A patient said to me today as we were discussing her cancer diagnosis – “I can only control the quality of my life not the quantity…”
Wow! How true! How profound!
This got me thinking. We all live on borrowed time and no one knows what’s coming. We could get hit by a bus on the way home. We could be diagnosed with a fatal illness. Our lives are so fragile and tenuous yet a lot of us take it for granted. We spend so much time obsessing over things that are not important.
If you died right now, what would your legacy be? What would be said about you? Have you lead your best life? Have you led a quality life?
What are the ways we could improve the quality of our life right now. These are 10 of my suggestions
1-Take care of your body. Remember this body will last you for as long as you are here, so take care of it.
2-Be friendly and Love unconditionally. It takes so much energy to hate and to frown. Smile and spread the joy.
*hug your kids/spouse
*tell your family you love them often
*smile and say hi to the neighbors, co workers
3-Be a good friend. Call and catch up with friends from time to time
4-Do something nice for someone less fortunate. We are all in this together. You may be the one who needs help some day.
*make a donation
5-Don’t over commit. It’s okay to say no from time to time. Stress does not look good on anyone
6-Don’t leave things half done. You are better off not starting than doing it half assed
7-Don’t procrastinate. You may not get another chance
8-Do something nice for yourself. When you feel good, it’s so much easier to make everyone else feel good.
*get a massage
*take a trip
*watch a movie
*read a book
9- Believe in something. I really don’t want to talk religion but a belief in something, someone will get us through the darkest times.
10-Be an overall good person. I don’t care what God you believe in but the 10 commandments pretty much cover the basics of being a good person.
If you can do these things, I believe that you are well on the way to having a great quality of life and it may even help with the quantity.
What did I miss?
Please let me know other ways to improve the quality of our lives in the comments.
It seems appropriate that I blog about how I celebrated my 50th on international women’s day since I couldn’t have done it without the help of some incredible women. When I turned 49, last year, I wanted the journey into 50 to be significant. So I started that birthday with gathering together some of the best girl friends I had. Of course they couldn’t all make it but I had quite a showing. That evening was all about womanhood and sisterhood and sharing advice and enjoying each other without judgement.
As a wife and mother I enjoy the company of my husband and children but I find that some of the most authentic time is that spent with other women. My sister friends.
That night the idea of how I wanted to spend my 50th was born. I knew I wanted to travel out of the country. I toyed with the idea of Fiji but in the end decided with the help of a friend on Turks and Caicos- for many reasons. I mentioned my plan to celebrate on an island with some friends and had such interest that I decided to open it up to a lot of my girl friends. The open invitation was sent via email and to my surprise 15 girls decided to travel with me.
This was a trip we started planning 8 months prior. The anticipation built as we got closer. We set up a group text with initially monthly then weekly teasers. I don’t think any of us had ever travelled with that number of women before. I can’t speak for the other ladies but I had some hesitation and nervousness about this many women together. There is bound to be drama. And I so wanted this to be drama free. I knew each of the women but they did not all know each other- yeah- that’s why I was worried.
The trip date finally arrived and 13 of us flew out together on the same flight. I knew from then that I had nothing to worry about. The party and the bonding started on the flight.
Once we arrived on the most gorgeous resort in paradise and met up with the other 3 women, I have to say and at this point I think I can speak for the others that we had one of the best time of our lives.
The scenery was amazing
The food was delicious
We went boating, some went sailing, diving, parasailing.
We sunbathe, had spa treatments, exercised.
We ate at world class restaurants and went dancing.
We stayed up late and talked and played games.
Time spent here was incredibly carefree and easy.
Yes that’s a rainbow- can’t make this s**t up!
In reliving and reviewing and recounting the story of my big 50th celebration to people, the most common response is “wow how did you get that many women to travel with you?” Well the answer simply is that I didn’t have 15 women travel with me to celebrate my birthday because I am special. No these women came out because we were all in need of this trip. This is all part of the living while we balance that is at the center of my blog. These are women who have spouses, children and jobs. They all saw the value of getting away for a few days to recharge. These were 4 days where we could get back to be who we were before spouses and kids and jobs. We could be carefree for a few days.
I encourage all women to do this from time to time. It will make you a much better wife, mother, and better at your job as well. Remember you cannot care for others if you are broken down.
My fantastic posse of sister friends.
I hope this gives you an idea about how you can celebrate an upcoming big birthday. Please share other great ways you celebrated.
I turned 50 in February 2018 and started thinking about my life thus far. I have lead a relatively good life and have achieved quite a bit in the time I have been on earth. I have been married for 22 years to my best friend and have 2 amazing children- a 21 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. I am the oldest of 7 children to immigrant overachieving parents who pushed us all to be the very best at whatever we did. I have an incredible network of friends, family and colleagues and a job that I love. I’m now starting to think about my second act. As I sit here contemplating, two words continue to jump out at me- LIVE! and BALANCE! Well thats it! I can start a lifestyle blog about life balance. We as women work hard daily to balance and juggle all the different roles we play in life. But as I was told recently by a dear sister “… juggling is okay, but balance is so much better.” I hope to share with you in this blog how I live and balance. It will seem difficult in the beginning but with time, I promise, it gets easier. The important thing is to realize that you don’t have to be perfect and to get rid of that guilt associated with the X chromosome.
You see, I am a breast cancer surgeon. I have been in practice since 2000. I have witnessed daily first hand women dealt with a devastating diagnosis. Some are diagnosed early and have a good prognosis and many are diagnosed late. These are women like you and me who are wives, mothers, sisters, friends and some with high power jobs. These are for the most part women who have taken care of everyone else ahead of themselves for years. No one ever thinks they are going to get sick or die. We like to think we are immortal, but alas we are not.
I want us to journey together to LIVE! while we can and it is all in the way we balance. Let us go back to the time before spouses, children and jobs. Let us rediscover ourselves. We are by nature caretakers. But we cannot care for others if we don’t take care of ourselves. I have a good friend who is fond of saying, “… if you die, he will remarry and your kids will be raised by someone else”. Ouch!
I want us to not live in regret. Always thinking about the what ifs. Live life to the fullest while you can. You can order dinner in instead of cooking tonight. You can hire a cleaner instead of spending precious hours cleaning the house. Your kids will be okay with a sitter from time to time so you can go get a pedicure or get your hair done.
Happy hour with some girl friends could be what the doctor ordered.
Have you had your yearly pap smear or mammogram?
When was the last time you saw a movie?
Read a good book.
Travelled for fun.
Come with me. Lets balance while we LIVE!
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton