For as long as I can remember, I was involved in extra-curricular activities. From swimming lessons at 18 months old and t-ball at 3 years old, to basketball in 4th & 5th grade continuing into 6th and 7th grade, I always had something going on. Sometimes, there would be multiple activities scheduled at the same time, such as tap, square dancing and clogging (dance) class while a school roller skating party was happening, or when I missed 8 out of 10 baseball games the season when I was 10 years old, because they conflicted with my swim team meets.

Square Dancing in 2nd grade
Little Joshy in the front row, far left.

As I grew older, I really wanted to start paring back some of my activities. I wanted more free time, but all those organized activities were getting in my way. When I would complain to my mom, she would tell me I could quit, but not until I completed that season. Perhaps she was right; after all she had paid for classes and costumes (for dance classes) and for equipment for soccer, baseball, swim team, basketball, and golf once I got to high school.

Golf team in high school
High school golf team in 10th grade. Back row, middle!

I’m sure she was trying to teach me perseverance and about making sure my priorities were in line before committing to a new activity. But her unwillingness to let me out of some of these things also made me feel hostility, resentment, and overwhelmed.

As an adult, I have a really hard time saying no. To anything (except drugs – “Just say no” was 100% effective messaging for me as a kid). I volunteer to drive my friends when they go bar hopping. I joined the Board of Directors of my state professional organization, and now serve as Secretary. I’m the Secretary/Treasurer of my Property Owner’s Association. I’m so excited about attending my second FinCon this year that I have joined the staff as Volunteer Coordinator! And *most of the time* I am happy with those decisions to step in and join the effort. But sometimes they are more headache than they are worth, and I wish I had the nerve to say no or to quit if I’m already involved. I’m working on it…

Become a quitter.

Quit bad habits, like ordering a pizza every Friday night because you are too tired after the long work week.

Quit negative self-thoughts that only serve to make you feel worse than you already did.

Quit binge-eating or binge-drinking (4 or more drinks in 1 sitting for females, 5 or more in 1 sitting for males) that leads to reckless behavior.

Quit being sedentary. I wear a Fitbit every day, but I recently realized that I had exactly ZERO days in December 2018 with 10k steps, despite that being my daily “goal.” So, I joined the #70kchallenge that Miss Mazuma set up for every week in 2019 to hit 70,000 steps. It doesn’t have to be 10,000 each day, but 10,000 steps times 7 days will get the job done. Today is the 69th day of 2019, and I have only missed 10k steps on eight days so far and have hit 70k every week. Thank you to my accountabilibuddies!

Quit the job that is making you miserable! It may pay your bills, and the next job might not pay as well, but if the job is killing you slowly (or quickly!!) you won’t be around to enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

Quit negative stereotypes. Therapy isn’t for crazy people, it’s for everyone. People of color aren’t out to get you and immigrants aren’t here to take your job. Women are every bit as capable (and often more so) than men. Organized religion isn’t all good, and it isn’t all bad.

Quit spending mindlessly. Quit deferring looking out for future you. Save and invest for when you won’t be able to work any longer.

Quit complaining. Sure, we all have genuine gripes about bad things, annoying things, unfair things that happen in our lives. Complaining about them doesn’t do anything. What steps will you take to rectify the situation or remove yourself from it?

Quit villainizing taxes. Piggy from Bitches Get Riches did a great job of explaining that taxes are the Annual Fee for Membership in Civilization. Are those dollars all spent the way we would like? NO! But they are spent for the common good and common defense.

Quit reading this blog post. Get out there and do something that will make tomorrow a better day for you, your family and your community.

 

  1. I love you to pieces. Thanks for being the reminder that we all need.

    I am working hard on subtracting (quitting) this month, and it is HARD. Some things I’m going cold turkey on and others I’m slowly reducing. It isn’t fun, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.

    1. I feel like the word Quit has a negative connotation to it, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
      Love you too, Penny. Give HP a hug from Uncle Josh!

    1. I thought that line would get more laughs than it did 🙂
      I feel like some of the good things are only good for a short time, or a season of your life. Playing roller hockey for 10+ hours a week was a lot of fun 20 years ago, but I could never do that today.

    1. You’re right, they do. And it’s maybe not the best idea to force a kid to continue doing something they’ve mentally opted out of. But in all, they were great experiences and I wound up a more well-rounded kid because of them

  2. How have I only just seen this post?
    Love it.
    I was a single parent to 4 boys and poverty forced me to only give them one after school activity each.
    And do you know what? They survived and thrived. They would sometimes get bored, but then they’d work their way through that and find ways to occupy themselves and have fun.
    It was good for them.

    1. I only wrote it a few days ago!
      I lived a really charmed middle class life in a small rural town. We didn’t have the best of anything, but there was always something for us kids to do. And as I said, sometimes I had too many activities going on. Moderation is key in most things…

  3. Thank you for putting this out there (pictures and all)! I wish I would have read this in high school (or at least heard this message from adults and peers around me). I was busy from 6:00am to 10:30pm (until I finally found an activity I truly loved my senior year – guitar). I quit some activities in order to make time for myself. This was the first time I learned it’s OK to quit. Even as an adult knowing what I love to do, it’s still hard to slow down! I feel like I’m disappointing others. Thanks for the reminder that it’s acceptable to say no.

    1. We’re no good to anyone when we’re burnt out and burning the candle at both ends. Everyone seems to be enjoying the photos 😁

  4. LOVE. Now, this is the kind of quitter mentality I can get behind.

    At a certain point, there is no nobility in hanging on to things just to avoid being dubbed a “quitter.” Absolutely quit the things that are negative forces in your life. I realized recently that sometimes I held on to people/jobs/things far too long not from a place of principle (Iike I originally thought), but from a place of FEAR.

    I’m learning it’s ok to quit. And oftentimes, something better is waiting on the other side of that.

    Quitting reading this post now! LOL.

  5. One of the hardest things to do is stay fit and healthy. Easy to quit and take the easy way out.

    I need to lose like 15 lbs.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: