In the few days I’ve been back in my own bed, I’ve been resettling the house (after the bachelor-status it assumes when my dude is at the helm), fighting jetlag and an oncoming cold, and taking a few steps back and grappling for a wider-angle view of my life.
One thing I’m seeing (again) is how reticent I am to axe things when their time has passed.
Going back a bit…
I used to have this problem with hobbies and crafts and such. I’d develop a new interest, dive into it, and then hold on to the pieces long after my interest waned. There was some piece of me that didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to acknowledge I’d spent a lot of money on stuff I didn’t use, for one thing. But further down than that, I didn’t want to be a quitter.
My whole life I’ve started things only to stop them a short time later. And in an age that worships specialists and every possible angle of the success-story, quitting gets a pretty bad wrap. “Winners never quit,” right?
I’m no longer sure.
For starters, I’m beginning to accept that I’m a generalist at heart. Many people love something specific, and want to travel as far as the topical rabbit-hole goes. A school subject, an author, a hobby, whatever. They go deep. But the thing I love is thinking itself, and I love learning and reading as extensions of that. I love making connections between dissimilar things and so I naturally skip between the unrelated. All of which means I can be interested in almost anything presented in an engaging way.
Here’s the point…
I like trying things out. I like to think about them. I make connections from them. I learn about them. I share about them. But because I engage so many things, I simply have to quit stuff from time to time. It’s just a supply and demand thing with my finite resources.
It’s like it was with all my craft stuffs: I had to let go of the ideas I’d had, the half-finished projects, and the stuff I’d bought so I could make room for something new. Not because it’s good to always be looking for the next thing (it’s not), but because over time I was discovering new direction, and the craft thing was not where I was going.
I’m starting to see that anytime I encounter a turn in the road, whether in my personal life or in a business venture or for a new aim in general, I’ll have to shed the dead weight if I really want to move forward. If I don’t, I will not only waste time and energy investing in things that I now see as dead-ends, but somehow, even when I’m not engaging them, they’ll continue to distract me as I journey the new road.
So I’m encouraged to think that just like abandoning a goal is the proper move when it’s keeping a person from greater goals, that quitting a something is the proper move when it’s keeping a person from better somethings.
In this spirit, I think it’s time to pull the plug on my still-recently-started Tuesday and Friday “columns.” Though they have been a good learning experience, they are now holding me back from my aims in writing and my hopes for this blog.
And seriously? I doubt anyone cares. I’ll continue writing the same content, just on a different schedule. Nothing’s really going anywhere. But even so, a piece of me feels like I’m the loser quitter.
Now for a clever chap…
Earlier this year I heard Bob Goff speak in conjunction with launching his book, “Love Does” (which I highly recommend, btw), and he challenged us to start quitting things that we didn’t need to keep around anymore. To quit receiving so many mass emails and dwindle our RSS feeds, for example, or to quit feeling guilty about something or to quit pretending. He said he quits something every Thursday (and sometimes they are big things). And he challenged us to start quitting things.
While this soundly resonated with me, I didn’t really get that quitting things would, by definition, make me a quitter. That’s a college degree at work, right there.
Anyway, I’m slowly accepting that, yes, I’m a quitter. And as long as I’m quitting the right things, I’m becoming okay with that.
…what about you?…
Is there anything you need to quit this week to make room for a better something? How do feel about quitting in general?