More Thoughts on Quitting
The idea of quitting books was on my mind this week because not only did I quit a book, but my cousin and I had been talking about a series of lessons I had quit about ten years ago. She can leyn. I cannot. She promised me that I could learn trope. I reminded her that I had tried and failed. Like major failed. Like life changing failed.
I wrote about quitting leyning lessons back in 2006. It is a post about the first time I openly quit; meaning, I didn’t make an excuse or pretend I was too busy. I just announced that I couldn’t do it, and moreover, I didn’t feel like trying. And then I went and helped a bunch of kids become quitters. That sounds terrible when I put it that way. Perhaps go and read the post “Quitters Can Win” and then return here to finish this post.
The first time I quit, it was hard. By now, it’s a well-developed skill. I quit yoga this year. And guitar lessons. And two clubs I was in. A book club. Um… probably more things except I can’t remember. That should perhaps tell you how unimportant these things were overall in my life if I can forget them once I stopped doing them.
I’ve also started a lot of things including two new clubs, a few friendships, a short story project, and two novels.
It turns out that when you drop things that aren’t working and you don’t feel invested in, you have openings for new experiences — ones that may become important, life changing opportunities or ones that may become things that I also quit down the road.
I think we spend too much of life trying to fit our round selves (our well-rounded selves?) into square holes. Moreover, I think we spend too much of life trying to fit our round partners into square holes and our round children into square holes. We hold onto too many supposed to be’s and don’t match our expectations to reality. We expect reality to match our expectations. I know I am guilty of this a thousand times over.
I sometimes need something as small as dropping a book to remember that there are very good sides to quitting.
On a side note, I loved Persnickety’s term “completist” to describe herself as a book finisher. I’m going to call myself a “Stopper” instead of a quitter unless someone can come up with something better.