The word Quality cannot be broken down into subjects and predicates. This is not because Quality is so mysterious but because Quality is so simple, immediate and direct – Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

sunrisetooLast Thursday, as we were getting ready to leave for Arizona, I was packing for the trip, reviewing several new sections for the proposal we were writing, and cooking some salmon to leave for my son’s dinners while we’re gone. Also, I was trying to decide whether to skip my Thursday Men’s Meeting because I was so busy.  I chose to go.  Part way through the meeting, I received a text from my wife, Muri: Oy vey!  You left the BBQ on again.  You need to slow down, Buddy Reed.  As I’ve said before, in our house, being called Buddy Reed is usually not good thing.  Now we are is Arizona.  I have been continuing to work on the proposal, planning a cruise to Europe with friends in Arizona, and replacing the desktop computer here at our Little House.  Remotely, I helped my son with an issue on his prescription coverage … not better, by the way … courtesy the Affordable Health Care Act.  Oh, yeah, we’re celebrating my grandson’s birthday.  As often is the case, my dear wife is right … I need to slow down … the question is how?

My 12-Step friends would tell me … be thankful you have Quality problems.  Now, if you go Google Quality problems, you will be inundated with business articles on what to do about problems with product Quality.  Big industry has turned what used to be a hallmark of individual good work into a buzzword, into massive departments of people whose only responsibility is to check up on the Quality of other people’s work.  Nope, although my 12-Step friends have never said exactly what they mean by Quality problems, I know they aren’t talking about product quality.  They are saying that the problems I have speak to the Quality of my life.  I have work.  I have insurance and Quality medical care.  Here I am at (almost) seventy, writing proposals and planning cruises.  But the idea runs deeper than just having my problems relate to good stuff.  It relates to a way of looking at things, of trying to see the Quality in almost everything.  Recently, I said goodbye to a friend.  In the midst of everything else going on, I planned his memorial service and offered his eulogy.  Not a happy time for sure but a time to realize how lucky I was to have been his friend.  Even stopping to say goodbye can be a Quality problem if I make it one.  Yes, I’d like a few less of them so I can slow down.

Have a Quality weekend.

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One Comment on “Quality”

  1. jenihill Says:

    I think I kind of have a bit of the reverse form of this “Quality” problem in that I’m already operating on a very slow speed -or so it seems to me anyway. With respect to the quality of life and taking it in the context of the loss of your friend, that’s also hit me here as I learned yesterday that a dear friend -since first grade and that’s a long, long time ago (as you know since we are both closing in on the 70 year mark now) had passed away early yesterday morning. This news didn’t come as a shock or surprise to me as she had been diagnosed this past fall with pancreatic cancer and I know the odds of survival of that particular form of cancer are not in our favor plus, I had heard earlier last week from her husband that the cancer had spread into her stomach and the chemo had been withdrawn as it was only serving to make her sicker. They brought her home from the hospital on Thursday -with hospice -and she lasted only 2 days beyond that so it’s one of those things that for her, anyway, it restores a tiny shred of quality to the end of her life in that she didn’t have to suffer any longer. As I contemplate these things, being a survivor now twice of two completely different forms of cancer, I think that’s how I’d like to end my time on earth -as quickly as possible and with the least amount of struggle possible. (Guess my thoughts on dying tend to be as lazy or lackadaisical as possible, just the same as how I tend to live my days now too!) I do try whenever possible though to try to find the best way to cope with what does sometimes bring sadness and disruptive thinking to me and then, work on keeping a positive attitude which does then tend to give me a much better quality within myself. There are a lot of times though when I really do need to pick up the pace a tad and stop procrastinating so much! Wishful thinking on the latter I do believe as it’s something I’ve spent way too much of my life dealing with putting things off and it’s a very ingrained way of life for me now. But I still tell myself that old dogs can be taught new tricks -every now and again! Peace and positivity will take us forward -eventually -won’t it?

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