Monday, February 28, 2011

Quitting...The Up-side

"Quitters never win and winners never quit"

I've been thinking about this quote lately. Thinking about how many times I heard it as a child, how many times I've uttered it to my own children and thinking about how completely inaccurate it is.

Quitters win all the time, in fact some of my greatest victories have be brought about through the simple act of quitting.

I quit my job when Lula was a baby. I wasn't suppose to work after she was born but life and the economy had other plans. I spent everyday in misery knowing that I wasn't where I was meant to be. I cried at my desk for the first 30 minutes of everyday. Until one morning I just walked into my boss's office and quit. I had no plan, no idea how I was going to buy groceries or pay the mortgage but it didn't matter. I just quit. I quit and I won, our family won. I stayed home for 13 years No one starved, no one was cold or living on the street. Sure we had one car and hand-me-down clothes and made presents instead of buying them but we felt good about it.

I've quit being angry more times than I can count. I quit being angry at my father after 11 years of silence and I won the chance to renew our ties, I won a terrific grandfather for my kids, I won peace inside myself.

I quit a boyfriend once or twice, I quit the ones who made me cry, the ones who didn't call, the ones who wanted me to change. I just quit whoever didn't make me feel wonderful. I quit and my prize was Michael; who makes me laugh, and calls just because and who loves me for who I am.

I used to smoke. Physically I felt horrid and every day I worried about when my habit would catch up with me. I worried about getting sick and not being around for my children. Then I quit 3 years ago and I won back my health and my chance at seeing my children grow into their lives.

I quit a job once (okay twice) It was taking more than I was willing to give and offering nothing in return save for minimum wage, ever burdening pressure and a future that looked an awful lot like it's present. I quit without a plan or a something in the wings. I didn't even have a resume drafted. I quit and I won. I found a job I love where I can grow and contribute. A job that respects my family and appreciates my abilities.

We spend a lot of time telling our kids not to quit. Maybe that's wrong. Clearly sometimes you have to quit to win. These are a few big things I've quit but I quit things everyday. I quit arguing to let someone else be heard, I quit worrying about what others think to do what makes me happy. I quit trying to keep my floors sparkling to make time to hang out with my kids. I quit drinking coffee at noon so I can sleep at night. I quit trying to turn left when clearly tuning right would be more effective. I quit trying to achieve good hair to be on time for work. There are 100 tiny things I quit everyday in favour of 100 tiny victories.

So clearly quitters often win and winners often quit. The trick is knowing what to quit and when.

I'm grateful to be a's brought me a lot to be grateful for.

A special editorial note for my children....Somethings you don't get to quit. That post is part 2 coming later...don't run around quitting everything yet.