Friday, February 12, 2016

Quitting Feels Good

This semester I've been attending a night class on Mondays and two classes on Thursdays: one in the morning and one in the evening. As a result, I started working weekends in order to make up for the day I'd spend on campus on the other side of town. Spending the day in a library has had its perks, but after an eleven-hour work day yesterday trying to hit a deadline before I'd have to take today off, I realized that I didn't think I'd be able to keep this up for an entire semester. Plus, the morning class was kind of redundant since the Thursday evening class covered many of the same topics, so dropping it really wouldn't impact my education.

So, I decided to drop that morning class. And, as a result, it made me start thinking about the pleasures of quitting.

It was last night, on my very brief drive home after that very long day, that I made the decision to drop that class. Immediately after making that decision, I felt much better. The proverbial weight was lifted from my shoulders, and suddenly the rest of my troubles seemed far more manageable.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure I've always felt this way upon giving something up. I think I dropped at least one class almost every semester during college, and every time I made that decision the sudden lifting of responsibility gave me a rush.

It's not that I dislike having responsibilities. I kind of thrive on them, which is part of the problem. I give myself more responsibilities than I can handle or, at least, more than I can handle comfortably. I don't think I consciously realize how much stress I'm putting myself under until something makes it clear that I have to give something up. Then, suddenly, the problem becomes obvious as my mind rejoices at the lifted weight.

I certainly can't recommend quitting as a cure-all or even something you should do regularly. However, if you're feeling overloaded, take stock of your responsibilities. Are there any you just don't need? Any that aren't really improving your life in a significant way? That other people aren't relying on you to handle? If so, consider quitting. You might find it's exactly what you needed.

If you're not sure about quitting something, try simply deciding that you're quitting. Make the decision to yourself and commit to taking care of whatever it take to officiate that resignation on the following day.

If committing to quit feels really good, then great! Perhaps quitting is the right path for you.

On the other hand, if that decision to quit is filling you with doubts and concerns, perhaps quitting is not the appropriate path to take. Luckily, with this approach you've got an entire night to sleep on it before actually going through with it.

On that note, I'm done with this post. I'm going to go play with my cat now.

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