Wow, it’s been a busy month! With wedding planning, schoolwork, and travel, we’ve been busy beavers here at our house. I knew that planning a wedding was going to be a large task, but, wow, it really takes a lot of work!
Thankfully, Lindsey and I are always working on keeping up a good balance of work and play and quiet time together, and lately we’ve been doing an exceptional job of ordering time the way we need and want it. (I have to brag on us a little because I really am so proud of us!) I’ve been learning an invaluable lesson about myself as we work on this particular angle of our lives: I am a quality over quantity kind of person.
Quality trumps quantity.
Have you ever experienced that moment when you realize you’re with a bunch of people doing mediocre things that you don’t really want to do? Or that moment when you realize you’re exhausted because your calendar is so full, and, yet, somehow you’ve spent none of that time doing the things you most enjoy in life? Or how about that moment where you find yourself watching someone or something and you know deep down that that’s the kind of person you want to be and the kinds of things you want to be doing, but when you look at the reality of your life, it looks nothing like that?
In my mind this is where quantity comes into the picture. We do and we do and we do and we say “yes” to activities and friendships that really, deep down, do nothing for our souls, for our lives, except keep us busy and make us look like the world’s most desirable person. Maybe it turns into….”If I look desirable, then I am desirable; If I am constantly being invited to gatherings, constantly asked to do this or that, or constantly texted/called/e-mailed/facebooked, then I am worth something.” And, for some people, that is enough. But for me…
I started to have an issue with that kind of living sometime this past fall. I’m not sure what changed in me. I had spent almost 10 months fooling myself into thinking that because Lindsey and I had such a full social calendar that I should be happy and thankful that we were so loved, but I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t feel loved. I just felt exhausted and resentful, and I missed Lindsey, a lot. I missed our “just us” time. We’d spent years doing fun and amazing things together, but in our hope to find friends in a new city, in a new stage of our lives, we began sacrificing the way we truly enjoyed doing life, and we spent most of our down time with other people. Every weekend was packed with activity. Every weeknight was often packed with activity too. I was reaching the end of a season. I could tell it was happening, but I didn’t know what to do about it and I didn’t even really know what it meant for me.
[Now, don’t get me wrong, friendships are great things to have…IF you make the right friends, friends who like you for you, friends who stick around even when you say “no” to things, friends who aren’t using you only for what they need, friends who don’t need you constantly there, friends with their own rich lives, friends who are healthy, friends who can have a good time without a lot of noise or activity or alcohol…those kinds of friends! :)]
Lindsey and I had some long discussions about it. We decided to reshape the way we do life. To prioritize each other. To say “no” often. To spend time doing things that build us up. To be more selective about our friendships.
And then quality started to enter the picture. I started being able to think clearer, to get an authentic picture in my mind of the person that I want to be. And, instead of it being wishful thinking, I started to make choices that put me squarely in a position to actually be that person. A dreamer. A writer. A poet. A deep thinker. An introvert. An outdoorsy, hippy type who loves bare feet, picnics in the sun, and quiet moments just staring into the sky, a princess of the most high King of Kings, a lover, a sister, a best friend. I wasn’t running around anymore, running myself ragged, being someone I wasn’t in order to please people who didn’t really even value the things I value. I was deepening; my heart was widening; and I was starting to feel deep-down, giddy joy about our life again, about my days, about myself!
What a difference quality makes, is making, in my life! Since coming to this realization about myself, I have seen major changes inside of me, between Lindsey and I, and in my closest relationships. I feel more than ever like I am truly learning how to be myself, to embrace it and enjoy it. This is a gift that I am so thankful for, and I’m reveling in the freedom of it!
This lesson I’ve been learning has even begun to affect the way I think about this blog. I love story and the power of story. I love working on writing a better story with my life day after day. But, I’ve begun to realize that I’m not doing that by “learning to live an adventure one day at a time” (my former tagline). No, I’m creating a better story with my life by choosing quality over quantity! That “quality” moment might involve reading a good book in the park with my head resting in Lindsey’s lap, sitting on the couch just talking and laughing with her, biking to the library, kayaking in our kayak on some peaceful lake, or sitting in the quiet by myself writing poetry. Whatever it is, adventurous or quiet or relaxing or exciting or new or old or strange or familiar, I want it to be a deliberate act of choosing quality over quantity, authenticity over acceptance, the rich over the mediocre.
So, just as I’ve adjusted my focus in some important ways, I’m going to adjust the focus of this blog as well. I’m incredibly excited about using this format to explore this incredibly life-changing and important concept! I can’t wait to see what’s in store as I focus on quality in my life (and life in general) and record the triumphs, slip-ups, drawbacks, rewards, and gifts that come with choosing quality over quantity.
Really, my heart just soars thinking about the possibilities! :D