She said that vegetarians live almost six years longer than non-vegetarians and recited more statistics about the health benefits of a “plant lifestyle” and I just smiled.
That is because you aren’t going to sell me on changing my habits without discussing quality of life. If I were her sales manager I would have politely found a way to adjust the conversation to reflect that and have made a point to ask some probing questions to gather more information about what I consider to be tied into “quality of life.”
Except it wasn’t a traditional sales call, it was just a friend and I talking about life. Quality of life is important to everyone but I have been focused on it for a “good long while.”
There are a million different reasons why that is so, but I’ll attribute most of it to conversations with doctors about my grandparents and discussions with other parents about whether we want/need DNRs.
Things Can and Do Happen
I think about life and how fast it can change. That is because I have seen it happen and know people who were put in positions they never expected to be in.
If life goes as expected and there are no major changes I expect to live to be 130, or at least 108. That is not tongue-in-cheek.
Three of my grandparents lived into their nineties as did three of my great-grandparents and I had other relatives make it past the century mark, so I expect I will too.
But the thing is I am not willing to just live without any consideration for what could happen. My goal is to live today and to enjoy the best quality of life I can.
It is not always easy. There are challenges that come at us each day and moments where you feel like you are just grinding it out, living moment to moment.
The cabinet in the picture belonged to my grandmother. She had it for more than 40 years and when she died we decided it would be a good edition to our home.
It lived inside our house for a brief while and then when we redid the kitchen and bathroom it moved to the garage. It never did make it back inside the house as it became enamored of its place inside the garage and chose to live outside.
Now I don’t know where it is or who it lives with anymore. When we sold the house last year we chose to sell it at a garage sale.
It was harder than I expected to let it go. It wasn’t my taste but it held sentimental value. And now when I look at the picture I shake my head.
That house was home for ten years. It was for a good long while the only home my daughter knew and the only one my son remembered.
But quality of life demanded that we sell the house. Even though it was a great home it would have taken far too much cash to fix it so that it would work for us long term and the schools simply weren’t good enough.
I won’t tell you how disgusted I am by the poor state of public education nor will I express my displeasure with the inordinate amount of cash I put out for healthcare that isn’t as good as it should be.
My Responsibilities To Myself And My Family
So here I am at the computer thinking about how to make more changes to improve my quality of life. I have a responsibility to my family and myself to do this.
It makes me think of Drunk Blogging For Amateurs and Timing & Time Management.
That is because the blog speaks to me and some posts jump out at me, begging for attention. Our Season of Mistrust, The Almost Warrior and I Once Had a Girl are intermixed with When your Favorite Blog Suddenly Goes Bad.
Words on the screen are blurred against the words in my head and I see nothing but layers.
Quality of life calls to me. I can’t wait for life to improve or to get better. I have to push harder to make it happen now.
And that is part of why you see me supporting so many different blogs and writing so many different kinds of posts.
It is about stepping up my game so that I can secure better writing gigs and earn more moolah for the work I do. More moolah equals less stress and more time with my family.
And that is part of what leads to an improved quality of life.
I won’t settle and neither should you.
Tim Bonner October 27, 2012 at 12:42 am
I know I’m lucky in that my parents are still relatively young and I hopefully have many more years of them being around.
My wife’s dad passed away a couple of years ago and I know she’s been thinking about her mum a lot recently. Her mum lives over in Ireland so we don’t get to see her as much as we’d like. It’s only a ferry trip away but with young kids and the Scottish weather, picking the right moment can be tricky!
All I have left of my grandparents is my grandad’s war medals. They’re enough to invoke fond memories of him though.
You’re right, quality of life is so important. Since I’m at home with the kids now and we live on a school campus due to my wife’s employment, quality of life has significantly increased of late and I am very grateful for that.
Jack October 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm
I always enjoy hearing stories about how people are happy with their quality of life and how things have improved for them.
It is good energy to be around.
Every time I hear about medals I am surrounded by questions, thoughts and ideas about the stories they could tell.
Did your grandad tell you about them?
bridgetstraub.com October 26, 2012 at 11:53 am
I agree. I just got paid for a post and now I’m hungry for more!
Jack October 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm
That is great. I hope you get many more assignments.
Kristen October 26, 2012 at 7:33 am
To me, quality of life is made up of factors that are in many ways personal. Would going vegan increase your life expectancy? Maybe. But by more than giving up your favorite foods would detract from your enjoyment and overall well-being? Not so easy to measure. I say, keep on keeping on. You seem to have the perspective you need to live healthily for a long time – and to even enjoy things along the way!
Jack October 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm
Quality of life is subjective which is why I think it is important for people to spend time thinking about what is important to them. When you identify what you need versus what you want you can take time figure out how to obtain those things.
As for me, well I am too damn mean to die any time soon. The grim reaper knows if he shows up too soon I will kick his bony ass up and down the block.
Joe October 26, 2012 at 5:05 am
I have some stuff from my grandparents’ house that will be a constant reminder of their presence to me – notably a buffet that fits in nicely in our dining room. My sister also has my gram’s china cabinet in her house. I love the way just looking at them can spark memories of days gone by.
Jack October 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm
That is very cool. I have some other furniture and “memorabilia” from my grandparents that means a lot to me. It is really nice to have and as you said to use as a spark to remember some of those old times.
Amy Turner October 26, 2012 at 3:10 am
I know how hard it is to let go of stuff that was witness to histories of our ancestors. I still have the three cabinets handed down to my mom and pa by their own parents. In these times when we have built-in cabinets, I still don’t have the heart to sell them so they are all in one bedroom. They are of good quality and can be considered antiques already.
Jack October 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm
Those three cabinets sound interesting. I bet there are some good stories behind them.
Harleena Singh October 26, 2012 at 1:23 am
It sure is tough to let go of things you are attached to Jack!
I still have my grandparents old clock, and few other things that were passed on from my parents. It runs in the family I think and we tend to get attached to them. I guess it brings back old memories and makes one feel good too. 🙂
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Jack October 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm
Does the clock still work? Sometimes I like looking at the old pieces of furniture I own so that I can dream about the stories they could tell.
It could be quite mundane and not very interesting, or maybe it is something exceptional. You never know until you start digging.