I have a “go down swinging” philosophy. As of last night, the Mets have a less than 1% chance at getting an NL wild card spot, yet I’m still firmly in the believer camp. I think if there’s a shot, you stay with it.

If you’ve been reading me for awhile, you know I have passed to tradition on to my daughter. You try, if you fail you pick yourself back up and try again. Last December she got deferred from her first choice college (which was Harvard, I’ll state that now) she wrote a letter restating her interest and including all the things she had done since her application had been submitted. And them she applied to a whole bunch of other schools. She still wanted to go there, but she knew it wouldn’t be the end of the world if she didn’t get in.

Which it wasn’t. She got into two of her top five choices, spent a month in decision hell, and ended up choosing a school that quite honestly, was and is the absolute best choice for her.

But I digress slightly.

My daughter is and has always been a joiner. Ever since she donned her first Little League uniform at age five, she has been all about clubs. lessons and teams. Her college has a plethora of activities, but since it is a university full of joiners, you need to apply to many of them. And when I say apply, I mean APPLY. She had applications with three or four short answer questions and needed to include a resume. If they approved your application, there was then an interview. My daughter has spent much of September writing and interviewing.

As of this moment in time (and the past ten years) my daughter has dreamed of being a lawyer. She actually loves the law- loves how different people interpret things, the loopholes, etc. So naturally she is looking into clubs where she can nurture this love, and her college has a few. A few of them have no application process, so she just signed on the dotted line. The higher profile clubs have applications, because they have a maximum number of participants that can join. My daughter applied to two of them and got into one of them which is awesome. I relayed this info to one of my friends, but I added the caveat: She really wanted Club X, but didn’t get it. But she’s more than OK with club Y.

And my friend said “Well, she can always apply to Club X next year.”

This is an entirely true statement. My daughter can always apply to this club again next year. But a spot of Club Y is a pretty amazing accomplishment. And I stated this to my friend, to which she responded:

“So she’s giving up?”

Here’s my question: Is it giving up to not apply again? Is it acceptance of what’s in front of you? Is it rationalizing? Or is it just realizing that both clubs are great experience, and still give her a chance to explore something that she loves?

When is something quitting?

Is giving up always a bad thing?

Is it giving up to decide to go a different route because it’s just as good?

Am I rationalizing because it’s my daughter and I think she’s perfect?



31 thoughts on “Accepting, Moving On or Quitting

  1. It is way too soon to decide whether or not to apply to that club next year. Your daughter is drinking from the fire hose right now. She has plenty to keep her busy and socialized. I wouldn’t give it another thought.

    This reminded me of the book, “Beautiful No” by Sheri Salata (former Oprah producer). I have read the book, but listened to her on a couple of podcasts. Her thought is that when you are told “no” life is leading you to a potentially better choice. I agree. Poo poo on your friend for calling that giving up.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I believe there has to be a balance found. There are circumstances when keeping at it is the way to go, equally there are circumstances when accepting you’ve done enough is not just the right, but the healthy option. A positive can-do mind-set is great to have, but is best coupled with a healthy dose of pragmatism. But hey, there’s no pleasing some folk … I look forward to hearing the next instalment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Personally I think you’re rationalizing because your friend put a bug in your ear and it won’t fly away until you worry over every option.
    maggiemayat50 is so correct: way too soon to even be going down a road like this. Daughter is finding her way, which is what you hoped. She has direction and seems pleased with how and where college is taking her. If/ or when she decides to make changes, retry for something different or new, or follow a path that no one expected then she will weigh out those questions and make her own choice.
    It can be so hard to turn off mom-mode as I call it. Remember it’s her call now. She will assess acceptance, failure, quitting, moving on, etc. as every adult must do. Your job is to let her let life happen and keep your worry and your friends opinions out of it. HUGS

    Liked by 3 people

    1. At this point I’m not getting involved. This mom is super over involved in her kids lives, so I’m going to explore our conversation from different angles because there’s something there. This was more opinion gathering of a sociological bend. How people react in given situations and what people view as the right path

