Quitting Time

Sometimes I just don’t know when to quit.  Maybe I read “The Little Engine That Could”  too many times as a child, or maybe it’s that I can be a teeny bit obsessive when it comes to completing what I’ve started, or maybe I’m just too darned stubborn for my own good.  But for whatever reason, every once in a while I find myself plugging away at a particular goal long after it has become obvious that my chances of success are less than zero, and the only sensible thing to do is give up.  That little train engine may have chanted, “I think I can! I think I can!” but sometimes it’s much more honest to say, “I thought I could, but I was wrong.  I thought I could, but I was wrong.”

Recently, fellow blogger Kate (who writes a wonderful blog called Aroused) invited me to do an interview for another blog she writes called “Meet the Bloggers Blog.”  I was flattered to be invited to do that, and quickly agreed.  She emailed me the questions, with the request that I send my answers back to her, including links to two of my blog posts.  It sounded easy enough, and I had no trouble answering the questions.  So far, so good.  But then I tried to include the links and that’s when everything came to a grinding halt.

My computer uses Word, so I wrote my answers in that, including what I thought were the working links she requested, and emailed it to her.  Now a smart person would have checked those links before she sent the email, but I didn’t.  Draw your own conclusions about that.  Once I realized my mistake, I emailed her again and let her know the links didn’t work, but I would try to fix it.  Two hours later, I had chatted on-line with a Word Press Help assistant, looked up several sites on how to attach a link to a Word document, filled Kate’s inbox with several more increasingly apologetic emails notifying her of each failure, and still haven’t figured out anything about how to add a link except that maybe my word-processing system and Word Press don’t play well together.

DSC03342 2My tendency to keep trying in the face of obvious failure isn’t just limited to technology, either.  I love homegrown tomatoes, and for the past several years have been trying to grow my own.  One year I even succeeded and harvested a few dozen.  But that’s just one year.  Mostly, I grew tomato plants that were massive in size, but were also infested with white flies that kept the tomatoes from ripening properly.  The looked bad and tasted worse.  This year, I have a beautiful, white-fly free, normal-sized tomato plant in my back yard that has at least twenty tomatoes on it.  All of them green, as they have been since early July, and will probably remain that way until the first frost kills them.

Sometimes the only thing to to is throw in the towel and admit defeat.  At best, we can try to salvage something from our efforts that we can put to practical use in another area.  The one good thing that came from my efforts to add a link to my favorite blog post was that I realized the post I liked best was written just a few months after I started this blog, meaning that very few people, other than my mother and my husband, have actually read it.  I’m thinking it could be a good idea to re-post it on my blog, as soon as I figure out how to do that.  Which most likely means that you can expect to see it on this blog sometime in 2020, if I’m not smart enough to give up before then.

69 thoughts on “Quitting Time

  1. Ahhh, talk to me sweetheart, We obviously have come form the same gene pool. I have finally been able to swallow my pride and ask my 8 year-old neighbor about anything techy and as for the tomatoes which, as you say, grow beautifully until the bug attack…..well, we have a wonderful produce stand nearby that sells vine-ripened delicious fruits at 1/2 the price of the grocery store.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I actually gave up on tomatoes last year, but this year gave in to temptation and tried again. Unless I want to cook “fried green tomatoes,” though, it’s back to the farmer’s market for me! (And yes, I have a feeling we may be related….)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Michele! Heck, it took me a long time to figure out how to publish my blog, too. And even longer to figure out how to change the header and add a couple of “widgets.” But we manage, don’t we?

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      • I just found out there is a spam folder. By accident. And I realized, along with someone telling me his favorite character on game of thrones, I missed some very intelligent commentary. And I feel bad that I didn’t respond. So now I’ll probably do an I’m guilty because I don’t know every nuance that wordpress has blog……

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  2. Rather than describing how we two are alike in our stubbornness to pursue a goal, I would like to state that I ran across a similar problem with Word. Often a totally different approach to the problem brings about a quick solution.Do all your work in Word, but don’t attach it to your email. Rather copy and paste your document directly into your email. THEN add the links to your email, where they are needed. Give it a try next time you are faced with a similar task, dear Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that makes sense! Because I really do think the problem was that Word didn’t recognize the link to my blog as legitimate, and was treating it as a possible virus. Which I suppose is a good thing from a security standpoint, but a frustrating thing when I’m trying to add a link. Copying and pasting it to the email would probably work. Usually I am good at thinking of alternative methods, but when it comes to technology, not so much…. Thanks Peter!

