Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When Do You Give Up?

Church down the street from our house...

I've been thinking a lot lately about giving up, and not giving up. Not on a grand scale -- just the little 'giving ups' that happen throughout the day. Maybe it's called surrender -- I don't know. But anyway, when I am tired and kind of mopey (like today) I find it's useful to give up. Frequently. Over and over. I gave up trying to be in a good mood. I gave up trying to be cheerful for my staff meeting. I gave up trying to get an answer about a vendor issue. At some point, I just realize: this is not going to change right now. So might as well just give up. For now. For five minutes. For the rest of this meeting. Whatever.

Then there's going back to school -- I'm not giving up there, but I am giving up trying to push so hard, at least for this semester. Instead, I'm going to focus on healing, and doing art. Here's where the not giving up comes in. I have given up over and over on myself with art. I just never push myself very far at all. I'm too afraid. Literally! It's weird. But this time, I feel like maybe I can do it. Maybe it's okay that I don't paint huge pictures. Maybe it's okay if some of them turn out sort of dark and gloomy. Maybe it's okay to just do what I want to do. In a way, that's giving up too -- giving up trying to live up to some expectation I had about myself. Or what I thought others expected of me.

Actually, I started this post because I wanted to talk about another kind of giving up: when do you give up on a book? I'm reading Was, and I have to say, although it's interesting and I am sort of into it, I'm really not liking it for some reason. I think it's sort of bumming me out. It's just not what I feel like reading, even though I sort of am into it. Does that make sense? I guess I *could* read it but it's not giving me that happy-reading feeling.

I know what the answer is, but I hate giving up on books. Maybe I'll just give up on it for now since it's just sort of making me feel bad. I think I should, since even just thinking about starting something else is making me feel better.

Other things I am giving up on tonight:
* ever getting TiVo hooked up correctly with the &*!^% cable box
* getting dinner done (the darn lasagna will not finish cooking!)
* my tummy feeling better tonight
* feeling 'settled' (although I'm sure once the stupid lasagna finishes cooking, that will help)

And now, I'm giving up on this being any sort of interesting post.


Matt Phillips said...

Not that it's related to this post, but I heard a great quote the other day. "There's a difference between quitting and quitting while you're ahead." No excuse for giving up, but sometimes you have to realize a good situation already exists and continuing down the current path may likely lead to something worse.

Daphne said...

Right. "Beyond this point lie monsters"

Anonymous said...

As for books, give up when you have to give up, when you will feel better for doing so. If you will feel relieved when you start another book, then it's time.

And put it in a closet so you don't have to look at it ;).

I agree with the person who says life is too short to read a book you don't like... but maybe you will like it some other day and you'll come back to it.

Good luck!

Tammie said...

whenever i give up on a book i convince myself that im not giving up on it forever, just for right now. sometimes a book just isn't fitting with my current mood.

last year i gave up on The World According to Garp. I know it's a great book, but I just wasn't feeling it at the moment. sometimes that happens.

Daphne said...

Good advice, all. It's from the library, so it'll be available if I want to finish it.

But... now what??

stefanie said...

Sometimes giving up isn't giving up but letting go so something better can come along.

Daphne said...

Stefanie: isn't that the truth? I need to remember that. Like Joseph Campbell said, "You need to let go of the live you think you want, in order to live the life you're meant to live" (or something like that)