Quality Not Quantity.


Kylie over at eclectica has this intetesting concept of having a theme word for the new year. The idea being that you create one word that will summarize your focus on the most important thing that you would like to accomplish during the new year. I commented on her post that my word would be “Clear” expanding it to say that I would like to clear all the items in my bucket list.

A bucket list of course implies that you would like to accomplish the things in the list before you pop off. Oddly enough soon after that little comment on Kylie’s blog, Lin in her LBC post on Travails Of City Life wrote about her beloved Seattle in the USA where I left this comment: “I have read so much about Seattle including the Chief for whom it is named after that it is in my bucket list of places to visit before I pop off!” Lin in her typical style responded in an email, she does not respond to comments on her blog, “Good for you. Please let me know if you do decide to go and have any special wishes of places you want to visit. Perhaps I can help. and please don’t pop off too soon.” Since she wrote three posts on that topic, in another one I commented: “I was on a transferable job and after marriage, had to live in eight different homes in different cities before we put down roots here in Pune. Before my marriage, I had already lived in four different cities so, wandering is quite a familiar scene for me. Having spent the last almost quarter of a century here, Pune now is home and I hope that like my late wife’s ashes, mine too will get washed away by the Mula Mutha.” and she has responded in her typical style: “Since you’re probably about my age (I’m a year younger than Chuck) I hope you wait a while before your wishbone takes to sea.”

I am not being morbid. It is just that I will be 72 years old this June. Two years more than the proverbial threescore and ten! Every day is a bonus to be lived with gratitude for living and because of my eclectic interests, my bucket list keeps growing. Fifty more weeks to go in 2015. How much can I achieve? So, after I read Lin’s response, I sat with the bucket list and pruned it down to a manageable number of things to do.

What I did was simply focus on the things where the quality was important rather than the quantity. Let me explain with just one example. On top of the list is my plan, which has been in place for the past five years, to visit family and friends who are all overseas. The original idea was to go to the UK/Ireland and then to the USA and cross over to Australia, stop over at Malaysia and Singapore and return. This plan has been just on the drawing board due to various reasons which need not be discussed here but it is one of the things that I most certainly want to do before I pop off. To be more realistic, I have pruned it to make a visit to Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, primarily because my cousin who was in the USA died two months ago and I simply have no inspiration to go there now, now that he is no more. My other friends and family members in the USA will have to take the chance that I will be alive next year, or the next or whatever.

This high quality, but low quantity trip will be just about what I can comfortably do both financially and physically and that is that.

The other major pruning for quality has been the decision to prune the books that I want to read to take into account the quality of the book rather than the number waiting to be read.

The trick now is to clear the list within items in the list!

17 thoughts on “Quality Not Quantity.”

  1. You youngsters have so much energy and ambition. My New Years’ resolutions the past couple of years have been, “Keep on doing what you’ve been doing for as long as you can.” It simplifies life just fine. 🙂
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..A Heart-Warming Day

    1. “Youngsters”? Now, now. I thought Ramana was only a year or two younger than you.

      As to your sentiment “Keep doing what you’ve been doing for as long as you can.”. Yes, and no. Being given to meandering through life at a leisurely pace, fully expecting that time will go on forever and nothing will run away, I am now so in awe and in thrall (make that horrified) of what befalls people over fifty (some even younger) I have accelerated. Big time. So should fate put the thumb screws on me I will know I won’t have left a trail of unfinished business.

      Ursula recently posted..Putting a lid on

    2. Actually it’s 3 1/2 years, and it makes a difference. It was that long ago that our trees, house, well house, sheds, etc. were completely torched. We handled it well, and Andy thinks the new little house is more appropriate for him than the old one, but we both agree, if something happens to it we no longer have the energy to rebuild again. We’re not sad about it, just realistic.

      I had more of a sense of purpose in my life than you did, so I’ve done everything on my bucket list and am treasuring my life right now.

      What things do you want to do before you shuffle off?
      Cheerful Monk recently posted..A Heart-Warming Day

  2. “Popping off”? What sort of nonsense is that? I think it so inconsiderate of people in my life to pop off. It’s discourteous to leave the party early. I can see the hole you’ll leave now. And the size of the hole has nothing to do with your circumference.

    Glad to hear that your travelling plans are still intact – even if pared down. Measure the cloth to the man, I say.

    Ursula recently posted..Putting a lid on

  3. The Beatles, The Who, The Beach Boys. All over 70. All you have to do is learn to play the guitar. (And I do TOO write on blogs 🙂 Ps Thank you for quoting me.

  4. I think you’re smart to break it down into smaller chunks. When we returned from France in 1965, we took two months and came the long way, including India and New Zealand and Australia. That plane flight from Australia to Hawaii was one LONG trip.

    When do you plan to go on this first installment? I’m excited for you — while being glad you’re doing it instead of me! How long will it take? Will you be able to keep in touch with us while you’re gone? I cheerfully admit I’m selfishly thinking of myself. I love your posts and will miss them if they stop for a while. 🙂 Still, I am happy for you.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..A Heart-Warming Day

  5. Drop the book list and just pick out one each time you need a book and read it…

    Currently on my “order library list” is 5 books, one of which I have been waiting months for – I’m #4 on the list now; a new publication this year from an author I have read before. The other books either cooking, art-related or business sorts.

    at home from same library service a heap of books including my favourite sort of lite reading: for teenagers…
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Workroom Done

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