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
Last 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.