Quality is a Priceless Gift

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

Photo of yellow roses in full bloom.

Yesterday was my birthday which I consider my personal New Year’s Day.  Every year I celebrate it. This year I did something different. One week prior to my DAY, I stayed away from social media and from people other than the necessary ones like my
students. By doing this, I was able to give
myself an audacious gift!

The realization that quality must become my new challenge!

Yes! Quality is not only my new challenge but also my new mantra.
Quality is the solution to many of the obstacles that come my way.  It might be your biggest obstacle as well. On an average day, we probably make a minimum of ten decisions  in our lives.  Are we making our decisions to gain quality or quantity? Lately, it’s all about having more. More stuff, more online “friends, fans, followers,” more real life friends, more stuff!

Yes, I said “stuff” twice because it’s pretty obvious that we have too much of it.

It’s worth repeating!

But all of this quantity with little to no quality can bring us hardship later on. Too much weight gain, too much debt, too much sadness, too much stress!

So I’ve processed the areas in my life which need more quality and less quantity. I’ve challenged myself to see if quality is the solution. You should do this too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be surrounded by more of the bad and less of the good this same time next year.

Time to act now!

Quality Time

My first quality challenge will be for time. Everyone writes about quality time but I wonder if we are really listening to the message.

Are you listening?

I think I can improve in this area.  This past week I’ve chosen to change up my routine because certain areas had too much negativity and were huge energy sucking parasites. I’m pretty certain I was contributing to the negativity as well. This had to stop! There’s nothing worse than when you’re your own worst offender! UGH!

I had to be more aware of how I was feeling before, during and after particular activities. For example, I know that when I spend time with this certain person, there is a high possibility that I will feel exhausted afterward. I know this person doesn’t mean to be a human energy vacuum but I can no longer be collateral damage. I’m literally left with a head ache and no energy.

That’s not me. That’s not who I want to be. I couldn’t do it anymore. Even if everyone else was going to be with that toxic person, I couldn’t. I needed to save me.

Has this ever happened to you?

If so, you know this isn’t the best use of your time and therefore, it isn’t quality time!

Think of areas in your life where you have control in how you spend your time, are you being an active decision maker or a passive one?

I’m aware that not all of us, people with physical disabilities, feel we have the freedom to always choose how we spend our time or with whom we spend our time. Many of you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram tell me that your disability and its circumstances can render you to be at the mercy of others. I can understand that.

You’re probably right. But maybe there are other options that you haven’t sought out because either you didn’t know they existed or you were afraid to take action on them.

This is the year to do it!

Celebrate my birthday with me and take the quality challenge.

Ask yourself what you can do to add more quality time into your life.

Maybe it’s time to have a heart to heart with your personal care attendant about how you’d like to tweak your daily schedule or maybe you can ask the nurse to schedule any appointments during a time that’s more convenient for you. I’ve left doctors who have dictators running their schedule.

Now when setting up any appointment, I ask very specific questions  like “How long is the procedure or meeting? What’s the earliest appointment? What’s the latest appointment? How long is the waiting time? Is there paperwork to fill out?” or any other question that will help me gauge my time there.

Sometimes when I’m physically hurt and I’m over being mad at myself for being hurt, I think of doing something better with my time than sulking. For example, while recovering from an elevator fall from the University of Miami bookstore, I wrote one of my best short stories ever. Or at least that’s what the professor wrote on the paper. Another time, I came up with the idea for Audacity Magazine.

So even when we think we don’t have control over our time, we can still find ways to make the best of it.

I’m going to continue to tweak areas in my life where I can add more quality time. Throughout the year, I will update you on my progress. I’d love it if you joined me on this quality challenge. Email me at nathasha @ audacitymagazine.com to let me know what worked and what didn’t work for you.

Seeking quality over quantity can only produce a more positive outcome. I think this birthday gift is a gift that will keep on giving.



If you enjoyed this article, you will definitely want to read this article. It started the entire challenge mentality.

Have you already forgotten your resolutions? This article is my view on resolutions. The title says it all. Check it out here.

We had a fundraiser for the year 2014. With your help, we can continue to hire writers with physical disabilities. Thank you! If you care to make a donation or purchase from the companies donating a portion of the profit, check out the donate page.

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Talk soon!

Until then, live an audacious life.