Before I Was a Mom: I Was a Quitter

Before I Was a Mom: I Was a Quitter

As kids, our parents always encouraged us to be active and try new things.  They really had no money to speak of, but they always found a way to pay for 5 kids and all our extra curricular activities, lessons, uniforms, you name it.  They never let the money factor be an excuse.

My sister excelled in softball, from the age of 5 all the way through her college years.  My brother got a dremel tool kit as a teenager and now, he’s a talented wood craftsman, all self-taught.  I was the oldest child, so surely I set the example for hard work and dedication – really sticking with things.  Paving the way for my 4 younger siblings who looked up to me so much.

Except that I quit everything I tried, usually within a few weeks of starting.  Rarely even made it to picture day.  Darnit.

It began with youth choir.  I vaguely remember feeling inadequate because of a red-headed girl who got a lot of solos.  I didn’t want to continue singing, but my mom promised me a new Barbie if I would stick with it a little longer.  So I did.  Just a little longer.

I vividly remember when I wanted to quit piano lessons too.  I just hated practicing so much! My mom bribed me with a second ear piercing if I would keep the lessons going. So I did that too, but I don’t remember how much longer the lessons lasted.  Of course, as an adult, I wish I still played.

When I quit bobby sox softball, there was nothing that would get me back on the field.  During one of the games early in the season, I missed a fly ball and my coach (god forbid) yelled at me.  That was the day I decided to never return.  Even my dad reminding me how cute I looked in my uniform would not sway my decision.

Cheerleading ended after 8th grade.  I don’t even remember why.  It just so wasn’t my vibe anymore, guys.

You see the pattern.

before i was a mom, mom style

Freshman year of high school, I had a couple friends and super-cool older cousins who played volleyball.  I’m sure my parents were thrilled when I told them I wanted to play.  Oh yay, another couple hundred dollars down the drain.  And sure enough, after the 1st week of conditioning, I was done.  Before we had even made it through try-outs, I was throwing in the towel.  As usual, my parents requested I keep trying and I’m sure I gave a very teenage performance of why I couldn’t. And I’m sure the excuses I gave were just covering up my self-doubt.

On my self-proclaimed last day of volleyball, mom dropped me off at practice in our huge brown family van and before I got out of the car, she pulled over and said very firmly, “Jaana. You always quit.  You need to stick with something so you have a chance of getting better at it.  I think this will be good for you.  At least finish try-outs.  Then if you make it, you can decide if you want to stay on the team or not.”  

I probably rolled my eyes, but I did finish try outs.  And much to everyone’s surprise (especially my own) I made the varsity team.  Never mind that we were terrible.  Like totally the worst.  Or maybe second to worst.  But… I. Made. The. Team.  I played for 2 years and had some of the best times – riding the bus to away games, gossiping with my girl friends.  And learning how to serve overhand.  Oh yeah.  I can still do that.

before i was a mom, mom style

Despite my mom’s excellent pep talk and the life lessons that should have been learned from this experience; save for a few choice activities, I still ended up being kind of a quitter in life.  Many jobs and hobbies thrown to the way side.  I guess some things you can’t change.

But I can say I’ve pretty much tried it all?

One Comment
  1. Haha, you’re no quiter, you just know what you like and don’t like right away. You are a quick mind-maker-upper. I may speak for them, but your four younger siblings will never ever see you as a quiter! Love you sissy! This made me giggle!

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