I know that someday you'll find better things.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Quitting is highly under-rated and has an undeservedly bad reputation.

Here are some quotes about quitting that some kind soul gathered and posted on the Goodreads website. I hope you find them to be as discouraging and inaccurate as I did.

“It's always too soon to quit!” 
― Norman Vincent Peale

“Age wrinkles the body; quitting wrinkles the soul.” 

― Douglas MacArthur

“I shed a tear when I meet somebody who always quits. Reliable people are so rare in this world.” 

― BauvardSome Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic

“I never said it would be easy. Giving up is easy.” 

― Maria V. SnyderInside Out

“The heartbreak of losing fades over time, however, the burden of quitting last forever.” 

― Sarah van Waterschoot

And then there is the middle-of-the-road perspective, partially accurate, but not particularly soul-satisfying:

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” 

― Lance ArmstrongEvery Second Counts

“The time to quit is before you wish you had.” 

― Kimberly K. JonesSand Dollar Summer

I don't know about you, but I get the impression that these inspirational gems were created by people with very little experience in quitting. It is easy for outsiders to pass judgment on quitters, but they do not know what we know.

Quitting--quitting just about anything, really--is much harder than anyone would care to admit.

Take it from me, a serial quitter. I've quit big things and I've quit small things. I've quit things that are overwhelming and things that are insignificant, and almost none of it was easy.

I quit a marriage, and it was pretty darn difficult. (If you missed it, read about it here)

I quit a career, and it tore me to shreds. (If you missed it, you can read about it here)

Almost a year ago, I quit caffeine/coffee (mostly) which was surprisingly not as hard as I expected, but that's probably because consuming it resulted in an elevated level of anxiety that was more punishment than pleasure.

Recently I quit college and a semi-developed dream for a very cool career. Boy, was that tough. (You probably saw that one, but just in case-- read about it here.)

I do not regret these things I have quit.
Not at all. 
Quitting has been a most positive and liberating experience, even if it didn't feel that way at first.


Of all the things I've quit, the thing I am most proud of is quitting drinking alcohol-- a habit that had a fierce hold on me and (you probably didn't know this, because I can be quite good at concealing certain things) had me already more than halfway down the path to bonafide you-know-what-ism.

Because I don't do moderation.
Never have-- always been an "all-or-nothing" kind of gal.
(Not always proud of it, though.)

So, on Sunday, November 10, 2013, I quit. (The day's hangover really reinforced the decision.)

The sobriety-streak lasted two days.

"I don't want to be a drinker, but I don't think I can quit this," I confessed to Hannah on Wednesday morning. "I think I'm going to need professional help here. Or at the very least, a new hypnosis cd."
"I think you can do it. Forever sounds like a long time, but I bet you can quit for a week. Can you quit for a week?"
"Maybe. Probably. I guess I could try."

And I did it!

It was a long seven days, but I did it, just like Hannah knew I could.

"See?" she said.
"But I miss it!" I lamented.
"Seven days is a big record," she said. "Would you really want to have to start over from scratch?"

No way.

The drinkless days started to snowball, and at first I was acutely aware of their passing. I had every day marked on the calendar, and sometimes I would stand in front of that calendar and think twenty-two days, twenty-two days, I don't want to have wade through twenty-two more days before I can have a new record...

Sixty-four days, sixty-four days. 

I don't want to lose credit and have to start all over.

As of today, it has been 140 days.

My sister is currently trying to quit smoking-- her decision was the impetus for my reflection on this subject. I know she can do it-- I am completely certain that despite the intensity of the challenge, she can take back the power from those cigarettes and leave that habit in the dust.

Ashes to ashes.

It won't be easy, of course, but quitting never is.

She'll miss it dearly for many days, the same way our hearts grieve a loss of anything or anyone close and comforting. 

Then one day, she will wake up, and it won't feel quite so bad.

By Day 140, she will feel fantastic and proud and absolutely unwilling to relinquish that victory streak.

Of all the things I've read about quitting, this is the one I hope will resonate with my sister's resolve:

“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-EmokpaeImpossible Is Stupid


  1. You move me, dear heart! Love, Mama

  2. We are so very proud of you.... and jealous that we lack your courage. I did it with smoking, but only after three cardiac incidents and hospitalizations. Not exactly what I would brag on as a stellar example. Your sister can follow your lead - she's got good "stock" in her genes and a wonderful sister to be her mentor..Luv, Opa

    1. Thank you, Daddy. Don't sell yourself short--quitting smoking was a huge triumph! I'm happy that KK is taking the initiative before she has the negative consequences that the habit brought to your life. Besides, I'm the one who got lucky in the sister department-- she's as much of a mentor to me, if not more!
      Love you!

  3. Nice work. I quit smoking for good a couple years ago. It took a few years of bumming butts from friends, but in the end I'm done with them. I don't think I'll ever quit drinking though. I hate being wasted and hate being hungover more, so I doubt I could ever get to the addiction phase. I've tried many substances and somehow managed to get away from them all, eventually...

    1. So the hangover keeps you from the addiction, eh? Then I won't share my secret hangover-prevention elixir/strategy, or you could drink like a fish (lobster?) and hardly feel a thing the next day.

      I'm proud that you quit smoking T-- didn't you start when we were teenagers? Part of the whole biker-boy image, maybe? There should be some sort of special award for people who quit after especially long periods of time.


  4. Well said sweetheart! So proud to know you! Love, Nana