethings if you’re like me.  And it’s absolutely good to get rid of them.  So go ahead, you have my permission, you can do it.  Quit!

I hope you’ll head back to some of those things I’ve quit over the past year if they look interesting to you.  Follow this link to go back to my blog.  I try to write for you as much as for my own enjoyment and if you like it I hope you’ll subscribe.  Subscribing is free and means you’ll get an email on Saturdays with links to the week’s posts.  Subscribe at the blog or by clicking here.  Please don’t worry, you won’t get a bunch of spam if you subscribe.  I never sell or share emails.