Quality Over Quantity

TOAST+++BOTANY+Pop-UpHappy Tuesday! Life has been a bit of a whirlwind around these parts, what with taking care of the most darling puppy, tackling daily to-do lists, and preparing for a whole lot of travel. Over the course of the next eight weeks, I’ll travel to Ghana, Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles (twice!), meaning I’ll be away from home, on and off, for nearly one month (28 days, to be exact). I love traveling – it is so very life-giving – but I am also trying to soak up a lot of time at home with James, friends, and the pups so that I have lots of memories to carry with me while I’m gone.

I’ve tried to figure out what that looks like in terms of writing and blogging. Writing is such an outlet for me, but it does take time out of the extra minutes I have to spend with loved ones after work. Usually I am willing to make that sacrifice, but I do think that I’m in a season that demands that I pare back the extras in order to spend quality time with the loves in my life. So I’m working on remembering that that’s okay, and also remembering to value quality over quantity. During this hectic time, I may not crank out as many posts as I’d like, but if the quantity is substantial and important, then the post or piece is something I can be proud of – so that’s what I’m meditating on these days. Quality over quantity. Quality over quantity. Quality over quantity. It feels right.

Image via Botany & Kate Berry

Balance

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Is it just me or has this summer been absolutely flying by? Life feels so fast-paced these days, and in many ways, that’s a great thing. Work is stimulating and fulfilling, and our social calendar is filled to the brim with dinners with friends and church commitments and family visits and weekend trips and volunteer work, all beautiful things that I really and truly could not live without. I relish having a full calendar with lots of fun activities on it, and I can never return home from a trip without starting to plan the next one. This is who I am, someone who embraces (and craves!) the fullness and richness of a schedule filled with diverse, meaningful work, events, relationships, and travel opportunities.

But sometimes this fast-paced speed isn’t all that great, mostly because I find myself overlooking the tiny joys that are inherent in each and every day. I had to get some vaccinations recently for my upcoming trip to Ghana (since this will be my 12th visit to West Africa, some of my shots were outdated) and when I called my nurse after my appointment to clarify a few things, she gently mentioned that we had discussed those items during my visit to the doctor’s office. I cannot, for the life of me, remember that conversation. Of course it’s possible that we didn’t have the chat that she referenced (maybe she told another patient?), but this information came on the coattails of me ending up at the bank without the check I needed to deposit, at the grocery store without my list of goodies to purchase, and several other instances that forced me to wonder if maybe I’m moving a bit too fast. Not only am I overlooking some things in my life that need to be checked off of my to-do list (which comes as a shock to such a detail-oriented person), but I am also not taking the time to soak up the little things that I am grateful for because I don’t have the capacity to take all of them in.

I want to redirect my focus, allowing me to fully appreciate every single moment of this beautiful life. That means not checking my e-mail while engaged in a conversation with someone I love, enjoying a relaxing pose during my yoga class instead of contemplating my to-do list, and savoring my lunch at work away from my computer, amongst other things. This means practicing gratitude for the tiny joys in life, the things that can be easily overlooked, things like cuddling with Callie, reading a great book, or feeling the sun on my face.

Ultimately, this is about balance, about celebrating the sweetness that is the proverbial full plate (which includes copious amounts of interesting work assignments, beautiful time with family and friends, delicious food, and the exploration of new places) and savoring the peacefulness in the little moments (those nearly imperceptible things that are so easy to miss if you’re hustling and bustling a bit too much). This is about finding the sacred space in between busy and bored that is equal parts fulfilling and restful.

Image via wifeefiw.tumblr.com