I recall a poster that was located outside the library of my middle school, on it was a Macintosh menu (from the late 90s) the curser had selected “Never Quit” (normally on a mac it would say quit here).

The first time I saw this was over 15 years ago, and the last time I did was a bit over 12 years ago, but I still remember very well. I guess that the way the message of never quitting was conveyed struck a chord with me.

Often times I would not quit, I would go on, persevere even if it was okay to quit. Sometimes I did quit quicker than I should have. I quit playing the violin, I quit playing the piano. But then I did not give up when I was completely devastated by a bad mark in school or a problem that seemed impossible to overcome.

I don’t like to quit reading a book, so sometimes I force myself to finish even if I then feel I have been robbed of my time. Other books, the ones I like, but that due to x or y reason I don’t want to continue right away are put on pause. Such a pause can at times last quite a while. A book that I don’t like cannot be paused, it will result in quitting…

When I went off to university, I was scared of quitting, quitting would translate as failing. The only problem I had was that I had a very hard time during my first year. I studied politics and economics, but I could not get my head around the economics. I was good in maths and world economy. When it came to microeconomics and statistics I was miserable (I failed the statistics exam but managed to pass the module). At one point in my first year, one of my professors talked about banks and banking and concluded his lesson with “well that’s theory, which has become obsolete, just look at our local bank Northern Rock”(not an exact quote). I was studying in Newcastle Upon Tyne, I went there only weeks after the economic crisis started with the failing of Northern Rock. His statement along with other things made me think again about what I was studying. Did I really want to study theory that was going to invalidate itself quicker than I could finish my degree?

Royal Guard, playmobil
Looks as though someone quit their job as a Royal Guard …

I am not really good with theory, maybe it’s due to that. I quit economics at the end of my first year, and could fully concentrate on Politics and it was a good decision. The subjects were often opposing each other in ethics and the two schools I was in weren’t all that communicative. I felt the difference, my results were better, my thoughts were a lot more structured, and my time could be organised more efficiently.

Two years ago, almost exactly two years ago. I quit my job as a school teacher. I loved working with the kids in my classroom and that even though some of them were very difficult. I learnt that I really enjoy teaching and that I can communicate with children. So why did I quit? Well I was pregnant with my daughter. Standing in front of a classroom while pregnant is not the best thing, but I also had a 1 hour commute with public transportation. For a total of 6 and a half hours of lessons a week I spend 4 hours in transportation. I worked on two days, one with a break of 4 or 5 hours, but not enough to go back home and rest. Those free hours I used to grade papers and prepare lessons, but it was exhausting. I made far less money teaching in school than I did with private tutoring, but that was not even an argument that I took into account.  I listened to my heart and decided that I should quit. I think that it was a good decision for my daughters and my own safety.

There is nothing wrong with trying and quitting, if you don’t like it. Of course quitting too early might not be the best thing. I think that maybe the “Never Quit” might be a bit too extreme. After all if you smoke, it might be a smart move to quit…

So sometimes I quit. Sometimes I don’t. There are times when quitting is the right decisions, and there are times where I should have thought again before quitting.

Do you often quit things? Do you think one should never quit or is quitting ok? Do you see quitting as failure, as giving up? How long do you try?


© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

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23 thoughts on “Never Quit

  1. I have a high pain tolerance, both mentally and physically, but I must admit I do quit sometimes. If I am reading a book and find I am disliking it intensely(as I did with Tart’s Goldfinch) I may just stop and put it down, thinking I will return to it and give it a chance at some other point in my life. I’ve done the same with people I’ve found to be toxic. Maybe they will change in the future, but for the time being, I will stay away, calling it quits, so to speak. I have a feeling that someday you’ll return to teaching when it is a different time in your life. Clare

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think that sometimes quitting is the better option. It is not always necessarily bad to quit (even though this is often conveyed).
      In French to break up with someone is “quitter” so to quit. And I think that there are a lot of people who are happy that they quit their relationship, or left some toxic friends as you say behind.
      I am more and more thinking about returning to teaching. I think that i might be able to make a difference, I just want the circumstances to be a bit better.
      Thank you Clare!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I quit way to easily. It really depends on the circumstances. For me it depends how much motivation I have for something. I put a book down I don’t enjoy. Lately I’ve made an effort to at least try and read to the end. There is nothing more frustrating than having paid for something and then not enjoying it, so that factors into it. If I got the book for free – I’m more likely to quit it if it’s not interesting to me. Similar in other situations too. Sometimes like you said you just have to quit when something is not good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My studies was a thing that I pulled through till the end (I thought about quitting while doing my master’s degree, but did not). Like you I have often times quit far too easily, especially when it comes to creativity. Now my blog has been going on for almost 9 months and I don’t recall anything creative in recent years that I continued for so long.
      I think we often quit because we don’t understand things yet/the results are not there yet, but at those times it might be better to go on.
      Anything that is not good for us should be left behind though.
      I really dislike on giving up on books I bought, such a waste of money…
      Thanks for your comment Sarina!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I quit as feels appropriate. It used to.be that I felt any kind of quitting was a failure. Now, though? I see.it as a gateway: a gateway to all.the things I’d rather be doing and experiencing wirh my limited time here on Earth.

