There are lots of valid reasons for quitting and not completing a task or accomplishing a goal. However, the task or goal being "too hard" is not a good one.
Yesterday I took the kids out to Latta Plantation. It's a free (I love free!) nature reserve/park on a lake with some trails and areas for picnicking. The kids fell asleep in the car on the way there which isn't really a good thing. They woke up when we arrived and were in a rotten mood. I brought their fishing poles with only bobbers attached and I brought their bikes. I thought the paved walkways around the picnic area would be great for some bike riding lessons. I really want them to learn so they go on runs with me.
Alaurie rode her bike for all of 20 seconds. The slight decline in the parking lot caused the bike to move slightly on its own and this frightened her (Ugh!). Both kids preferred to just carry their poles and walk down to the water. We came to a fork in the path. Braden, for unknown reasons, insisted that we go right. Meanwhile Alaurie was already headed left to the clearly visible waters edge, and I was standing in between them carrying two small bikes. Braden began crying (screaming) because we wouldn't go his way. Then I said "fine then. This is obviously not going to work, so we may as well just go home!" Braden said ok, stopped crying and turned right around to go to the car. He can be a real buzz kill when he's tired. It was at that moment that Alaurie began crying (loudly). She was really looking forward to fishing. It was at this moment, with everyone staring at my unruly children, that I thought "This is too hard. Why did I think this would be fun?" But I had already made the trip out there and, damn it, we were going to enjoy ourselves!
I dropped the bike, grabbed the boy like a sack of potatoes and dragged him screaming down to the lake shore. I threw his line in the water, showed him how to reel it in, and what do ya know?! He stopped crying and started having a great time. We ended up having a really wonderful afternoon. That's right. This badass mom powered through the crash and burn, complete with the judging stares of strangers, to a successful day of "fishing".
This obviously isn't the hardest thing that I've done, but the most recent example of a task that could have easily been given up on. I have to keep these small successes in mind the next time that I come face to face with a large challenge. Like say, mile 17 of last years Chicago marathon. I was swearing out loud at that point. Or maybe moving across the country to live in a one room cabin by myself with both kids. I'll elaborate on that last one at another time. It's temporary.
"Too hard" is for weak minded wussy's.