Quitting Is Not Always Failing

Posted by Lisa Stevens on

Have you ever had a hobby that was fun? You loved learning everything about it...Then one day, you say to yourself, I love this so much, I wish I could get paid to do it. Get paid to do something I enjoy doing?!?!? That sounds amazing (and I know this sounds like it might be a MLM advertisement but it is not...so keep reading...lol) Why would I NOT want to do that? 

So you do what is necessary to turn your hobby into money. For some that involves school, but after awhile of doing the school you begin to realize that your "hobby" is way more complicated as a profession....and the joy has left...you no longer enjoy learning about your hobby, in fact you have come to the place where just the idea of continuing to do said hobby causes you a lot of stress and anxiety....beyond what is "normal" for school situations. You get to the point where just trying to make plans for after the schooling sounds horrible. You regret your decision to ever try moving your hobby into anything other than a hobby.

You already have a busy life, homeschooling, a thriving business that takes a lot of time, a child who requires a lot of one on one time support each day, a marriage (a good marriage requires effort and time), you deal with a disorder that physically and mentally affects you several weeks every month....

All of these things seem so much more important to you than following through with the "plan" of taking your hobby and making it into a career. Sure, you put out some money for the schooling, but if you continue and finish it will cost even more. More money, more time, more sanity....at what point do you decide it is not worth it....at what point do you decide quitting is the best option? 

This is me, right now. I have honestly been looking at all that I have going on in my life...some things that cause me stress cannot be changed, I have five children, I am figuring out my disorder (PMDD some months are better than others), my marriage is wonderful but not without it's challenges....but my aromatherapy and schooling causes the most stress. I actually have used the word "hate" when talking about it. I no longer find any joy in it...all it does is bring me anxiety. And I know right now I am in my "bad" time where everything causes me stress, but even other times of the month, I just don't want to do it. 

And I know lots of people will say, you made a commitment see it through. But I am the one who I made a commitment too....so why put myself and ultimately my family through the stress of finishing? 

I LOVE our current business. I have never been one to want/need a career. But our business just doesn't feel like one. There are a few reasons why. 1) Ben and I are doing it together. I LOVE working with him. We have so much fun, even stressful times don't seem that bad. 2) I love our customers. They are seriously the best. We have found friends through our business and not one day of dealing with them feels like work. 3) I have many ideas about new products/things I would like to offer to our current customers. 4) It does not feel like a career. It feels like our life extended. What I mean by that is our business feels like more "life". Fitting it in is hardly ever a chore....we do events because we love to do them. We do live videos and blogs because we have fun doing them and our customers seem to enjoy them as well.

I want to be able to put my energy and focus on my family (and all that entails) and our family business. The aromatherapy felt too "distant" and removed from our life.

I know Ben, who does our finances, was hoping aromatherapy was going to help boost our income...but I am not sure it was ever going to do that...with aromatherapy comes federations to join (yearly fee), insurance (yearly fee), supplies, meeting with clients (where?) and it would take my time away from Ever After Acres...which would/could affect our income there. 

Another reason that I find aromatherapy stressful is that there is so much misinformation surrounding it. There are companies promoting/selling unsafe usage and the general public believes them. And I just don't have the fight in me to go up against them. And as time went on, I don't have the passion either. If there is one thing I believe, it is that professionals in all fields should have a passion for their work. (Teachers should have a passion for seeing kids learn, doctors should have a passion for helping patients get well, retailers should have a passion for helping their customers...) And I just do not have the passion. 

Don't get me wrong. I still love essential oils and will continue to use them with my family but I am just not passionate enough about them to make it a career. 

Soap nuts, low/zero waste products...that I am passionate about. Helping people find good, natural, unscented soap and products...I am passionate about that. 

So, with all that being said...I have decided to spend my time and energy doing what I love. I love my marriage, I love my kids, I love our business....I just don't have time or energy to waste on things I do not love....even if at one I thought I would. 

I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close and whispers in your ear: "I'm not screwing around. It's time. All of this pretending and performing - these coping mechanisms that you've developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt - has to go. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can't live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It's time to show up and be seen."  Brené Brown

I have changed a lot since I turned 40....life is what we make of it and I want to make mine good...no, I want to make mine great. Unfortunately, that does not include aromatherapy as a profession for me.  

I still have all the knowledge I gained, I am still available for any of your essential oil questions, we may even offer some products in the future that are essential oil based....I just won't be offering consultations and promoting aromatherapy as a business. Basically, aromatherapy will be returning to a hobby for me. 

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  • Wow. Just what I am facing right now. Like… Exactly. I just have to keep reminding myself about the ultimate goal. My kids aren’t going to be home forever and my marriage will not always be ‘here’, wherever here is, and my life will change and grow, but maybe…. Just maybe, I don’t have to push the envelope. That quote! Ohh, my heart.

    Alex on
  • This is a wonderful post, Lisa, and you definitely have set your priorities in the correct order. I too would love nothing more than to get into aromatherapy, but also natural healing methods…..if I were 40 years younger!! :) But I’m not! I love what I have learned through my own research, and I do apply that to my own life, and share what I’ve learned with those who ask….but all these things will only ever be a ‘hobby’ for me as well. I simply don’t have the time, or the energy to turn it into anything more. Enjoy what you do, and do what brings you joy!

    Linda on
  • When something in life no longer works toward life’s good, and is contributing more negativity than positivity, the equation no longer makes sense holistically.
    Anything that robs us emotionally, physically, or spiritually has to either be rewarding beyond the sacrifices in the long term or it is essentially a millstone. And society already shackles us with too many millstones of various weights. So when one is somewhat in our control, we have to ‘cut bait and walk’. The end results otherwise is our literal sanity and health.


    Pauline MacDonald on
  • ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Heather on
  • Lisa, I love every word of this. Thank you for your courage and transparency. (And that Brene Brown quote – slapped me right in the face; needed that!) Many blessings on your family and business going forward – the best is yet to come!

    Joy Feltmate on

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