Day 692: Quality of Life

In yesterday’s post, I cited (and did other things to) a study about quality of life.  But what IS quality of life? Let’s see how other people qualify and quantitate “quality of life,” shall we?

Here’s the first definition returned by Google:

Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income.

I have no idea where that definition came from; it just appeared without citation.

Q:  Does that affect my quality of life?

A: No.

Wikipedia, my lovely assistant in many of these posts, has an entry, page, or whatever-else-you-might-call-it on ‘Quality of life.”  Care to join me in discovering how “Quality of life” is explained in Wikipedia-land?

Aha!  The first paragraph of the Wikipedia page is VERY CLOSE to the definition I included in this post.

Q: Does that affect my quality of life?

A: No.

The first paragraph of the Wikipedia page includes this one additional sentence about Quality of Life (abbreviated to QOL, since Quality of Life, I guess, includes using abbreviations to save everybody time and effort):

Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.

Q: Does that affect my QOL?

A: Well, I like built environments, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging. Does that answer the question?

How is your quality of life, right now? Would your QOL improve if I kept defining QOL?  Or do you think you know what Quality of Life means — to you and to other people?

Quality of Life is something I have been thinking a lot about lately.  Duh.  Why else would I be writing a post about it today?

As I’ve oft expressed since I started writing this blog way back in 2013, I write here, every day, to improve my Quality of Life and, so far, it’s been working. And yet, I’ve never written about QOL before today.

Here are my conscious reasons for writing about Quality of Life, right now:

  • I am getting very mixed messages from my two cardiologists about my current and future QOL.
  • Mixed messages adversely affect my Quality of Life.
  • I am constantly on the lookout for ways to maintain — or even improve — quality of life for myself (and others, too).
  • I had to write about SOMETHING, people.

Here are two things that improve my quality of life:

#1.  Carol.

IMG_2309

Carol has been improving my QOL since the 1980’s. I first met her the week before I was scheduled for yet-another-in-a-long-series of pacemaker replacement surgeries.

At that time, my quality of life was negatively affected by a persistent feeling of cold in my back that just would not go away, no matter what I did. My business partner at the time, Jonathan, told me that Carol could help me.  Here’s a memory of my first conversation with Carol:

Me: I’ve had many surgeries in my life and I’m scheduled for another one, next week. And I’ve got this weird feeling of cold in the middle of my back, that won’t go away.

Carol: That makes sense. That’s fear.

I remember, that day, feeling understood in a new and profound way, which really improved  my QOL.

Yesterday, Carol improved my Quality of Life during an often difficult day for me: November 22 — the anniversary of my first surgery at age 10 AND the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Here are some of the things Carol said to me, yesterday:

  • You are incredibly healthy.
  • You look beautiful, like a Russian Princess, to me.

That improved my quality of life.

Duh.

#2.  Cats.

IMG_2310 IMG_2313 IMG_2314

That’s Mambo — our neighbor cat — adding to my “social belonging”  in my “built environment” by getting into my car after I returned from getting my hair cut by Mia (who also improves my Quality of Life, every time I see her).

What else do I want to include about QOL, in this post?  I would like to wrap things up soon, so I can finish writing a proposal today for presenting a workshop about the therapy groups I do (which I hope improve the Quality of Life of others).

Music definitely improves my Quality of Life, and I often include a musical selection in my posts. But I also have trouble making decisions. And what song would fit today’s post?

Actually, what song would NOT fit? Every piece of music I love (and there are so many) improves my quality of life, whenever I hear it. So how do I choose among them all, this morning?

Arrrrghhh!

I know! I’ll do a random spin of Spotify, my current music delivery system (which also improves my QOL), and see what comes up.

Aha!  It’s a repeat, from a recent post, but will that decrease anybody’s quality of life?

Actually, that’s a different version of Sting performing “What Have We Got?” from The Last Ship (found here on YouTube, if that helps improve your QOL).

That video, from NBC’s Today Show,  reminds me of two things — an event in the past and one in the future:

  1. My late father told me a story, many years ago, about how he and my mother, when visiting New York City, were outside looking in the studio windows during a live broadcast of The Today Show, when a good friend of theirs, who was up on a ladder at his home near Boston, suddenly saw them there on his TV and was so surprised, he fell off the ladder (thus temporarily diminishing his QOL).
  2. My friend Deb (previously appearing in posts including here,here, and here) and I are going to NYC in two weekends to see The Last Ship on Broadway!

How do you think all this affects my QOL?  What affects yours?

