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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quitting Time

Never quit!

Good words...good, inspiring words that make an excellent banner, tattoo, or Facebook slogan.

But they carry a danger, in that they are awfully attractive...attractive enough to let your words replace your thinking.

The thing is, there are times when quitting is the right thing to do. Not just the obvious times, like when your boss is somewhat less social than Charles Manson. There are times to let go in the grey areas, when your heart says 'press on'!

I'm talking about things like jobs, careers, and 'important' hobbies (the ones that are more dream-fulfillment than time-fillers). I'm specifically not talking about quitting a marriage, or a friendship. I'm not qualified to talk about divorce, since I was divorced once but remarried the same woman (which means, I suppose, that I'm not very good at getting divorced). Ditto friendship...I don't hold with the thought of a friend for a season. Either permanent, or it's not a friend.

That said, here are some 'quitting criteria'.

  1. Is this really what I want to be doing? When you started a project or a job, it may have been a perfect fit. But we grow, and sometimes we grow out of our old dreams and comfort zones.
  2. Is this worth the time I'm putting in? Sometimes you can put more time into a given area of your life than it's really worth; the job may be a good one, but the demands for 20 hours of overtime per week may put it on the other side of 'not worth doing'
  3. Am I a better person for this? Is what you're doing making you a better spouse, friend, parent? Do you like yourself better...or as much as when you started?
Notice that I'm not saying, "can I afford to see this project through" or "can I afford this hobby". These questions should answer themselves.

Neither am I saying, "do I have the skill?" Any skill, from welding ot the violin, can be learned.

What do you think?


  1. I quit going to the gym. It was too expensive and only made me feel awful. I liked working out, I just hated the "ohhhh, look at her!". As if I don't know I'm not a size -12???

  2. A scheduled or unscheduled break is often what you need. Quit for a while, not forever.
    I took an unscheduled break from my blog, and came back to it with a new--whatever. I don't know what "whatever" is, but it's working much better.
    On a long unscheduled break from revision. Research/learning/observation still going on, of course. Hope to inject new vigor--conflict--when I get back to it.