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I so dislike the whole concept of “giving up” because it adds in a connotation of failure and wrongness. Changing your mind. Doing something different or taking a different path. Hitting pause on what you are doing for whatever reason. None of those things mean you’ve “given up”. It just means you have found an equally satisfying way of doing something that is different or you’ve decided that what you thought you want really isn’t and it is time to let it go or even that you just need more time to get there. Even discovering something is beyond you, no matter if you want it or not, and learning to let it go isn’t exactly giving up in the failure sense. It is just coming to understand that you are human and you can’t always do everything. None of those things is wrong. None of them are failures. Now, failing to even try in the first place to get what and/or where you want is something entirely different.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There’s so many levels to this. One of my friends kids s also a freshman at college. One of her classmates quit school after three weeks. I don’t know the circumstance, but I can’t help but wonder why someone would quit college so quickly

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I love these observations on giving up! Well said 🙂 Sort of reminds me of a book I read about being faced with an unexpected challenge and finding pathways to work with it… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Maybe she has decided that her time is valuable and if she spreads it so thin that it becomes meaningless. I am all for joining and investigating avenues of interests, but if she got into one of her choices that are similar to another why spread yourself out. Is it a prestige thing? It sounds as if she is being sensible with her time and should be applauded not questioned, now she can give herself fully to the experience.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Tough question – when do you dig in and keep fighting and when do you consider all the options? I think it is best to pick your battles, health related issues are dig in and if necessary look for more opinions and options but other than that, I suspect stepping back and gaining perspective is almost always a strong recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s all a matter of what defines quitting, versus when is it just in one’s best 8nterest to stop trying something. I’m going to explore this more


  7. She certainly can try for X again next year but if she does Y with that expectation in her head, would she really be giving Y a fair chance to be the right fit for her? I’d say it is not giving up it is exploring different avenues.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think what your daughter did is “quitting”. She made a decision to join the club that she got in to, that she also likes. By next year she may be so involved with it that she will decide she is quite happy and does not want to try to join the other club. And if that’s not the case, and if she’d like to, why then she can apply for a second time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I read this and one thought came to mind. I didn’t QUIT doing drugs, I DECIDED TO STOP doing drugs. Same conclusion, different perspectives. If she “quits” it will be ok. I don’t know your child well. Just what I’ve gleaned from your posts, but she strikes me as someone who knows what she wants, knows how to go after what she wants, and she probably knows when its time to change her mind. Or not. You are an amazing mom who wants the best for her. Tell your friend to QUIT worrying about it it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Whatever your daughter chooses to do, it will be the best decision for her at the time. Circumstances change, so next year, Club X probably won’t be the best choice for her. She’ll already be established in Club Y. When you make a wrong turn, you don’t drive all the way back to your house to take the best route from there. You correct your route from where you are. That’s not giving up, that’s just being smart. She’s obviously really good at recalibrating when things don’t work out as originally planned, so it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. All that matters is what she thinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is something I one hundred percent relate to- I didn’t get into my first choice of uni and it was disappointing. I had teachers and people at the time telling me to try again, but I chose to go to somewhere else, because I was already seeing people getting hung up on going to their first choice and didn’t want to fall into the same trap. It’s cool to try again, but I don’t think it’s giving up to recognise that there are other options and give those a go instead. It’s always possible that you can change course later and maybe go for a grad schemes one day. The same goes for clubs and other types of dreams- it’s not the be all and end all to get the first option every time. This happens so much in life, so it’s good to learn to change course if needs be. Adapting isn’t, in my view, dropping a dream, it’s just recognising there are other ways to achieve that dream. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve personally witnessed people obsessing over getting things *exactly* right and seen them waste years in the process. A lot of the time, option b turns out to be just as good. Sounds like your daughter is very sensible to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adapting and resilience are the keys to life. It’s knowing when to accept the outcome, and when to keep on pushing that’s the hard part. How do we figure out the right course of action?

      Liked by 1 person

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