Know when to fold ‘em

I’ve been thinking about giving up on things.

Not grandiose things. Not Big Ideas or Master Plans (though it’s often okay to quit those, too). Little things. The stupid things.

I’ve always sort of prided myself on my ability to know when to walk away, but something about the pandemic has made that difficult.

So, I want to remind myself to quit more often.

Take a recent book I was trying to read. I was halfway through it, and it seemed as though for every five pages I read, I retained two sentences of information because my mind kept drifting off. This isn’t a knock on the book specifically, I am generally on the “to each their own” page of fiction, where I see how anyone can find value in any style of book. But this one wasn’t working for me. The style was not my cup of tea, despite the plot being one. Reading it started to feel like work, and yet I carried on.

Usually I am good at quitting a book. But this time I really struggled to walk away. Eventually, nearing the halfway mark, I finally gave myself permission to quit. It was wonderful. It felt as if I’d freed myself from the tyranny of my own expectations. I moved onto another book, which I loved and devoured in just a few days.

I am not going to pretend to have some grand philosophy on why I’ve been struggling with this recently, but the pandemic seems like the most likely cause. For one, this abundance of time has made time itself less valuable. But we’ve also been told over and over to just hang on a little longer, wait it out, don’t quit yet, we’re going to make it. And I’ve internalized those directions and applied them across everything I do. It’s almost as though giving up on a book has the same impact as giving up on the pandemic.

Of course, it doesn’t.

Join me in quitting something today. Doesn’t matter what. Quit reading this blog, if that helps (you’re almost done, anyway). Quit out of that browser window with thirty tabs of articles you “plan” on reading. Quit the boring book you’re reading, the bad TV show, the 60 hour JRPG, or the movie your friend insists you have to watch.

Currently reading: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Currently watching: Behind Her Eyes

Recently watched:  Nomadland (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️), Saint Maud (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) Hero (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Currently listening: In the Company of Serpents Lux