When it comes to life, we can do a handful of things to partially ebb the flow towards our demise, or at least hopefully so, but we ultimately have no control over our quantity of life. Sadly so, because it would be cool if we could all live to 999 years old. What we can however control is quality of life, something I find that many people seem to be able to ignore for a sense of ‘greater good’ that rarely delivers on its promise.
There are generally two categories that people fall into:
The Past-ers: Who cannot help but compare their present situation to a ‘better’ past.
The Futures: Who are perpetually concerned with what is coming up.
Neither of these behavioural traits are conducive or any real happiness during the only time we will ever have, the present. We must therefore make changes for the better that will affect us presently, not dismissing our future present selves; this being also informed by our past experiences.
I recently moved from London to Toronto in a bid to improve my quality of life and the immediate impact has been quite remarkable.
My commute to work went from being over an hour on a train and the bus, in London, to a 19 minute walk in Toronto (10 minutes if I longboard). Although I work very similar hours, the commute means I can leave my house at 8am in Toronto (it was 7:15am in London) and be home by 6:20pm (it was regularly 8:30pm in London).
My apartment complex has a gym in it therefore there is no excuse for not visiting it. I now go every day at 6:30am and regularly in the evening too when I am not otherwise engaged. This is preparing me for the pool on the rooftop of the building, which opens in summer.
There is close to no binge drinking culture in Toronto, something London cannot deliver upon, so it is completely acceptable for me to go out for a quick libation with a friend after work on a Monday. Simply, moderation in this sense ultimately frees us to exist for fun.
For me it boils down to this, I made the choice to move from London to Toronto not for personal financial gain nor reward but instead to improve the one thing that I can affect.
I am happy to say that my quality of life has improved tenfold.
(Photo – Eli Woodbine, Toronto, 2016)