A friend of mine took to Facebook a while back to ask and interesting question:
“What is Quality of Life?”
The first thing you must do is look up a definition.
qual·i·ty of life
the standard of health, comfort, and happiness experienced by an individual or group.
It was interesting to watch people try to come up with an answer to a question like that. Quality as measured in life really has no standard metric. Which means there is no real standard. I don’t want to get into why he asked or his situation, but I did want to post the answer that I provided.
I don’t want to get into why he asked or his situation, but I did want to post the answer that I provided. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The one wonderful thing it did was highlight the fact that my life is pretty darn good, even in those times where it feels empty. I am a blessed man.
“In your humble opinion, what is Quality of Life?”
I have been thinking about this question since yesterday. Please bear with me for far too long a response…
In the Software Quality Assurance world, quality is testable. It is based on a set of requirements based on the needs of the business, the product owner, and the users. These requirements are built based on best practices and, more importantly, what would make the stakeholders happy.
Since the product in this instance is Life, we must define the requirements that can assure quality. Those requirements come from the stakeholder. In this case, that is the owner of the Life. That means that I can take my best shot at what someone else’s product should look like. However, the best and most effective set of requirements would come from the stakeholders themselves.
All that said, I guess the only Life I can create requirements for is my own. And that brought me to a weird place and some odd realizations.
As I was trying to define what my life requirements were, there were three main things that came to mind. Those were my girlfriend (Bones), my children, and the outdoors. There are some other things, but if you took those three from me, I would feel that my quality of life would be nonexistent. I am currently in an interesting place, since I am mostly away from the first two and the third is only available sometimes, it lead me to wonder what in my life this instant assured quality.
I never thought I would say this…but I am not sure. I basically am an active person. I meal prep weekly, I work out, I go to work and work hard at my job. I started writing a blog http://hunterliving.blog . But honestly, most of those things are filler to the other three listed before. Which leads to another interesting realization…
There are many things in our lives that bring us joy. Friends, my search team, my home, the quiet of country living. These things, for me, lead to a better quality of life. And quality can be measured by your own happiness, perhaps. But many of us just live our daily routines and find happiness in it. And, interestingly, trying to identify that for someone else is difficult, if not impossible.
So, what is quality of life? Well, it seems it would be based on the defined requirements given by that life’s stakeholder. And that would be the individual living the life. Which leads to two more very interesting realizations.
The first, my quality of life increases when “Bones” is there. She makes me feel happy and loved. My quality of life increases when my kids are around. They provide boundless love, joy, and energy. My quality of life increases when I am active. Fishing, hunting, the woods, the ocean, the sun all bring me a sense of calm and peace and serenity. And working out provides an outlet for my pain, sadness, and anger and increases my happiness and self-worth. It is a time when Captain American can Hulk some stuff. And it brings me calm.
The only other person’s I can identify is your Dad’s. There are two things for him as far as I can see: CrossFit and you.
That man has found strength and purpose in CrossFit. He loves it and it has loved him back, probably adding more quality time to his life in the process. He feels good about it, it makes him stronger and gives him goals.
You, my friend…if you had ever seen the two of you through my eyes, you would see that you increase his quality of life exponentially. The amount of love that comes through his words, smiles, jokes, and eyes when you two are around is something that, even now, brings goose bumps to me. You make his life better, and he yours. If half the world had half the happiness I see in the two of you, it would be a much better place.
So there you have it…the longest answer you will ever see that does nothing to answer. I am not sure what Quality of Life is, but I damn sure know it when I feel it.
Hope that helps.
So, that was my LONG definition of Quality of Life. I would encourage all of you to figure out what that is for you. How you feel with certain people or when doing certain activities, Be mindful of your place and the things in your life. Your food, your actions, your people. Live a life of purpose. Live your truth and your word.
Be present. Be authentic.
The Quality will follow.