Other teams ATE HER BUBBLES! all last summer.
I’m here to announce The Child has quit swim team.
I’m here to share I encouraged it.
And are you ready for the last part?
I cheered her on because I’m big believer in quitting.
A quit’advocate if you will.
A woman who’s BRAZEN enough to leap to her feet and announce she doesn’t agree with the adage:
A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.
I also believe (why I happily encouraged 11 year old Child to cease swimming in a way I’d not have at 8) quitting is a great deal like intuitive eating:
When we are capable of being wholly honest with ourselves we *know* when fear or laziness is behind our desire to abandon pursuit of a goal/consume our ‘guilty pleasure.’
I’ve quit many, many things in my 47.75 years and, even with the benefit of hindsight, I regret none of them.
I quit bodybuilding.
All of that quit’vocating said, I do possess a checklist of sorts which I go though before I commit to the quit.
An exercise which serves as a way to affirm I’m not quitting out of fear and that ceasing the activity/project is the right course of action.
My process is simple.
I measure the goal/experience I want to quit against three ideas:
1. Is it still a goal/endeavor I long to do? Just because something was once important to me does not mean it still is. I remind myself of the fluidity of life and of the fact it’s OK to shed/quit even good habits!
2. Quitting provides space for new experiences. If I’m holding on tightly with both hands (AKA jam-packing my life) I cannot receive or experience more. I ask myself if quitting XXX will increase the margins in my daily life?
3. Quitting is the ultimate in self-care and intuitive living. It’s loving myself enough to not fret about what others think. It’s tapping into my gut & knowing quitting is right for me. I sit with/ask myself if I have that sense/feeling about this particular scenario?
In addition, since I’m an adult, I feel compelled to clarify I never “just quit” when my action might negatively impact others (nor would I allow the Child).
Recently I stumbled upon some research which holds a clue as to why I, unlike many, don’t struggle with “bad feelings” when renouncing a goal/commitment (paraphrased):
People who are able to let go when they experience unattainable/desirable goals have less depressive symptoms, less negative affect over time…lower cortisol levels, lower levels of inflammation and develop fewer physical health problems.
The key to experiencing better health according to the research? Letting go. Quitting.
Quitting is simple (“Mama, I’m done with swimming. I really want to focus on gymnastics.).
Quitting is complicated (I’m profoundly grateful my own parents never let me quit playing the clarinet even when I begged to stop).
Quitting might be best summed up by W.C. Fields:
The swim-quitter & I long to know:
Are you a Stick With It Sally or a Quitter McGee?
Angela @ happy fit mama saysApril 24, 2017 at 4:38 am
Quitting is definitely more complicated than I ever thought it could be. Your musical instrument analogy had me thinking about my own experience. My parents let me quit the flute after a few lessons. I regret it. I wish they would have told me to keep up with it. I would have hated it but maybe at one point I wouldn’t? Like I said, complicated.
Bea saysApril 24, 2017 at 4:39 am
I don’t let my kids quit anything. I guess I’ve always thought if they started I need to teach them to finish?
Allie saysApril 24, 2017 at 5:34 am
It definitely depends on the situation. I read somewhere a parent told their kids they could quit but only after a GREAT practice or completion, not a bad one. I thought that was genius! And yes, my boys have quit things before and I’ve encouraged it.
That quote is also the best ever.
Susie @ Suzlyfe saysApril 24, 2017 at 5:38 am
OMG this post and my post today go so well together. I quit riding. It was the right thing to do. I loved it, but we needed space. It had become a rote chore.
Marcia saysApril 24, 2017 at 5:57 am
My 11 yr old recently quit gymnastics to start swimming. Ha! She tries and quits lots of things, which I’m fine with. As long as she’s trying new things.
I begged my parents to let me quit the violin in order to join the band and start the flute. I got the biggest lecture so I stuck with the violin for 8 more years. I don’t regret it.
MCM Mama saysApril 24, 2017 at 6:23 am
You know I struggled with this with one of my kids this spring. In the end, we let him quit and it was the best decision for him and for our family. But man, was it hard to find the right line between “if something that is supposed to be fun is no longer fun, stop doing it” and “you need to fulfill your commitment.”
messymimi saysApril 24, 2017 at 6:42 am
If it no longer serves, stop doing it. Bigger Girl was on swim team for only one year. She tried it, she hated it, she wasn’t very good at it and she didn’t get better over the course of the year. She stayed out the year because she’d made the commitment, and then she quit, and i’m glad.
Wendy saysApril 24, 2017 at 7:13 am
It’s like you wrote this for me… :p
I’m not a quitter and that’s probably a problem for me. I haven’t quit on my upcoming marathon altho all signs point to that outcome.
