Hello, my name is Nicole Luttrell, and I’m a quitter.
No, I didn’t quit anything good, like smoking. But I do quit things all of the time. In fact, here’s a short list of things I quit in my twenties.
- A total of five jobs, including simply walking out of one.
- I quit on two blogs, one about parenting and one about politics.
- I have quit several attempts to put ads on PBW, meaning that I, to this day, don’t make money blogging. Oh darn.
- I gave up on the first two novels I wrote.
- I will throw away rough drafts of short stories and flash fiction if I don’t think they ended up good enough.
- I have given up on learning German more times than I’d care to admit.
- Sometimes I just go through my to do list, and decide that I’m not going to do some of the things on there. Ever.
- I have stopped reading books halfway through.
- I an notorious for walking away from movies if I’m not interested in them.
- My last relationship ended, well, abruptly.
I actually have a general rule that if I’m not happy with something, I’ll walk the hell away. I consider this to be one of the healthiest part of my life.
What? What’s this? Isn’t it better to be determined? To stick with things even if they’re hard? Well, yes, that’s absolutely true. I’ve stuck with lots of things too, like this blog for instance. I have a good day job that I intend to stay at until I am making enough money writing to support my family. I have been married a year and a half, we lived together years before that, and we’ve been together for eight years. I’m also a mother and step mother of two girls. I’ve written two books in one series, published a book of short stories, and written a third book (a novella, but still) in a new series. And I know, for a fact, that if I hadn’t quit the things in the first list, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything in the second list.
Now, it’s the fourth of July, just a few days into the second half of 2016. Some of you, many I hope, are starting to take a hard look at your goals for the year, assessing what can still be done. It might be time to make some cuts. Not only to that list, but to your life in general if you’re not all that happy about where you are. When I’m considering quitting, here’s what I consider.
Is this doing anyone any good?
I do a lot for my family. I’m not complaining, or bragging, it’s just the truth. So if there’s something in my life that is directly benefiting my family, I’ll keep doing it unless it makes me unhappy. I don’t mean just irritated, or frustrated, I mean really unhappy.
One example would be house cleaning. Over the past year I’ve put a lot more effort into cleaning. I’ve started following the good advise of the Fly Lady.
Is it doing me any legitimate good?
Look, we all have to do things we don’t like to keep ourselves healthy. We exercise when we’d rather not, we take vitamins and eat right when we’d rather have cheeseburgers. I keep talking to friends and select family members, even though I am naturally introverted and it’s often hard for me to spend time with people. At the same time, I’ve stopped talking to a lot of people. They weren’t doing me any good, and often they were causing me harm. For instance, my last relationship.
Could I be using this time and energy toward something better?
I don’t have a lot of time, so I really don’t have any to waste. So if something isn’t working for me, it’s best to cut it out of my routine and replace it with something better. This can include stories that I don’t have faith in, blog series that can be replaced by better ones, and books that are shitty that Idon’t consider worth my time to read to the end.
Am I throwing good time, or money after bad?
No one’s perfect, and we all make bad decisions. Sometimes those bad decisions are an investment of time or money. I did so when I signed up for an ad company. I wasted a whole bunch of time trying to write posts for affiliate links. Thank goodness I stopped that. It wasted time, was boring as hell, and probably irritated some people. Sorry. But I felt like I had to, because I had taken so much time signing up for this program and getting approved to be an affiliate. I did eventually give it over, but it took an embarrassingly long time to do so.
Does this still make me happy?
This is part one of the big deciding factor. I only have 24 hours in a day, and I insist on filling those hours with things that make me happy. This means that I’ve kept doing things that I really enjoy, even if they don’t’ seem to have any benefit. Like watching youtube or putting on makeup. These things don’t hurt me, but they don’t really help me either. I also keep writing short stories, even though my short collections don’t sell that well. I just like writing short stories, and will probably keep doing so forever. This goes for all of my writing, though. Even if I don’t ever make money writing, I’ll still do it.
Does this make me miserable?
I legitimately quit one job because I was just so miserable going there every day. I stopped writing stories because I was miserable writing them. Honestly, life is just too short. So if something in my life makes me miserable, I’m just going to quit.
Disclaimer: This does not mean I think it’s a good idea for you to just freaking quit your job or get divorced! Those are major life decisions that will impact your whole family. Please take time and discuss choices like that with everyone who will be effected! Don’t just take a bad day and give up, that’s a stupid idea!
By the way, here’s a list of things that I stuck with, after years of trying.
In case you think I’m a horrible quitter with no wherewithal, here’s a list of things that I hated and was really hard to stick with. But I’m glad I did.
- After years of working, I have finally gotten into the habit of meditating daily. It took lots of stops and starts, but I made it. And I really have seen a great improvement in my patience and mental capacity.
- I finally found a cleaning routine that works for me! Again, check out Flylady’s website, if you’ve never seen it before.
- After years of trying, I am now in the habit of keeping my laundry done.
- Food planning. You heard me. If you’re not doing it, do it.
- Bullet journaling has been a hard habit to put into my life, but it has benefited me greatly.
- Being married is hard, even when you’re married to my best friend. Most days it’s great, but there are days when it’s hard to get through. I’m always happy I do after a fight, though.
- There are hugely terrible days at the day job. There are hugely amazing days too. So I stick with it.