Time, Numbers, Lists and Questions

A few days ago, on August 28, 2013, I calculated that I have lived for 25,098 days.

This number, 25,098, sparks some questions. What if I were to live as long as my mother did and no longer? My mother lived for 28, 259 days, the last several years of her life filled with the challenges of living with diabetes and Parkinson’s.

How much time might I have left if I were to follow my mother’s path? My sloppy math suggests that I have approximately 3,161 days left of my life. That translates to 75,864 hours. If I assume that I will sleep eight hours each day, then that leaves me with 50,576 waking hours or the equivalent of 5.77 years of wakeful time left. 

Wow! That’s not long at all. How am I going to spend that time? What do I want to accomplish yet before my footprints fade?

Hmmm. I think about how many hours our TV runs all day and night. Let’s just say that I will watch four hours of TV a day. Or maybe two hours of TV and two hours checking on my Facebook friends, reading e-mail and learning new things on the computer. That will leave me with roughly 4.33 equivalent years to fill with other things. 

Then I continue thinking about how I want to be as happy as possible for my remaining days and also maybe leave some part of me behind. Every five years or when I feel my life is out of balance, I make a list of what I need to be happy; it helps me to see what I need to adjust. My most recent “happiness” list includes these multi-faceted elements: love, creativity, adventure, connections/acceptance, solitude, learning, independence, beauty, dreams, balance/stability.

More questions invade my thinking as I envision the hands of the clock whirling faster and faster.

How much time each day do I allow for the things that make me happy and for the dream of leaving behind an important part of myself?

How much does television and social media contribute to my happiness?

Do I want to spend these last precious years accumulating and dealing with things? What things, literal and figurative, can I discard that clutter my life? (I should have added to my happiness list that I need space…not a lot but enough to feel I’m not being invaded by stuff. This will allow more metaphorical space to open up which nourishes spirit.)

And one final question--how much time have I taken to contribute to someone else's happiness?