Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Joy of Quitting

The kind and talented Jessica writes frequently about her ambivalence at being in a foreign country for a two-year term. I once posted in her comments section that I think quitting is often underrated. She has made a commitment to an organization for which she hopes to work for many years, and therefore is sticking to it. This I understand, and agree with, completely. However, where one has no contractual or moral obligations to stick with something sucky, other than vague, inspirational-poster notions that "I must not quit," I say, get over it.

Quitting can be a JOY.

When Mrs. Harridan and I met last Sunday, we exchanged tales of having left jobs that, for whatever reason(s), were less than fulfilling. We agreed that doing so can be truly satisfying. I hate the word "empowering," mostly because every Botoxed actress in Hollywood uses it to describe everything from horribly sappy "women's films" to posing naked in sleazy magazines to committing adultery, but if there's one thing that's "empowering," it's taking charge of a disaster that's spinning out of control and quitting.

In college, a friend of mine joined a sports team that had her waking up at some unreal hour in the morning, like 4:30, and going out and engaging in athletic activities in the freezing cold. Her body and mind were taxed to the limit, she was worried about her schoolwork, and she wasn't enjoying it. I know less about sports than I do about the intricacies of genetic cloning, but from what I understood, her absence would not have affected the rest of the team's performance. She debated quitting, then stayed with it to prove she could do it; I SO would have quit, and then taken the next day off and slept in.

I am not yet pregnant, but already know that I won't even be attempting natural childbirth. If I could have an epidural NOW, I would.

On Monday, I received three cellphone messages from my mother, who was running around in a pre-Christmas frenzy. In the first, she told me that she was thinking of not making our usual Italian Christmas Eve fish dinner of shrimp scampi, informing me of the alternative, and asking for my opinion. The second told me that I should call her back on her cellphone, because she'd be out doing errands. The third told me not to bother, because what she'd be making for Christmas Eve would be reservations. You go, girl!

If you need any further inspiration, please check out the wonderful posters and greeting cards on this website. I have no involvement with this company, other than thinking that their products KICK ASS. They make great Christmas presents.


Anonymous c.s. said...

is this a masked shout out to the TWU? cause i'm with you on that.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Since C.S. and I clarified this over IM, I'll just explain to the rest of you. She's asking whether I think the workers should "quit" the strike and get back to work. I said a while back that I wouldn't get into politics on my blog, but also that it's my blog and I am free to change my mind. Therefore, I am "quitting" my nonpolitical stance, temporarily, to say that YES, I think the workers should suck it up and get back to work. Most of the people I've spoken to in this city, regardless of political affiliation, feel the same way. Please feel free to add your own comments on the issue.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

>>I am not yet pregnant, but already know that I won't even be attempting natural childbirth. If I could have an epidural NOW, I would.<< That's what I'm screaming. I think I need the pracice. Lots and lots of practice on how to take an epidural. I'm working right now... So, right now would be great.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

Quitting can be the best thing you ever do for yourself. Whether it's a bad job, a bad relationship, whatever. Life is too short.

I hope you guys are faring okay with the strike. The whole situation is just awful all around.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Wow, I'm honored. :-)

I think quitting does have a lot going for it, right time/right place, of course.

I am looking at doing a little "life streamlining" now... but actually the complicated bits are the ones I don't really have control over. Life messes with ya, you know? :-)

4:18 PM  
Blogger robey said...

I believe one exception to "The Joy of Quitting" is marriage. If this is a "masked shout out to" your loving husband, that would be very bad indeed.

I'm not perfect, ok!?!

--Love, YLH

5:12 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I love it. You've so accurately articulated something that's been scratching at my brain ever since I quit the working world to stay home. There was an episode of Arthur about it the other day (yes, Arthur is my Oprah, because they share a time slot and Madeleine and I share a TV). By not quitting something you dislike, you're basically quitting something you like.

11:48 PM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Transit workers - get your asses back to work! The timing on this thing is very well calculated.

I'm a quitter and proud of it. When I had my children I was asking for an epidural in advance, laughing gas and a hammer to hit myself over the head with.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

YLH--no masked shout at all. Perfection is overrated, too. Isn't it????!!!!

Arthur is very profound, indeed.

Debbie, will they give me a belt to bite on, too?

8:01 AM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Epidurals - very, very good! Surrogate mothers - even better!

Maybe it's not quitting, but a tactical retreat.

The strikers irritate me, I know my NYers that are suffering, while the workers are complaining of 3-4% raises and pensions. I work for a company that make BILLIONS of dollars every year. I am lucky to get a 4% raise and I do not get a pension. Welcome to the real world.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Well said, Ditsy Chick.

12:24 PM  

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