The Upside Of Quitting

Saturday, October 12, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Quitting has such a bad image in society... but is there an upside to quitting? I know I'm in the minority here, but I think there can be a huge upside to quitting. Yes, there's an upside to quitting.

The saying goes, “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.” But, is that really true?

I quit my job to become a stay-at-home mother. While a few people supported my decision, I also know that there were quite a few people that didn't.

I also supported by son when he decided to quit taekwondo. When most parents would force their kids "stick it out the rest of the season," I allowed my son to quit when he wanted to. Why? I wanted him to follow his heart. I didn't want him to spend a single minute doing something that he didn't' enjoy. Life is simply too short to do things we don't like simply to avoid quitting.

What got my thinking about this was a recent episode on one the freakonomics podcast entitled... you guessed it... The Upside Of Quitting. I highly recommend checking out this podcast!

To help us better understand quitting, Stephen J. Dubner looks at a two of key economic concepts in this episode: sunk cost and opportunity cost.

Sunk cost is about the past – it’s the time or money or sweat equity you’ve put into a job or relationship or a project, and which makes quitting hard.

Opportunity cost is about the future. It means that for every hour or dollar you spend on one thing, you’re giving up the opportunity to spend that hour or dollar on something else – something that might make your life better. If only you weren’t so worried about the sunk cost. If only you could …. quit.

- Paraphrased from

Upon looking at sunk cost and opportunity cost, it became undeniably clear why I quit my job as a graphic designer to become a stay-at-home-mom.

My sunk cost: The 14 years I spent from pre-k to high school, the 4 years I spent in college, the hard work I had done to get good grades, and the money that was spend on my education. (I footed the bill for half of my college education. My parents paid the rest as well as my pre-k to high school education at a private Catholic school.)

My opportunity cost: The ability to raise my children.

How could simply wanting to raise children outweigh my dreams of becoming an amazing graphic designer? It all started the day Phoenix was born. I think deep down, I wanted nothing more than to raise him, but fear of disappointing my parents (remember, they paid for all that education), disappointing my workplace, and not listening to myself held me back from it. I saw stay-at-home mothers as weak. I wanted to prove that there was no way I was going to let some piddly little child keep me from going to work. And, I did. I was strong. I thought had it all.

But... I didn't have it all. I had a job that kept me away from that. Waking up at 6:30am to get your child ready for daycare, going to work, coming home at 6:00pm - just in time for a quick dinner, bath, and bed was not having it all. In fact, it's far from it.

I spend living in this unhappy, chaotic state for two years for me to do something about the fact that I was incredibly unhappy with my life. It was when I was pregnant with Ariana that I finally decided that I couldn't keep on living this way, torn between what I felt other people wanted me to do and what I wanted to do. So, I quit my job.

I've been raising my children full-time now, and am much happier with my life. I feel like I am right where I need to be in my life.
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