QUALITY OVER QUANTITY…..OF LIFE
Most of us would love to apply the motto ‘Quality over Quantity’. Whether it is when we’re buying things (clothes especially) or the friendships we maintain or the food and drink we consume.
I often hear people saying they’d rather buy one classy handbag (or a quality pair of jeans or shoes) that will last them years than buying several cheaper ones that don’t stand the test of time.
I remember talking to a friend about the guilt I felt at leaving my eight-month old baby at home as I went on to join the rat race and pursue my career. She convinced me that the baby would survive and I would enjoy my limited time with her – she said to me “it’s the quality of time you spend with her that matters; not the quantity”.
Over the years I’ve come to realise that it’s great to meet variety of people but at the end of the day it is those core few friends who will stand by your side – so I now try and make time for the select few who will be with me through thick and thin – rather than try and fit in everyone into my schedule.
This may all sound harsh – but Quality over Quantity has got to be the most basic and simple rule of life that we should all subscribe to.
But while we seem to apply this motto to many areas of our life, I’m not sure we apply it to life itself. We’re more intent on increasing the Quantity of our life – often forgetting about the Quality of life. We’re all keen to ensure that our elderly relatives live for as long as is possible and as long as technology allows even if it may be at expense of the quality of life.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not trying to market Euthanasia here. I’m just trying to encourage everyone (including myself) to focus on the quality of life; because I genuinely believe that once this has been worked out – the quantity part will work itself out.
Let me veer a little – think of the elderly within our society or think about your own twilight and retirement years. What is the first thought that crops up? I’m pretty sure most of us think of medical needs – and rightly so – these increase drastically as we age and medical costs increase exponentially. But it almost feels like we focus entirely on the medical aspect of things – e.g. when you ask someone over the age of 80 how they are feeling? It is generally assumed that we are asking how their health is and if there is anything wrong with it.
Whilst, I don’t have a problem with people being medically fit and active, I believe that we need to have a more holistic approach to ageing so we can make sure we live a quality life right to the end. Globally, there has been a shift in geriatric care. Whilst previously the focus was on medical care only, it now encompasses psychological and social needs too.
Ageing is inevitable – with technological advancements it may soon be possible to drag out our lives even longer – our hair will grey and our skin will wrinkle. A growing school of thought claims that if we can modify the mental approach and attitude to ageing to be more positive, then the body will react accordingly.
I wish I had a magic wand to improve quality of life instantly – but unfortunately I don’t. What I do have is a few tips for geriatric care (for yourself or the person you’re caring for if you’re a caregiver):
- Be Social – go out and be with people whose company you enjoy. Travel the world – there’s no stopping you.
- Dress to impress – just because you’re getting old doesn’t mean you stop caring about the way you look – give yourself that confidence boost by dressing smartly and getting your hair and nails done
- Have a purpose – whether it is paid employment, voluntary work, helping with grandkids or walking your neighbour’s dog. Purpose is key; especially as we age. If you have a skill, spend time sharing it
- Consider whether it is worth dragging out life for as long as is medically possible. Most of us know people who have suffered or are suffering from a terminal illness. Whilst we want to make sure they live as long as possible and fight the battle with the evil disease for as long as possible, at some stage one needs to decide whether it is worth it for the patient.
- It is important to have some discussions about your end of life wishes. This may seem difficult now, but will ease the pain of your loved ones that are left behind. Let’s talk about death.
In conclusion, let’s try and make a conscious effort to improve the ‘quality’ of our lives rather than focussing on the quantity of life. I believe each one of us has a different definition of ‘quality’ – and mine may be very different from yours (I know my definition is very different from my parent’s definition). But whatever it is, let’s start focussing on it – whether it’s travelling more or exercising more or simply taking up a new hobby.
On my part, I’m going to make sure I spend more quality time with my daughter, focus on my health and I’m going to start decluttering our cupboards and shopping more selectively. I’m hoping this will help us live a better quality life.
Have you got any more tips on how to improve Quality of life rather than focussing on Quantity?