For a while, I lived as if fueled by the saying “move fast and break things.” I was young(er), eager, and willing to work hard.
I was trying and testing and trying again. I opened every door even mildly offered to me. And I’m so glad I did. But now that some chips have fallen in my favor career-wise, and now that I’ve settled (and I use that word lightly) into a path and routine (in the figurative sense at least), my goal is to do things with more intention, and with greater care.
What feels like a more suitable quote for me now is this one from Ilyas Kassam:
“It is more important to be of pure intention than of perfect action.”
Call it a resolution, call it a comeback—call it what you like—doing all things with intention and pause is my goal for 2017. And that starts with how I begin each day. I briefly mentioned my morning tea ritual in my latest Links + Likes, and I don’t mean to give undue weight to a simple morning tea, but giving myself an hour each morning to prepare and enjoy a pot of piping hot jasmine represents more to me than a hot beverage. It’s a meditative and relaxing ritual that sets the tone for the rest of my day.
But more than romanticizing a cup of tea, I want to do all things with more care and attention. Up until now, I’ve enjoyed rolling with the punches and being ready to jump at all times, but I’m ready to relax and observe. To be more thoughtful; more deliberate.
I want to view walking Piper as more of an enjoyable time to be cherished rather than a task or a must-do to get her energy out. Rather than procrastinating (and then subsequently rushing) laundry and having my clothes come out linty because I threw a towel in the mix lazily, it’s about doing things with more care — putting in a pinch more time at the start so that you can wear and enjoy that newly-washed sweater for days. It’s about crafting more blog posts that I actually want to read myself, rather than creating posts just to fill an editorial calendar, or that just have pretty pictures–though they have a time and a place, too.
It’s about deliberately setting out to give more time and focus to the things I enjoy, like hanging out with my mom to watch The Bachelor, or spending an hour at my cousin’s to shellac each other’s nails over gossip rather than DIYing it half-heartedly, or visiting the salon—but also being cool with going to the salon if I feel like it. It’s about watching less Instagram stories and doing the things I set out to do once upon a time. It’s about having more awareness–of my surroundings, of the path I’m heading down, of how what I do now will affect the future.
And sure, intent isn’t enough on its own. Intent requires you to see things through to really, truly work.
But there will be mornings I sleep in and don’t make time to enjoy tea, or nights where lying in bed watching Kelly Oxford’s SnapChat trumps reading or writing or designing, and that’s okay.
I’m certainly not perfect. I can guarantee you that more than once this year I will set out and intend to make my bed and then I very much won’t. But simply being more aware (of your actions, of those around you, of the future affects of what you’re doing today) is a great step.
At the very least, even if the conclusion of the evaluations you perform on your day/week/month result in big, fat fails, living with that top of mind will help inform everything else to come. And surely nothing bad can come from being more careful, taking more time, and choosing to relish in those things you enjoy with more vigor.
Happy 2017, everyone! x, S