    My 6yo is actually having the “don’t quit” message pounded into him. It’s taking me a lot of time and work to address how much more can be wasted by not quitting and moving on, argh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that you have the right way of going about it. Sometimes quitting is better.

      They should differentiate a bit more on when one should quit and when not…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It started with a milkshake for me. I’d paid $4–then a huge sum of money for me–for a milkshake I didn’t like at all. Because I’d spent $4 on it, I was determined to have the whole thing. I’d paid for it, darn it! I got about one-third of the way through and decided I’d much rather pay for something unenjoyable once than twice.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Solveig. There’s quitting but there’s also having to make a choice between different options or responding to changing circumstances. How we spend our time, is a bit like trying to manage physical clutter. We need to have enough space to move forward. I took up the violin 3 years ago quite unexpectedly to help my daughter who subsequently quit. I am now at about a 2nd grade level. I’ve had to really think about whether to keep going and how far I want to take it. Just because you take up something new, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to do it for the rest of your life eg playing an instrument.
    My daughter does dancing which she started when she was four like so many of her peers but does that mean she should keep dancing into high school or that after one Christmas holidays, she decides not to go back? Her peers are starting to drop out and as she climbs through the grades, it’s becoming more serious and not just her looking cute and pointing her toes.
    Anyway, there’s a bit of food for thought.
    It’s getting late. xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rowena! Yes, when we take up an instrument or an activity and don’t like it (not because there are not immediate rewards) then quitting might be good. Who wants to do the same thing all life long just because one shall not quit???
      If she does enjoy dancing/has talent then I guess it is good if she continues, if she does it only to please or because everyone else does it, then maybe she might consider quitting.
      Get some sleep!

      Like

  5. In college I never figured out what I liked as in that period I assumed I would be a ‘stay-at-home’ housewife, so therefore the money to go to college was a waste. I married, but then years later divorced and had to go to work. I have been in jobs that I SHOULD have quit, but I figured that if I worked hard enough that the situation would get better. It NEVER did.

    What I have learned is that there are times when it is important to know WHEN to quit so one doesn’t hurt themselves. This can go for a variety of jobs… from marriage to work. You are wise … knowing when to quit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do hope that I know when to quit. I for long enough time had a hard time knowing when to quit, often I quit too early out of laziness or I quit when it was too late.
      At the moment I am really trying to figure out what to do. I really like writing and blogging but there are no financial rewards yet, I won’t quit that is for sure. I love teaching and am wondering if I should apply for teaching jobs, but I also know that I have to build my online presence to find some local students and start teaching via Skype as well.

      Thank you Gwynn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What about exploring various ways that you can use your writing skills? You possibly could teach writing. You could edit for companies. Heck, companies need writers for marketing and technical writing. I found that I didn’t like reporting mostly because I didn’t have confidence in me, but also I didn’t like the theory that we had to go out and ‘Make the news!”

        I like to think out of the box. Explore ways of creating a “Win/Win” situation for you. From what I am hearing here in the states is that it is VERY difficult to make money as a Freelance writer these days. I truly look forward to learning what you decide to do. Good Luck!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh Gwynn, thank you for your inspiring words! As you learnt in the post I did for Gulara, writing has been with me forever. The teaching came in later, at the moment I mostly tutor kids and have to get myself moving to get some more clients. Being freelance is definitely good when having a young child.
          Thank you!!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve quit a job too soon and another not soon enough. It’s how I learned what I really want, need, etc.

    As for books, movies, etc — if it doesn’t grab me by the first few chapters/15-20 minutes of the film, I turn it off. Nothing wrong with it maybe. Just not for me. And time is too precious to waste reading or watching something that isn’t my cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do guess that finding the right time to quit a job is definitely hard. Everything is so CV focused now that a month too soon and a year too much are seen as mistakes.
      I think we often forget just how precious life is…

      Liked by 1 person

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