I quit something every day: my job(s), eating well, mindfulness meditation, learning. And I start again, every other day. And I feel guitly about it all the time.
Somehow, I don’t know how or when, I convinced myself that life not only needs to look well put together, preferably extraordinary, on the outside, but it must feel put together and preferably constantly propelled by positive energy on the inside. It has now become our home inside joke that, when she says “I feel kind of low energy right now,” my partner, who is the greatest advocate of me giving up the crap described above says, “oh, something must be wrong with me!” Early in my treatment for depression I actually complained to the psychiatrist who saved my life that I don’t feel upbeat all the time and that it bothers me. He looked at me, smiled, and kindly uttered: “Well, that would be pathological.”
After 45 years of lifing I understand that I cannot be happy all the time because happiness is not a constant state. It is bouquet made up of sparkles of joy that we are only gifted with when we pay attention. Fully. And I am starting to get that my energy level and the gusto with which I do things varies and that this is ok. I am probably writing this to add to that understanding. I quit being convinced of this one moment and start again the next.
Early in my love story with what has now become my most favorite companion on my morning walks, I heard this:
“[…] quitting is my favorite. Every day I quit, every single day. I wake up and I care the most amount, and then at some point I put it all away and melt to my people and my couch and food and nothingness. And I care not at all. Begin and quit every day, it’s the only way to survive.”Glennon Doyle, We Can Do Hard Things Podcast on quitting
And I was reminded that, just like happiness is created from those twinkles of joy we encounter daily (if we are lucky), positive energy, motivation and gusto are twinkles too, in fact, they are boosts we receive from that which I would call the divine. This is our extra help. What makes a difference in our lives is moving ourselves forward when there is no twinkle in sight, after we have just quit. Moment after moment after moment we begin again after quitting again and before we know it, looking back, we realize we moved a mountain.