We often talk about quality of life here in Steamboat. It’s what brought my family to the Yampa Valley over 20 years ago and has undoubtedly brought many more. When polls and magazines write about desirable places to live, the term “quality of life” is thrown around like everyone knows exactly what that means! Truth be told, it is different for each person as their interests and priorities vary. So what does it mean to you?
I wanted to share a few of my friends’ definitions of quality of life and what it means to them personally:
Live. Work. Play. Then play some more! Ride your bike. Walk the dog. Feel the sun on your face. Work hard. Play harder. Do some burpees. Quality of life for me is all about balance. What better place than Steamboat to enjoy a fun career, great friends, year-round fitness and the changing seasons. Get out and get some!
Being surrounded with loving family, friends, pets and colleagues while being true to myself and my values. Approaching every day with a positive mindset and being able to appreciate even the smallest things throughout the day (i.e. finding a lady bug in your salad and setting her free). It’s belonging to a community of caring individuals and being able to bring out the best in myself and others and contributing to the health, happiness and well-being of others. It’s having the ability to make a difference in the lives of others and recognizing when someone needs help and I can provide that help. Having and feeling: peace, calm, honesty, contentment, love and appreciation for the people and animals in our lives and where we live. Truly, it is the appreciation for our location near nature’s wonders. Finally, access to recreational opportunities and to the peacefulness and stillness of the mountains, woods and trails; the tranquility of the rivers, streams, ponds and lakes; and the ever-abundant, watchable wildlife.
I’ve personally learned, as well as observed, that self-esteem is the single most fundamental element to living life well. There are other elements, of course — a sense of humor, a strong person ethic, persistence, charity, humility, love for others, the list goes on and on. But self-esteem, the core belief in one’s self as a worthwhile human being regardless of financial station, abilities, accomplishments, love relationships and possessions is the sail that moves me through rough seas and calm. I used to build my self-esteem on the basis of what I could show the world. If I was smart, or rich or skied White Out, I told myself I was good, and I got to think positively about myself. And it would feel good for as long as it lasted, but then the wind would die down, nd my sail would deflate, and I’d just drift awhile. That was just ego. I still do things to feel good about myself, of course, but somewhere back a few years I began to affirm my self-worth without needing to prove it to myself or anyone. It just is. No one can take it away now. No failures, no losses, no criticisms, no disappointments — nothing. It’s mine, for life.
These are some honest and beautiful examples of quality of life. Whether it’s wellness, family or self-assurance, the personal take on a good life is key. The beauty is that we have the opportunity here in Steamboat to decide what that means for each one of us.