Quality vs Quantity

Visiting my hometown is like stepping back in time. Very little has changed in Machias, Maine, since I was a child. There are a few new restaurants, a second (second!) bar, and the Rite Aid moved locations a few years ago (though the store’s past residence still sits empty years later with the same “for sale” sign out front). The town still does not have a stop light.

You can’t go anywhere in town without running into people you know. That’s because the town’s current population is 1,274, a number that has declined since my childhood. This matches with the rest of the state’s trajectory, so much so that an article was published in the Bangor Daily News (pretty much the only “major” paper in the state) in 2013 titled “Is Maine’s population too old and white to be sustainable?”

On my father’s side, I am the only member of the immediate family to live outside of the state. All of my grandfather’s living sisters and brothers, all of my dad’s siblings, my parents and sister, and all of my cousins and their children live within two hours of Machias.

I’ve worn the “black sheep” title of the family for well over a decade now. I used to feel guilty whenever I would go home, and remarks would be made about how nice it was for the family to be together again, and how sad that it couldn’t happen more often. But now, I just smile in response instead of trying as before to justify my location choices. The truth is, I love my family very much, and I appreciate the time we get to spend together. We have a healthier relationship when we value our time together, and I doubt living within two hours of Machias would ever satisfy ideals of those in my family who wish for a closer physical location.

I love going back home. And I love returning to my Tri-Cities home when my visit is over. Quality time, to me, is worth so much more than quantity of time.

That applies to more in life than just family visits.

Share this: Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit

Becca Lingley

Hi, I’m Becca. I am a huge fan of doing things that make the world a better place. Generally that’s through helping one person at a time but I also like helping nonprofits and ideas be successful. I enjoy working in education because personal and professional development is so fulfilling and helping others achieve that experience and develop their abilities is personally rewarding.I love buying local and being local, baking my own bread, supporting my community, reading resumes, living a healthy lifestyle, getting excited about and championing new ideas (coworking!). I love economic development, though I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with it. I’m an idealist and a believer, with a personal life goal of doing my part to make the world a better place.

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. 

  • Kriste Colley

    Hi Becca! I can really relate to this. I lived in Hawaii for a few years (and in Oklahoma for a few years, but we don’t talk about those years!!!!) and my parents still lived in my tiny hometown in Washington. When I would come home to visit, it was SO FUN. I saw my parents more when I lived thousands of miles away from them because I would come home for weeks at a time. We would stay up at night and play cards and do things that we wouldn’t do if I lived close to them. Very precious time!!!

  • Doug Waltman

    So happy that you choose to love this town and the community we have. #luckytohaveyou

  • Becca Lingley

    I’m so glad I stayed, and more glad for the awesome friends I’ve made (you!). 🙂

  • Suzy Garza Higley

    That was great Becca. I admire people that can make a new home some where new. I think it takes an adventurous spirit! I sometimes wish i could just move across the country and try a new way of life for a while. Maybe Maine! lol….but no….I am not adventurous. :)…and i do love this desert of ours. (but the Ocean is so tempting…maybe i will be adventurous one day).

  • Lou Galindo

    I can relate. My mom gives me passive-aggressive guilt trips about how she’ll never see me again because I’m no longer living in Miami… but she and my dad moved to Panama a few years ago, so…??? =)