Pursuit of wellness can take the fun out of life
No-one who dislikes their work or partner will be able to offset the pain by mastering sleep, fitness or nutrition
“I shall not waste my days,” said Ian Fleming, quoting Jack London, “in trying to prolong them”. The studied loucheness of the epigram would grate had he not lived a life so unwaveringly faithful to it. Gonorrhoea at 19, death at 56, the uncountable Morlands that he smoked in between — the Rake of Oracabessa mastered the lost art of what we can only call unwellness. Oh, for its return.
In the 1970s, medical researchers evolved the concept of quality-adjusted life years. What mattered was not how much longer a treatment would keep someone alive for, but whether that extension was free from pain and distress. The hard-won reprieve was meaningless if it entailed a living hell.