Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, January 20, 2013

on quitting

Last week informed me in so many ways.  The Quitting was one of them.

And, nothing says progress, forward movement like doing something extraordinary.  Something that is not part of my normal process.  Quitting is one of those things.

I have quit in the past.  I left a church community.  I quit a previous job, but I called it a retirement.  I had worked in animal rescue for twenty-eight years, the business was changing into something more political than it had previously had been.  I have quit friends, processed them right out of my life.  Life changes, and if I do not move along then I get left behind. 

So, I am not entirely without experience about leaving something.  There are surprisingly few instances of quitting in a very long life, but I have always sort of prided myself on not being a quitter.  I even made it a joking comment for the big quit that I did last year.  Gosh, even saying that it was last year just knocks me right out of my socks.  It has been ten months since I fled my home and my marriage.  Man. 

Anyway, during a therapy session, my therapist asked me something about why I thought I had stayed so long and I answered back "Well, at least I am not a quitter."  I meant it to be light-hearted, amusing, but it was only much later that I came to understand that it struck a chord at the core of who I think myself to be.

I am truly not a quitter.  I am a staunch family member.  A faithful friend.  Good neighbor.  I stick with and complete tough projects, even when they include difficult people (might have to number myself amongst that group on occasion) and resistant circumstances or situations.  Lots of that kind of stuff.  I do not bail when the going gets tough.  I am one of the 'tough' that then really gets going.  So, the circumstances have to be pretty extraordinary for me to quit, bail, leave.

When the second most important aspect of my life became too dangerous in which to continue (the first is being a parent), I left my marriage.  I left with the clothes on my back and a hastily assembled trash bag of a few pair of underwear, two pair of pants, my makeup bag and three rolls of tape.  I grabbed the undies and pants and swept the makeup off of the closet shelf with my arm, so I am guessing that the tape was collateral sweeping.  Some of that tape actually came in handy later.

I left in one of my husband's cars.  I am sure that the only reason I was able to leave is that doing so was something I had never done before, leaving that is.  I had never even mentioned it, much less threatened or suggested that it was a possibility.  My ex's belief that I would never leave is the only thing that prevented him from stopping or following me.  Even later in the day, he would leave angry, impatient messages on the cell phone he let me use, messages that gradually became less scary and more certain that I was most likely on my way home anyway, but my being gone was inconvenient for him. 

However, that is a quitting for which I never had a second thought.  I knew as soon as I backed out of the doorway, and continued to the car, that I had made a good decision, probably the best decision of my life.  So ironic the language needed to express all of this.  Best decision.  My life.  Amazing.

So, quitting that gig last week felt right in the most strict sense.  It was the right thing to do.  Probably should have been done earlier, but I am trusting, these days, that I am making choices, decisions and determinations in the time appropriate for them.  All things in their time.

In concert with that, a dear friend shared a quote with me.

“Quitting is not giving up, it's choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it's realizing that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it's learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.”
― Osayi Osar-Emokpae, Impossible Is Stupid

I think I have to find out who this person is, more about him/her.  An excellent task to prevent me from doing anything more constructive around here.  You know, it is the right thing to do.  

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