I suck at quitting things.
When I took StrengthsQuest, I was not at all surprised that one of mine was “responsibility.” I don’t like letting others down. If I commit to something, I’m doing it, even if I nearly kill myself in the process.
Why am I even trying to explain the intensity of my self-inflicted obligation obsession to be responsible? This in-depth description of “responsibility” from the StrengthsQuest Web site was written just for me, I swear.
Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people come to you for help—and they soon will—you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.
It’s that last line that’s been a thorn in my side, especially this semester. I’ve always taken on a lot. I’ve never been not busy. Well, except maybe freshman year, but even then when I did spend hours of free time watching Veronica Mars with my friends, I also worked 8-10 hours a week.
I’ve always been able to handle it. I may have slept less. I may have seen my friends less. I definitely spread myself too thin, but I’ve never been convicted to let something go like I have been over the past few days.
My problem is that the things I considering “quit-able” aren’t really what’s taking up the bulk of my time.
I did some math last night in order to understand better where my time is going. I don’t remember the exact numbers off the top of my head, but I spend something like 20 hours in class, 11 hours a week at my internship, 7 hours working the desk, 5 hours doing stuff as a PA, 4 hours doing stuff with The Rock, 2.5 hours in Phi Lamb, 2 hours as a journalism ambassador, etc.
(I also have to say these are probably conservative estimates).
Once I added sleep, time for travel around campus, my morning/night routines, quiet times and meals, well, there went my week.
So let’s see, what can I cut?
20 hours in class! I wish I could cut that. Especially since I’m only getting 12 hours of credit for that.
11 hours at my internship! No, I need the money and the experience.
7 hours at the desk! No, I’m desk supervisor, and I can’t shirk those responsibilities.
See, there’s that word again.
So it comes down to extracurriculars. And that’s when I talk myself out of quitting because journalism ambassadors is only 2 hours a week. Something else is only an hour. What’s the point if I’m just going to gain an hour of free time a week?
But then again, what’s the point of being in Phi Lamb if I’m spread so thin that I struggle to make it to my required 80% of active meeting, struggle to complete three service requirement, and constantly have to choose between Phi Lamb social events and seeing other friends?
That’s right, I’m considering dropping Phi Lamb.
It’s not something I take lightly. I think the organization is awesome, and I love the girls there. I made a goal this semester to deepen my relationships there, but right now, I don’t even have the time to do that. When I look back on my Phi Lamb experience, I have absolutely no regrets, but if I’m being honest with myself, I also don’t have many net gains. I gained a consistent weekly time to see my friend Briehn. (But she’s studying abroad this semester.) I gained a handful of girls who I genuinely would like to spend more time with (several of whom are now inactive), and about 40 other great girls who realistically will probably be nothing more than acquaintances in my life.
The honesty might be brutal, but it’s the truth. I wish it weren’t. I wish maybe I have found Phi Lamb earlier and had been able to really root myself in with those girls, but I didn’t. I wish I lived with four other lambies and had a million Phi Lambs in my bridal party, and theoretically I could if I put all my time in Phi Lamb, but I can’t.
It also sucks because I want other girls to join and fit in there. I want them to get more out of the group than I could, but it looks weird when I tell people to join a sorority I’m quitting.
I’m certainly not making an decision today, but I have a week until this semester’s dues are due, and I’m spending that week in prayer over it.
I’m longing for deep meaningful relationships, but I can dive deep when I’m spread so far. It sucks, but it’s life.