On Quitting

I QuitFor some reason I’ve had the concept of “quitting” on my mind. It’s most likely because it’s September and there was one very large goal I had set for myself to accomplish by now. Remember that song called Dust in the Wind by Kansas? That would be my theme song with the exception that my goal is now dust in the wind.

So I’ve begun a tally of sorts, as calorie-less food for thought on just how much I’ve said kapoots to in my life. I’m more inclined to consider that it’s all about revision instead of quitting. That’s a more constructive way to think dupe myself about it. Regardless, once I’ve said I’m going to do something, and then decide not to do it, that’s quitting, isn’t it? At what point might I begin to consider that it’s a problem? And to whom? Does it matter? And if it does, what might the underlying reasons be? I know there are people out there who never quit anything because they believe it exhibits weakness. Who’s to say they’re correct and that people like me are in the wrong? Sticking with something you’d rather not is more of a problem than throwing in the towel, but it’s only my opinion.

The Business of Quitting:

  1. The Phoodplan: This was doomed from the start. My buddy bailed almost immediately, and I set too lofty a goal. I must not think I’m all that fat, or I’d do something about it. I’ve been lulled into thinking that all those women painted in impressionistic art are not thin, so there must be some degree of beauty in adipose tissue, right? Actually, health would be the central issue here. Weight loss was to have been a perk on the side. It hasn’t left my mind. So did I quit?
  2. My commitment to not purchase new books: You’ve forgotten and/or it doesn’t matter to you, correct? Just the same, I’m confessing that I have read some books on my list, left others I have around the house off the list, and have purchased new books I’ve not quite added to that list. Is quitting and not keeping a commitment the same?
  3. My job: More than once. It’s not funny, but it’s truly a relief I think about every single day first thing in the morning. Other people may think that this is not a big deal. In my profession, it rarely happens. It’s all about making it to the magic retirement date. I didn’t make that date which will cost me quite a bit o’ moolah (50%) when I begin to draw my retirement in 10 years. I savor the idea of all the great things I can learn and do in those 10 years that I wouldn’t have been able to do had I kept that job.
  4. A boy I was engaged to: I knew him six years and I can’t imagine not having the life I now have which wouldn’t exist if I’d married him. My children.  My husband.  Our shared experiences.  No thanks.
  5. A different marriage: No comment.
  6. Drinking white zinfandel: Thankfully. What was I thinking outside of “where’s my straw?”
  7. Once upon a time good friends: They’ve sort of disappeared into their own lives and I into mine. When I’ve tried to get back in touch, it hasn’t worked. I always feel like this is my fault. I deserve to be talked about at their parties.
  8. Piano Lessons and all those songs I learned to play half way through: At some point, I was done. I hadn’t set out to be famous, so…what does that mean? It brings new meaning to “plays a little.”
  9. Rowing: I liked the idea of this sport, but it was too time consuming and difficult. Yes, I quit after about two months. With my tongue hanging out and a lot of respect for those who do it.
  10. A Business: It never got off the ground because the timing wasn’t right, it was scary, and others were uncomfortable about the effect it would have on them. What a bunch of excuses.
  11. Drinking Light Beer: How do you spell swill?
  12. Using Margarine: How can people eat “partially hydrogenated” anything and not know it’s seriously bad for their bodies?
  13. Drinking Diet Soda: “Formaldehyde is formed in the body from the methanol released during aspartame digestion. It is a poison that has been proved to cause gradual neurological damage, immunological damage, and irreversible genetic damage at extremely low-dose, long-term exposure. Internal damage and changes occur long before poisoning symptoms become clinically evident.” If that’s not disgusting, I don’t know what is. Go ahead. Do a Google search yourself.
  14. Network Television: Is there really anything on? I dislike the commercials, the phony audience laughter they insist in retaining, the commitment it takes to watch whether it’s DVR’d or not. It just isn’t any good.
  15. Countless projects I was enthused about when I began them: This is the bane of my existence. I don’t understand it. Truly. Projects I’d love to dig back into. They’re like sad little reminders of change.

