It is o.k to quit. Say it with me people!!!
IT IS O.K TO QUIT.
As someone who has had a lot of hobbies and jobs, it is so important for me to remind myself that it is ok to be a quitter. Alcoholics? Right?
Somehow it became an American trait to “Never Quit,” something between endurance and stamina. It might be based in job security from generations past when there might only be 1 or 2 jobs in a Town. Maybe it is related to how long it takes to attain mastery and maximize the capitalist system based in that knowledge, experience and skills. The mind also wants to quit way to early, for all of us.
There is a difference between my Peloton ride or hike, where I never quit; and, continuing to do something we know is done. For some people it is a personal or business relationship and for others it is collecting a type of ceramics or an animal like birds. It is ok to stop, and start doing something new. Seriously, I tell myself this in my hobbies, my hikes and even my cycle rides. We need reminders!
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” Dolly Parton
Why is it so important to stop or clear out the old? We literally need space for the new. Maybe it is headspace or it might be actual workspace. We all need room to change our minds and grow.
The picture above is a short way up to Angels Landing, after navigating some chains we stopped and looked across the precarious ledge and steep cliff, dotted with people going up and coming down. I took a deep breath and leaned back against the wall, everything swayed and came in and out of depth perception, focus. I knew I did not want to go any further and I also didn’t want to disappoint my hiking mate, my daughter. As we sat there negotiating, I slowly caved in and admitted I’d prefer to take a different hike.
We went back down and took a different path, higher and further, with strangely treacherous hairpin turns up and down switchbacks. As we reached the bottom, the last switchback before the easy canyon walk, I saw a hiker waiting for help at the bottom of a ravine, busted up and bleeding, beyond my help. We hiked down, passing a ranger rescue team on the way up to help. Slow down, think through important decisions and know that it is ok to change your mind.
I took it as a sign to be careful everywhere in nature, I also knew the mountains were letting me know I got lucky.
Also, sometimes when you change your mind and hike for another 7 hours you are rewarded with an epic sunset over Zion Canyon. In case I forget, remind me to change my mind!