      Liked by 1 person

    • They worked? You didn’t fix them? When I clicked on them, they took me to my stats page or to my personal blog roll page. I guess the ways of Word Press are mysterious indeed.
      Sadly, I do talk to my plants. But perhaps they just don’t like being told, “Will you just give me some decent tomatoes already???” I’ll try something nicer!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhhh haha, I can so relate. Anything technical especially when it comes to computers can be just so infuriating. I had such a chuckle reading this. I think better to be persistent than to give up TOO soon, but you do make a good point for knowing when to quit. As in “count your losses” type of approach.

    I tend to be the determined type too but sometimes perhaps we just have to accept that not everything we touches will yield the results we expected and maybe just having expectations is what the “problem” is.

    Good post!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! Yes sometimes there can be a very good reason why we aren’t succeeding, and then the best thing is to reexamine our expectations. I hadn’t really thought of it that way! Sometimes quitting isn’t failure, it’s just being realistic and practical. Thanks, as always, for your comments and support.

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  4. I can relate, I sure do appreciate your tenacity. I take comfort by telling myself that “we aren’t born knowing this stuff.”

    My garden nemesis is/was broccoli. I used to be able to grow it without a worry in the world. But in the last several years results have been consistently dismal. I didn’t do anything differently, other than move to a new house – which meant new soil and other conditions that obviously were not suitable for brassicas.

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    • Yes, I think there must just be something with the soil or the amount of sun our backyard gets that isn’t good for growing tomatoes. So maybe next year, I’ll try something else and just get my tomatoes at the farmer’s market. Sometimes, we just have to go with “Plan B.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Someone once old me that if a door doesn’t open when you push it, try another one. It turned out to be very good advice. Naturally, it shouldn’t be taken too literally, and there are instances when a little persistence pays, but over time one learns, almost as if intuitively, that some things are just not meant to be. Blessings on the day, Ann!

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    • I agree, Hariod! In the “natural” world, I am actually fairly good at knowing when to persist and when to back off and try “plan B.” But there is something about technology that almost panics me, and I am just beating at that door with all I’ve got, waiting for it to open. Silly, I know, and probably based on fear of the unknown. One way or another, I need to just learn to treat technology the same way I do any other challenge, and then I think I’ll be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It is good to hear that there is some good to being stubborn, and honestly, sometimes it is the only thing that helps me reach my goals. But I also need to throw in a little common sense and back off when all the signs are telling me to do so. The problem is, when it comes to technology, I don’t read the signs so well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You would laugh if you knew how many times I fight against the machine – and loose 😉 But I´m sure you will figure out how to reblog your earlier posts… I think hitting the “reblog” button underneath it will work 😉
    And it´s a good idea to reblog these older posts, I think I will do this as well 🙂
    As to the tomatoes – I know exactly how it is! That´s why I finally gave up, it wasn´t really worth all the trouble 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a reblog button? Seriously? Dang, that could make it very easy, especially if it actually shows up as a new post that I can publish! Heck, this might happen before 2020 then!
      I don’t know what it is with tomatoes that they grow so easily in some environments and just plain refuse to do so in others, but I think I might just buy them from now on. We have a farmer’s market close by that sells some tasty ones quite reasonably. And I have friends that do grow them and are nice enough to share, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think this is something that a lot of us struggle with, Svet! Trial and error teaches us, and when we make the wrong decision, it helps to just remember it is part of being human and to move on. For me, technology poses the strongest problem, because I don’t truly understand how it works and so I don’t know when to quit because what I’m trying to just isn’t possible. But I’ll figure it out, eventually!

