The Case for Being a Quitter

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Is it just me or do Saturday mornings look different after having kids, as opposed to before having kids? I remember how I used to be able to ease into the weekend on a Saturday morning. Well, if I’m going to be honest, sometimes it was more like Saturday midday thanks to the night owl version of myself that kept me up late the night before.

Back in my pre-kid Saturdays, I could start the day when I wanted. I could choose to clean the house, go for a run, get some grocery shopping done or spend the day with friends. I could take part in an impromptu binge watching of Tom Hanks movies or clean out the garage. The day and its activities were mine for the choosing.

Then babies happened. Empty bellies demanded milk and full diapers required changing even before the Saturday sun had risen. Eventually those days faded, but then kids happened and sports and activities and weekend schedules. Before I knew it, those lackadaisical Saturdays were a thing of the past.

The Case for Being a Quitter

Those lazy entries into the weekend were replaced with frantic wake-ups, shin guard searches, rushed breakfasts and constant countdowns. We rushed, we repeated, yes, we even yelled and barked and pleaded for everyone to. Get. In. The. Van. Now. All the while, I longed for those lost Saturdays. More so, I desired something better for myself and my family.

Then I met a guy named Bob Goff. Okay, I didn’t actually meet him, meet him (though I recently found myself standing about five feet away from him and somehow refrained from Instagramming the moment). I read his book “Love Does” and I heard him talk at a few conferences, and I realized that this guy is about living authentically and deeply and joyously and with much love.

Then I heard the ping. It was my email notifying me that it was time to sign-up for basketball or soccer or underwater basket weaving. The specific activity didn’t matter. What mattered was that saying “yes” would mean inviting in a frantic start to the weekend. So, as I contemplated registration, I remembered the habit that Bob Goff has done for the past few years: he quits something every Thursday.

And I decided to become a quitter.

Bob is a guy who says “yes” often. And, to continue saying “yes,” he realized that he must also say “no” to some things. He refuses to get bogged down by obligations and patterns of life. On various Thursdays in the past, he has quit jobs, furniture, volunteering, and a plethora of other things big and small.

I realized that I wanted to be a quitter, too. I wanted to quit the Saturday morning chaos. I wanted to quit yelling at my kids to hurry up and eat breakfast. I wanted to quit feeling obligated to have my young kids involved in organized sports. I wanted to quit feeling weighed down by our weekend schedule and commitments that, in the end, were ours to choose to participate in.

The Case for Being a Quitter

So, I want to ask, do you want to be a quitter, too? If so, take a minute to consider what you can quit. Maybe it’s something you dread or even something you love, but you just don’t have time for right now. Maybe it’s an extracurricular activity. Maybe it’s the house that keeps you working two jobs to maintain. Maybe it’s Facebook or the PTO or late-night HGTV viewing. It could be the car that comes with a monthly payment or a board that you never really wanted to be a member of anyway. Perhaps it means silencing those pings and notifications, so they don’t demand your attention constantly throughout the day.

Like me, I’m sure there is something that you can quit, something you can let go of, something that you can kick to the curb, so that you are living less out of obligation and more within the freedom to pursue quiet and space and peace.

Thanks to Bob, I’m proud to be a quitter. I’m proud to cut ties with things that drain me more than they add value to my life. I’m proud of saying good-bye to something that added stress to the entire family. Because in the end, I also want to do another thing that Bob said, “Live in grace. Walk in love.” Now, that’s something I won’t be quitting.

 

Have you connected with me on social media? Find me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook @mchurchwriter.

{This article first appeared in The Family Magazine of Michiana.}

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