10,000 days remaining

Photo by Szűcs László on Unsplash

Your days are limited.

Several years ago, I decided to take stock of my life and worked out that I had about 10,000 good working days left.

Obviously, it’s an arbitrary number and not a hard science. I have no plans on ever retiring, nor dying for that matter. Who knows what might come my way, but I think it’s a decent assessment of my time here.

10,000 days to enjoy the extraordinary family I’ve been given. 10,000 days to soak in the beauty of the earth. 10,000 days to leave a mark on the planet.

Part of my routine each morning has been counting down the days on my whiteboard (I’m at 7890 right now). It’s a bit morbid, but it reminds me my time here is not endless. I am not a machine. I cannot do it all, nor should I.

I spend a moment meditating on the pending end because it gives me heart-piercing clarity on what matters. It helps prevent me from deceiving myself. It’s easy to have busy, efficient, and exciting lives, and still be void of meaning.

Some people feel that death makes life meaningless, but the truth is, death makes life burst with meaning. Wouldn’t that next kiss, that next conversation, that next bit of human contact, be phenomenally different if you knew it was your last?

Sometimes my eyes accidentally catch those numbers winding down, and it almost always jolts life into me. Thoughts of death have a way of resuscitating me from my waking slumber.

What I do each day matters because I’m exchanging a day of my life for it.

I recently came across this fantastic post at waitbutwhy, and it’s helped take my life reality check further with visuals.

The Tail End

I’ve printed off the life-in-months view and bubbled my life in. I think it’s a healthy and therapeutic activity. It made me think through my first memories, the first family move, my first good fistfight, the first time I wanted to disappear, the first moment I met my wife, and so on.

A big chunk of my life has already behind me, but I still feel like I’m just getting started.

How many more days do you think you have? And how might you be more mindful of your days?


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