Renee saysApril 24, 2017 at 7:16 am
I say it depends on the person and situation….knowing whether to stick with something or walk away from it is often one of the hardest decisions you will make in life…good for her for knowing it was time…
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au saysApril 24, 2017 at 7:17 am
I think the ‘never quit’ mantra has been so solidly drummed into us that we feel guilty when we’ve had enough of something. But I believe when you’ve given it your best shot and it’s just not working for you, or you’re burnt out, or you’re bored spitless, then quitting has some merit (I totally agree about not hurting others in the process)
danielle smith saysApril 24, 2017 at 7:33 am
this is fantastic. i’ve gone through so many personal phases with my thoughts and priorities. i used to think “yeah, i’m a ride or die bitch. with it till the end. commit, commit, commit!!!” but that’s just not true, i don’t think it was ever true but i wanted it to be for a moment.
nowadays i literally want to try all the things on my invisible bucket list, that running list of things i’ve always wanted to do in my head. living like each day, each week might be it. i can’t help myself! i want to try all the things. i love some of them, others i try and as soon as it doesn’t feel like i’m loving it so much anymore and becomes work, it’s time to push it aside.
currently i’m craving structure… i thought all i ever wanted in my whole life was to be a stay at home mom and wife. and teach fitness classes, and do network marketing, and blah blah blah.
things have changed. our current situation requires another income and stability, and suddenly i’m thrilled for the opportunity to have a schedule again. looking for silver linings in all the situations that life throws will never get old.
ok rambling, but yes. i guess you could say i’m a Quiggly Quitter and Happy Helene about it.
Haralee saysApril 24, 2017 at 8:13 am
I love this Carla!! Yes I quit and encourage quitting if it is not the right fit. In the adult world, from relationships to jobs to friendships, to activities, quitting is a way to move forward.
Elle saysApril 24, 2017 at 8:38 am
I quit a couple of different things when I was a kid and again as an adult, and did get a bit of blowback/flack about it from my Father, who did not understand, but accepted, my decisions. I agree, quitting is complicated, but you have to do what is best for YOU.
Nancy L Fox saysApril 24, 2017 at 8:55 am
This is such a great post Carla. I love the 3 questions you consider before you quit something!
Diane saysApril 24, 2017 at 9:33 am
When we’ve wrung every drop of joy out of what we were doing, it’s time to move on. Dragging baggage is never a good idea. Even if it once brought happiness.
Love this, Carla!
Jody - Fit at 59 saysApril 24, 2017 at 9:41 am
AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too many are forced into things that really are not “their thing”. I love this!!!
Christie saysApril 24, 2017 at 10:20 am
We basically try things out, and if they don’t want to continue, they have to finish and finish strong (usually there is a team counting on us) but we don’t have to sign up again, which gives us the space to try something else. I do have them finish what they start, however, because if we’ve paid for it and bought the equipment, we owe it to ourselves and our teammates to at least give it a shot and finish, which has led us to actually loving something (because we were simply being lazy at first and laziness was the reason for wanting to stop) and on the flip side has also led us to truly deciding it just wasn’t our thing. It also allows us to make an informed decision at the beginning about whether or not we want to start in the first place (weighing costs and time commitments) and it allows us to make sure we’re not jumping into anything we can’t commit to in the first place. So yes, complicated, but ‘quitting’ is ok with me, our version is more of a “discontinue.” LOL
Pamela Lutrell saysApril 24, 2017 at 10:47 am
I applaud you, Carla, for giving your child the freedom to quit. Some parents just put on the pressure. I have quit things which robbed my joy. You did a great job with a controversial topic.
Dr. J saysApril 24, 2017 at 12:17 pm
Good for you two!! Some stick or quit decisions are easier than others.
Sometimes we make them and sometimes the world makes them for us, or at least gives us guidance.
I’m both. Perhaps by fate, choice, or luck, I seem to have made decent decisions about when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em, so far.
Rena McDaniel saysApril 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm
This is so needed! I raised my kids the same way. Trying new things shouldn’t always mean you’re stuck with it. The point of trying is to find what works and discard what doesn’t. I think it’s wrong to force our kids to do things that they just aren’t interested in doing. People focus entirely too much on what other people think.
Roxanne Jones saysApril 24, 2017 at 1:06 pm
What a great post, Carla! Your #3 really resonated with me. I think too many of us stay with things (like jobs, relationships, volunteer gigs) because we’re afraid of what others will think if we cut the cord, or we’re afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings. The older I get, the less I’m willing to waste precious time doing something or being with someone that/who doesn’t enrich my life. Yay, you, for supporting your daughter in her decision to shift her priorities.
Laurie Stone saysApril 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm
Carla, I’m also a believer that if your kids want to quit something, let them. My boys never got into sports, but could play rock music till the roof came down (which it did on occasion).
I never regret the times in my life I walked away, whether places, people, or activities. Thanks for this reminder.
Beth Havey saysApril 24, 2017 at 4:40 pm
I did let my children STOP doing something. The word quit is so loaded. I think children should be allowed to TRY something to see how it goes. Adults do that. When Andrew was born, we did push the sports a bit too much. Once he was out of grade school–he ran from sports to music, which he had started in grade school–he knew where he needed to be.
As for me, I will never STOP working on my novel. We will see. Beth
Coco saysApril 24, 2017 at 7:53 pm
Really love this reminder. Probably need to heed it more ….
jill conyers saysApril 25, 2017 at 2:51 am
I know other people have said it but lets be honest, you wrote this for me. Didn’t you? I’ve been debating quitting something for weeks and for reasons that are lost on me (or maybe that I don’t care to admit) I can’t. Ugh!
I’ve never been a parent that wouldn’t allow our kids to quit. I encourage them to try, step out of their comfort zone occasionally and if it does’t work out. So be it. I never made them clean their plate either. Just be open to trying.
Loved the chat. Thanks. xoxo
Christian Chavez saysApril 27, 2017 at 2:27 am
Thanks for this nice topic Carla 🙂
Carol ("Mimi") saysApril 29, 2017 at 9:58 am
Great post! I really like your ideas on this topic. I especially like the quotation from W.C. Fields.
ADAM H saysMay 6, 2017 at 11:58 am
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