As far as going out of my way to quit something I truly enjoy as Edgar Albert Guest advocates in his poem “On Quitting,” that hasn’t happened yet.

And it’s not on my calendar.

What about you?





9 responses to “On Quitting”

  1. I have a few things/people I’m thinking about quitting, and one I’m getting more and more serious about everyday. Push me over the line, kel! Tell me to quit!

  2. I have no room to talk, as I too, am a quitter. I have a list that looks remarkably similar to yours. Add college…my certification to become an American Sign Language interpreter….and probably many more. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up…and when I do figure it out, I’ll probably quit. 🙂

    I think you have done a pretty decent job with the fitness aspect of your Phoodplan…am I mistaken?

  3. Hey Chick — Hmmm…what sounds wrong about that? Anyway, I am one to listen, then support a person in weighing both sides of their quandry, but never to tell them what to do. I’m intrigued, though. Very.

    Hi Mel. Doesn’t it just drive you nuts. Yes, I should have added college to my list since I quit, then went back when I was 28 and with two kids just to make sure it was more challenging. Go figure. And yes, I’ve tried to be very good about the fitness — with a few lapses here and there (like this week…) but I’m still a bit freaked out (uh, do you have a copyright on that or anything?) about how my body felt last week. It’s much better now, so what’s my excuse?

  4. Oh dear…I must join the queue..
    So many things started, strewn about unfinished.
    It is a constant source of humiliation/despair…
    I’m sure my list would rival yours in abject horror, Kellypea.
    In fact there are some disturbing similarities. Good ones too.
    I now make a point of telling people of those things I Am Going To Do/Am doing. It holds me more accountable, somehow…to see it through.
    I must say, though, some of the things I have quit have been a liberation of mind and spirit!!
    And I’m glad I’ve lost them.
    Yeah, I’m sure I’ve been talked about at parties too…

  5. Earlene

    I too am a quitter and I am proud of it. Why waste time doing something you don’t enjoy when there are so many other experiences to enjoy doing for however long you enjoy doing them. There are people who do look on me as a failure, but I care not. I have lost count of things I have quit and moved on to another experience. I have never thought of you as a quitter, but I wanted you to quit that JOB for many years and you finally did. Good for you, now grow!!!!

  6. I am a quitter. I tried ‘quitting’ smoking (15 times)

    …THAT didnt take……

    “I savor the idea of all the great things I can learn and do in those 10 years that I wouldn’t have been able to do had I kept that job.”

    Oh how I LONG TO LOVE and LIVE instead of this life in a cubical. *sigh*

    As for TV, well there is a TON to watch, really I promise. I am not just saying that. There are SMART shows that are FUNNY. (Like 30Rock)

  7. Hey minx…we’ve talked about a few of the similarities between us before. It’s interesting. Except I believe you’re preparing for quite the expedition, are you not? And it involves carrying a pack and all? I’m not sure I could do that, but it does sound interesting. Very.

    Hey Mom…I’d say the biggest thing you never gave up on was us. It’s pretty remarkable, actually. And just think how boring your life would have been had you stayed at ANY of the jobs you’ve had. Think of all you wouldn’t have learned or people you might have not known. Besides, does the person who walks through the proverbial pearly gates at the end of their life who has the most time at a particular job (that they never really enjoyed) get a star? No thanks. And failure? No comment on that one.

    Hi meleah…I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to quit smoking. I have no idea. Is it up there with giving up chardonnay in the evening? Or morning coffee? If so, then I commiserate. And life beyond the cubicle is possible. Just say no.

  8. Hi, kel! Just happened onto your post from a blogsearch for “Kansas” (the state) which pulled up your entry for “Kansas” (the band). I really enjoyed this post and can completely relate to it. You expressed yourself quite well.

  9. Welcome, Moonshadow. Funny how those searches end up, isn’t it. Thanks for taking the time to read my egocentric blatherings!

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