The Wisdoms Project

Quantity vs Quality

When I was 15 or 16, I realized that since my father had died of heart disease at age 41, my quantity of years was probably going to be limited.  Since I couldn’t count on the “long life thing,” I quite consciously decided to go for the “quality thing.”  So I busied myself from a young age with a life of intense, energetic and interesting activities and desired accomplishments.

Fourteen years ago when I was 53, I wrote and compiled the first edition of “The Wisdoms Project.”  At that time, my quantity of years was quickly coming to an end due to my stage four lymphoma.  I was glad that I had packed so much “quality” into my years up to that point.  I was ready to die because I was satisfied that I had done so much during my life….enjoyed a loving, long marriage to Anne, helped raise two fine children, had a fascinating, multi-faceted career, lived in four very different cities and locales, traveled a lot, learned a lot, thought a lot, said a lot, helped a lot.

Well, as fate, good medicine, perseverance, luck, whatever would have it….I got a lot more “quantity” than what those excellent cancer doctors (and those fine heart doctors many years before when I had two heart attacks at age 34) said I would get.  Now, although my congestive heart failure is threatening to limit my quantity of years once again….and my arthritis is definitely affecting the quality also….I am still packing each year and each day as full as I can.

Wish not so much to live long, as to live well.

Add life to your years...not just years to your life.

If you love life, do not squander time...for that is the stuff life is made of.
        Benjamin Franklin

Life is not long....and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation of how it shall be spent.  
Samuel Johnson

The worst thing that can happen to people when they come to the end of their lives is to suddenly know that they have not participated fully….that they have wasted their time….that they have not devoured all the wonders that consciousness affords us.
Edward Albee

Wise people double the length of their existence:
To live so as to look back often with pleasure
on their past activities is to live twice.

Life is what happens while you are making other plans.
    John Lennon

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.
Richard David Bach

Each year, buy something you want very much.  Get into line with the tax collector, doctor, landlord and your other creditors.  Your claim on yourself is as important as theirs.  Demand from yourself something that you desire….and give it top priority.  Create for yourself as regular a demand as your creditors would do.  Be implacable about this.
Samuel Grafton

Many enjoy a feeling of wealth no matter how little money they have. Wealth well used is a delight to observe. Wealth unused is sad to see. Wealth is not in the having, but in the using.

It isn’t the big pleasures that count the most.
It’s making a big deal out of the little ones.
Jean Webster

Spend the afternoon….you can't take it with you.

Some of life's biggest disappointments
come from getting what we insisted on having.

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
                                   Anne Dillard

I would often prefer to go down to the corner store and entertain whoever was there….instead of doing a big concert for $100,000….because at the corner store I perform totally on my own terms.
Jonathan Winters

Those who speak most of progress,
too often measure it by quantity and not by quality.
George Santayana

Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.
    Oscar Wilde

No one ever dies wishing they'd spent more time at the office.
    Malcolm Forbes

If I had my life to live over, I'd relax. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I'd start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

I don't want to get to the end of my life
 and find that I just lived the length of it.
 I want to have lived the width of it as well.
    Diane Ackerman