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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How many times have you hit that point -- personally, professionally, in a relationship -- where you just throw up your hands and say "I QUIT!"

I did it this weekend.

I was working a lot of extra hours this weekend. I'll spare you the boring details; suffice to say, our contractor fell through, and I had to reorganize our database of 15,000 + supporters with the new legislative districts.

Feeling pretty good starting off, I tracked how fast I was going, and I was getting through about 100 addresses an hour. On the one hand -- woo hoo!! Almost two a minute is really fast, actually.

On the other hand -- 15,000/100= how many hours?! And I still have schoolwork, board commitments, volunteer the normal work that goes into my typical day between 9 and 5.

So I was already frustrated. Instead of taking a three day weekend, I had worked all day Saturday, it was Sunday, starting to get dark, and I was STILL working. But I had made it through about 1/4 of the database, so even if it was a lot of hours, I was making really great progress.

Then my laptop crashed.

I had been saving pretty regularly, but a lot of the data ended up corrupted. I lost a little less than half of the work I had done. Which equated to about 7 hours that would have to be redone.

So I "quit." I threw up my hands and yelled at my computer for crashing...I yelled at the board member who's email was hacked for giving me a virus (though it turns out it wasn't a virus), and when I found the plug pulled out of the back of the laptop (which for some reason does not recognize it's battery) and the cable wrapped around a very playful Miss Kitty, I yelled at her too. And then I felt bad, and picked her up and cuddled her and then we played with Mr. Mouse on String.

This is a feeling I'm very familiar with in my personal life. Right after Christmas, I REALLY wanted to throw up my hands and give up. I had gained 10 pounds (much of it water weight, but still...) since Thanksgiving. I'm an outdoor person who hates the cold, so I wanted to run the trails....but couldn't. I wanted to go for a bike ride....but couldn't. It's just common sense when there's that much ice on the road.

My grandmother's favorite saying, whenever we were complaining about being in trouble, or even just running out of something, was "You made your bed, now you have to lie in it."

I made my bed. I made bad food choices, I skipped workouts, I didn't save a backup of my work on a flash drive. And at that moment, I was LYING IN IT!!

But just because I'm lying there doesn't mean I have to STAY there!

Backtrack to Sunday night. Coming off a really busy and stressful week, this much extra work was the LAST thing I wanted. And then the laptop crashing, losing my data -- well, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I poured myself a BIG glass of wine, and ordered a pizza, and stormed around ranting and raving s.

I quit for a second. I laid down for a second. And then I poured a glass of wine, and thought about just staying in that bed.

This is one of my biggest challenges. I'm tired of having to get back up. I'm tired of falling off the bandwagon, and feeling like I've lost ground. And I'm REALLY tired of feeling like I'm starting over.

Well, I have lost ground. But that doesn't mean I can't walk it again. Maybe this time, I'll do it without stumbling or tripping. Maybe this time, I'll see a patch of wildflowers I didn't notice before.

The weekend was not great. I was busy, I was frustrated, I indulged in a pizza and a bottle of wine after the laptop crashed. I was still fully quit in that moment. And it really sucked, when I calmed down, realizing that I would have to retread so much ground. But it's a new opportunity, and a chance to do it better than I did last time. Figuratively AND literally, and yes, I'm talking about a healthy lifestyle and my database research.

I've spent the last few days alternately seething over losing my data and deriding myself for that pizza, that wine, for not exercising more, for not eating better, for actually ordering takeout when I had made a TON of soup that was sitting in the freezer waiting to be eaten.

And then last night, I realized that by going down that spiral, by obsessing over what happened this weekend instead of focusing on my Tuesday evening, on trying to do better NOW and find opportunities NOW...I was still lying in bed. Mentally, I was not making a healthy lifestyle choice.

No more self-castigation. I made my bed. I'm lying in it. And I'm getting back up.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Maybe, don't think of it as quitting, but maybe, "taking a break? We all need to do that from time to time, as long as we make it a positive break and keep going once we have recharged our batteries.

    I'm with you re. beating yourself up for something that happened a few days ago. It's demoralising and counter-productive. In England, they have this saying: "it's no use crying over spilled milk."
    What is done is done, you can't undo it, you can only learn from it! emoticon

    1782 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1785 days ago
    Sounds like a nightmare! You were right to quit -- temporarily -- but even more right by getting back up and moving forward. That's tough to do, but the only decision that really makes sense in the long run. Good for you to make the decision to get back on track!

    1786 days ago
    You're right, you can't keep beating yourself up. Start fresh and do it tomorrow. Tomorrow, do it for the next day, then another.
    1786 days ago
    I'm sorry about the frustration. You are right. We do all reach that point, BUT not all of us snap out of it. Way to go recognizing your feelings and moving past them. You can do this!
    1787 days ago
    Woah! How frustrating!!

    I am slowly learning to control the peaks of stress at work in a healthy way. Yesterday I had to hold it all together while something very stressful happened to me on rounds, and when I got into my office I called one of my trusted coworkers and asked her to stop me after 60 seconds of venting. I let some negative thoughts materialize into words, and then I paid attention while she put it into perspective. It didn't remove the problem, but it helped me cope with it. Also, I only dwelled on it for a short period, and then later in the day when other coworkers mentioned it, I could laugh about it and say "it is what it is!"

    Start back where you left off and try not to dwell in the frustration. Your blogging about it seems like a healthy way to process your thoughts!
    1787 days ago
  • BRADMILL2922
    First of all, good for you for not giving up. You have made a lot of progress overall and it would be a shame to give up now. Life can be really frustrating and I can understand how you could feel like giving up after all of your busyness and then losing half of your work? I would have been just as mad, if not more so! So I wouldn't worry about the wine or the pizza for one day. That was just one day.

    Second, you can walk it again! You can do it better this time! The real beauty of it is that you know you can do it! You will walk a different path and you will see a patch of wildflowers that you didn't see before! You can use the footprints from before as a guide but that is all they are, a guide to what you have already done. You can use them step by step or you can see them, head in that direction, but at the same time keep an eye out for a better way.

    You were laying in it yesterday, but today is a new day! Today, you start the walk again!
    1787 days ago
    Oh, that is frustrating! But you overcame and will continue to overcome and you're still here. You're still kicking!

    You haven't just let it all slide like I did for 6 weeks, also gaining 10 pounds, you adjusted your attitude immediately and moved forward. That's why you're such a great inspiration :-)
    1787 days ago
    ugh, what a weekend.. glad to hear you are getting up.. remember it doesn't matter how many times you fall, but how many times you get up..
    YOu can do this!

    1787 days ago
    emoticon best wishes!!
    1788 days ago
    Good for you for not giving up! Takes such self-control and discipline!

    emoticon emoticon
    1788 days ago
    So proud of you for getting back up!! you've got this!!
    1788 days ago
    Good for you for picking yourself up again!
    1788 days ago
  • MRE1956
    I hear ya........this week I pretty much wanted to quit myself - LIFE, that is!


    Know that your fellow Sparkies care!
    1788 days ago

    You CAN do this!
    1788 days ago
  • STODD251
    Good point. It's not worth it to wallow in those bad decisions or things that didn't go your way. You've just got to get up and start making some good decisions. I think I've been guilty of giving up lately. My life has been hectic and so I'm using it as an excuse to quit, but I can't really do that, not if I want to be healthy. I've got to get up and move on. Life still goes on and I'll screw up plenty more time, but as long as you keep getting up, you'll be all right.
    1788 days ago
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