When is it a good time to quit?

A contrasting coxless pair, with one oar per rower

Image via Wikipedia

What a loaded question this one is! It is true that we are encouraged to keep on going, no matter what. I said that myself in a recent blog.

Do you remember a woman rower in the Olympics in recent years – she stopped rowing and let the other members of her team down? There was outrage at the time. It spoke to me though because, even though I am not into rowing, I sometimes get to a point where I feel I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to keeping rowing. I remember being advised that rest was not what I needed when I felt like that, and it wouldn’t do me any good to STOP! Most often I listen to that voice and keep going and most often I feel better for it.

In 2010 I said to my partner, “I really can’t do this anymore”, referring to my full-time, stressful  job. The time felt right and still does. It was a good decision for my physical and mental health and general well-being. So what made it ok to stop then?

Well, I think all the ducks lined up – so to speak! These included:

  • reaching 55 and being able to access my superannuation
  • the property market was just right at the time and I sold my house and had enough to purchase a smaller house
  • the job I was doing had changed so much – I was the last one left in our section and big changes were happening
  • moving to the country enabled us to down-size and reduce our expenses
  • living near the beach had to be a positive influence on our health and well-being
  • having time to pursue my writing is really valuable

So, I made the move, and I still need remind myself to keep actively involved in life. I have found some part-time work and will be doing a writing course in the new year. It was a big risk in many ways and I do miss the friends I had in Perth. The risk was minimised though because we gave it lots of thought and looked at the positives and negatives very honestly.

One of my favourite sayings is a good test as well: “Am I moving away from a bad situation or am I moving towards a BETTER situation?”


For me, it is not good to quit if I am only running away – I need to be heading somewhere with a purpose and a positive attitude.