For many years, I used to set goals and then go towards them like a tank. All I could see ahead was a particular goal, shimmering in the distance like a mirage. I didn’t care what it took to achieve it, and most of the time I attained my goals.
Take my PhD. For three and a half years, I saw nothing but gaining my degree without a single correction. And I did it. But what was the cost to my health, work-life balance, and soul? I’ve got a repetitive strain injury in my right arm which flares up as soon as I overdo working on a computer. My life back then shrunk to the size of my PhD thesis. I withdrew into my bubble and led an isolated existence. I was constantly in the future, i.e. the day I finish it. Present with an unfinished PhD did not interest me. It was the destination not the journey that mattered at that time.
Somehow I thought that I had to push to achieve my goals.
With the hindsight, I realise I was terrified of quitting. Quitting was for loosers, I got a message at some point in my life.
For the last few days, I was noticing an impulse to stop participating in the challenge I joined 10 days ago. ‘But I’m thoroughly enjoying the theme. And it’s not that strenuous. I’ve done it back in April post C-section and with a one-month old baby. I can do it again.’ I told myself pushing towards the finish line.
Life has been sending me signs that I should stop it immediately. My son has a croup for the last two days and off nursery. I’ve got infected too with a sore throat and horrendous headache. My manuscript is somewhat neglected again despite getting super-useful comments from Nicky Tate, whose post I published here a few weeks ago.
Right now, quitting this challenge is what I need to do. No drama, no excuses, no guilt. It was a great opportunity, and right now is not right for me. When I started the challenge, a fellow blogger kindly reminded me about my decision to Slow Waaaaay Down over the winter. It’s so easy to swing back into old habits of overdoing, pushing, not listening to my body and life. Today, I choose to stop.
Quitting has never felt so good.