Quitting not always the worst idea

Originally published in Moxie in the Post & Courier on April 16, 2010

I hear over and over and over again that “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” s this really true? I don’t think so. I think there is a time and a place to allow common sense to overtake pride. There is a time and a place to pack up and just walk out the door. There are times when staying where we are is really a bad idea. Do I need to give you examples? Haven’t you stayed somewhere far too long? Haven’t you wanted to scream “LET ME OUT” a few times in your life? I usually wait until I am in my car before screaming, but there have been times when I didn’t quite make it. Yep, the people in the parking lot were a bit afraid to walk near me. I understand. I looked like a crazy woman and felt like one, too.

Don’t you have those “if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t” moments? Or is the more appropriate question how many have you had? Or perhaps, how many do you have about the same thing?

That is even scarier. It is scary that due to some false sense of pride, loyalty or fear we allow ourselves to remain unhappily hostage in a place we have outgrown.

Or a place we stopped by for a moment and just did not leave. We have our reasons, and those reasons served us well for a time. But what happens after those reasons evaporate?

Nothing, at least not for most of us, and I am one of the most. Yes, I have turned my head off to the warning bells around me telling me to evacuate the premises. I, too, have dug my heels and more often my heart into places where I should probably never have ventured. I am a card-carrying member of the drag-your-feet-and-deny-the-need-for-change club.

I gave up negative thoughts for Lent, which is one way I am excusing my behavior. If I think of where I am in completely positive thoughts, why would I leave? Why should I leave? OK, I know, that only works for a while and then the same nagging reality pops up. I know that I should only remain in neutral or in wild hysteria for just so long. Right here and right now I am way past the expiration date of my sanity and yet I am dragging my feet. I told you I was a card-carrying member.

Somewhere I heard that knowing is half the battle. OK, what about the rest of the battle? The battle between my heart and my mind that seems to be in complete disconnect. I am staying for a reason. It might not be a good reason, but it is definitely a reason. How do I conquer that? Of course I want to stand up and be the fiercely strong intelligent, independent woman that I want people to think I am. I have some serious work to do.

At least I realize that I am not the only woman who hovers instead of stepping out of her comfort zone. That is not a good excuse. I have vast experiences out of my comfort zone. I served 11 years in the Army and I run marathons! Am I just too tired? Can I afford to just linger, or maybe the word is loiter?

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