How to be a Failure at Quitting

I quit several times every day.I quit, in red marker.

Usually,  I quit my day job first, then, I quit my night job, then I quit the dishes, then I quit my weekend job, then I quit caring, and then I quit quitting and start the whole cycle all over again.

Most of the time, I’m serious when I say it. I say it under my breath, try the sentiment on for size, and decide I’m not really much of a quitter, and go on about my not quitting.

Other times, I’m more than serious when I say it, and I have a long conversations with myself. I say “You can’t quit,” and I answer myself with “Why not?” At this point, the amount of cynicism I have stored in my bile ducts will determine how convincing I find the counterargument. If the cynicism levels are high, I will not be able to find a good reason not to quit.

On those occasions, I begin to work through the Script of Futility.  This is filled with brilliantly depressing one-liners, but the main through line is me reminding myself of the definition of insanity, where I have continued to do the same thing over and over again, and I get exactly the same results every time. These results are not encouraging. Having thus questioned my own sanity, I continue to harvest my own cynicism, and race down the Tunnel of Reasons Quitting is the Only Answer.

The Tunnel leads to a fork in the script. One branch plays all the “Against all Odds” tropes, where I remind myself of the people who kept going, and achieved great things. The other path is much darker, and plays themes of “sometimes, quitting is the smartest thing you can do,” and “if you continue to get a headache banging your head against the wall, not only are you stupid, but you’re about to be concussed.”

If I’m following the path of darkness, my brain likes to tell me that my failure to quit is just the latest in my ongoing string of “other than successes,” and then it laughs at the irony, which means I will resume my less-than-sane endeavors, despite not having any good reason to continue.

This specific column, I must’ve started and stopped more than 50 times. I kept telling myself there was no way I could fill a full 500 words on my failure to quit, and I should stop thinking about quitting and my failures to quit, and just write about Mother’s Day. Everyone’s probably expecting me to write about that.

From there, I argued with myself, saying, “I don’t really feel like writing about Mother’s Day,” and “Since when did I do what everyone was expecting me to do?” It’s been a Parade of Self-doubt all weekend.

And then, somewhere along the parade route, the weather took a turn for the better, and people smiled and waved in a friendly fashion, and it became a good day. When that happens, I feel that there is meaning in continuing down the path which now is playing the “Against all Odds” tropes. That’s when I am glad to continue, because having one small spark of hope is more than a good enough reason to not quit.