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  7. As an old software developer I know well the compulsion to keep plugging away at seemingly intractable problems – but of course that was because failure wasn’t an option. The thing about beating your head against the wall is it feels so good when you get to stop…

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    • That’s a very good point, Dave! When I finally just emailed Kate and said, “I can’t figure out how to do the links, so please know it’s okay if you’d rather ditch the interview,” I felt such a relief! Luckily, she knew how to do the links and all is well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I hear you loud and clear, Ann! Sigh, sometimes things just can’t, or won’t, come together despite our best intentions. The Tomato story was particularly interesting as we have been growing tomatoes for about the best six or seven years. Some years we get a bumper crop and unbusy and giving them to neighbors, friends, and freezing them we just can’t eat them fast enough. Most years however we have a few plants that just grow big and don’t seem to produce anything. This year we have enough tomatoes to keep us and our next door neighbor happy but several plants just growing and nothing. Somehow we keep plugging along hoping for something better. I like the idea also, of recycling an early post when nobody was reading. I may look into that myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to know it’s not just me with the tomatoes! I guess they have their own ideas about growing and producing for us. As for the recycling earlier posts, I think you should go for it. I don’t know about you, but when I first started blogging, I had a very small audience (and no idea how to properly tag anything) so reposting them would get them more exposure. I think as long as we are honest and saying it’s a reblog, that’s perfectly okay. Some blogs I follow have done that, and I appreciate it because it lets me read posts I would otherwise have missed.

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    • Yep, I keep thinking of that movie! And wondering just exactly what fried green tomatoes taste like. If mine don’t ripen in the next month or so, I’m going to find out.
      Actually, adding photos is one thing I know how to do, although I have my own way of doing it which is probably not quite what Word Press had in mind. Links, however, are a mystery. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but I have no idea why!

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  9. Me don”t play well with technology either. Way too often my ‘puter bites me in the you know where. But I trek on. I have only re-blogged one or two posts. Basically I copy the blog post and paste it into a new wordpress doc. Then at the top of the post I type in parenthesis: “This was originally posted on such and such a date.” All I have to say is thank the Lord (and google) for You Tube. Otherwise I would be in a world of hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. hehehe maybe its better if we tell ourselves that we are gifted in other areas. Tech is not a good friend to me either, but I’ve learned that I can make friends with those who understand all that tech stuff. And thats almost as good. right?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Ann. Perseverance is a great quality and pays off more often than not. As an example I lost my cell phone recently somewhere on my five acres. I had been all around the property on my tractor doing work. I realized the phone had fallen out of my pocket as I began to finish up. I searched for about two hours trying to retrace everywhere I had gone. After telling myself a couple of time to just give up I decided to head in and go down to the Verizon store to buy a new phone. i put my tractor back in the garage and started to walk to the house but couldn’t bring myself to give up. I took another loop and found the phone. Perseverance paid off even when failure seemed obvious.

    I can’t offer too much advice about your technology challenges but I can offer a tip about the tomatoes if you have not already done this. Try starving the plant of water until it starts looking a little unhappy (maybe a few days or more depending on the weather- don’t kill it; just almost kill it). Then give the plant a healthy dose of water for the next couple of days. The process will stop the plant from growing the tomatoes and start to ripen them at the size their at. I’m not sure of the science behind this but it should work.

    Good luck, hang in there on all fronts, and persevere!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry for the late response to this, but somehow your comment went to my spam. Anyway, thanks for the tip on the tomatoes! I’m going to try that, and I did wonder if the problem was that the plant is using all it’s energy to grown new tomatoes rather than ripen the ones on there. I thought it would help if I pinched off a few of the flowers, but it didn’t seem to make much difference, so I’ll try not watering it for a little while and hope that works.
      As for perseverance, I agree there are many, many times when it is a good thing. And my stubbornness does help me achieve some goals I would not otherwise. All I have to be careful about is when it’s my ego that won’t let me quit, and I keep plugging away at something that is never going to work. I guess it’s because I don’t understand a lot about technology, but it does seem to me that is often the area where my stubborness kicks in more often. Thanks for the tips and the comment!

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  13. Oh my, I am in total touch with that technology type stuff. I was on a Zoom live meeting today for a class and almost made it to the end when my computer decided to shut itself off and restart. Hmm. Nice timing. Ha ha. Extremely embarrassing, but what does a girl do? Love that you got asked to participate, even if the links were an issue. By the way, sounds like we get our tomato plants at the same place. Ours always grow really big, but never get any tomatoes actually on them.

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  14. Lol…very funny post, Ann. You know you can always make fried green tomatoes and see how that works out for you, or will that just add to the growing frustration?😊
    As for the tech stuff, well…….:)

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