Thanks to Google, Wikipedia, Carol, Mambo, Mia, Deb, my doctors, my parents, Sting, Spotify, randomness, and to everybody and anything that’s ever improved anybody’s Quality of Life in any way, which includes you (in case you didn’t know)*.


* Duh.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Day 692: Quality of Life

  1. LOVE this! 🙂

  2. I started a comment but the phone ate it. Sigh. I love being along for the ride, and love you. What a gift to be here with you! DEFINITELY improves my QOL and what i learn w you has come through my hands, taught my ears and helped me choose my words with many others over the years — i thank you !

  3. QOL can be looked at as a decision. I can never seem to remember whether it was Zig or Og that said, “If you can’t change the facts, you might as well change the attitude”. The guys I work work with are always talking about how important “QOL” is, yet most of us often work seven days a week. Since I have been doing that for many years, I adapt and work around it…my choice. I continue to be amazed at the quality and quantity of your well thought out posts. Even though I don’t often comment, they also help to increase my QOL as I read each one.

  4. Quality of life: different for each of us.
    For a hungry child, it would be food. For communities facing the ongoing Ebola outbreak, it would be elimination of the disease. For my friend who recently had the lower half of her leg amputated,a prosthetic device (due in two weeks!) will increase hers.
    For me it is far more simple since I have (too much) food and am not near Ebola. Air temperature has a major impact on my quality of life. I hate cold and I hate hot. Both make me physically miserable. So the thing that would most improve my quality of life is selling my house and moving to the highlands of Mexico where temperatures are far more stable than they are here.

    • I hate cold and I hate hot, too, Emilie. Those definitely decrease my quality of life. I’m considering moving to Edinburgh, Scotland or some other Just-Right-Temperature place when my son graduates high school. Maybe I’ll see you in Mexico!

  5. Possibly the most honest line in the blogging world: “I had to write about SOMETHING, people.” 🙂

    My quality of life is certainly improved by checking in here every day. Today, I especially loved your dad’s ladder story. I’m not sure how to apply that in my own life, although if I ever go to New York and stand outside a studio window, I will try to remember to hold a sign saying, “Be careful on the ladder!”

    • Perhaps the second most honest line in my blogging world: I LOVE your comments and, every time, they make me think, laugh, smile, and otherwise improve my quality of life.

  6. Thank you for writing this blog . Your kind words do contribute in improving the QOL of many of your readers (including me ).

    It must have been hard to go through so many surgeries . You are a very brave person . Wish you continuously improving QOL .

  7. This post kept making smile, because it reminded me of all the things that are making my Quality of Life very good at the moment. Thank you.

  8. You get to make your own decisions, Ann. That’s the best quaity of life factor you have in your own two hands, my friend. Your mind.

  9. I believe your trip will bump up your QOL quotient, just think of the time shared with a dear friend and the added plus of a Broadway play. This equals excitement, adventure and shared joy in abundance. Kudos!
    🙂
    My QOL is bumped up knowing my son-in-law was accepted into the California Highway Patrol program. He was self employed, doing well, but felt a calling. My kiddos live hundreds of miles away, but I never worry about them. My QOL was magnified by their union.
    I’ve been having a rough go with my asthma, but I also am under care of a very good doctor and a regiment of medications to keep me in check. Same with my psychiatrist who also is diligent and keenly observation of fluctuations and medication adjustments when necessary (I have been with him for about fifteen years).
    Looking over my paragraphs some might question that I consider that my QOL comes solely from the trust I have in medications and doctors. Please understand that what I am trying to convey is how the treatments have allowed me to enjoy my life. I have bad days, but for the greatest part of my existence I get to experience living to enjoy the world around me and within me.
    The smallest things in life can thrill me, taking the edge off of the cruel parts that find their way into the mix of life. Death and illness can throw a curveball, spin me off my axis, but it can also wake me to what really does matter. I know my father-in-law was given only a few months to live. He’s headed into his second year. QOL=added time with this wonderful man. QOL was diminished greatly by the loss of two family members last year, and another two this year. I was extremely close to three of these people, aunt, uncle and cousin. When their lights extinguished, mine grew brighter. It’s the loving of someone that matters and not their passing. They leave us the legacy of their love and we are forever honored by it.
    I have rambled and you are most patient. Reading your post is wanderlust, Ann. I’m going to find a song to gift you. BE back soon … 🙂

    • Reading every bit of this comment increased my QOL by A LOT. I’m so glad for your quality of life and for my knowing you here.

  10. If I had a song to add, I would give you this one, THE CIRCLE of LIFE, by Sir Elton John.

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