The numerical values of time, and what to do with it

I am not a numbers person. I have never been much of a math person. But today, I was inspired by some numbers.

The internet calculates things for us confused folk, hence, it was easy to lift the numerical values off the screen. All I have to do now is supplement them with my crafty words.

That is my jam, as you know. Words, not numbers.

So here goes.

According to my birth date, I have been alive for 18,921 days.

You want that in hours? 454,104.


I remember when I gave birth to my son. His big head got jammed in my narrow pelvis and they cut him out of me via c-section. As soon as he was lifted out, the doctor held him up above the sheet that blocked my view of my abdominal area and…that boy peed all over the OR.

“That’s his first pee,” the doctor said. The boy was not even a minute old.

I wonder what I did in my first hour of life…

Well I’ve lived many hours, as you can see, making me feel my age. I force myself to stare at these days, and hours, and give myself the push I need to get off my fanny and DO it.

Do what, you ask?

Well, I have a list. Aspirations. All hindered by…something.

They say that the main culprit of reluctance, indecision and inactivity is fear. Sometimes, crippling fear.

I know this intrinsically. But how do I get beyond it?

I do spend some time reflecting on hindsight, as seems to be a thing we middle aged people tend to do, trying to learn from past mistakes and missed opportunities. The question is, am I spending too much time in the past? (The answer is yes, I do.)

The above jumble of words were actually inspired by a post a friend shared with me this morning in which this guy calculated his own age in terms of weeks and days. But he went a step further. He focused on the numbers that were still to come. He posed these questions:

How many more weeks, days, hours will I live?

And most importantly, what will I do with that time?

I struggle with this exercise. No one wants to deal with their impending death. We all know it’s coming, but we don’t know the date or time. Whatever your belief is, circumstances beyond our control will decide for us when our time has come to end our journey. We are not in control of that aspect of our lives. We are only in control (to degrees) of what we do with the time we have right now.

Which leads me to my point:

What are we going to do with this time?

I did some random googling about life expectancy.

This map intrigued me, so I went to its source and plugged in UK. This is what happened:

Side note: The map has categories you can choose to manipulate the map by country, by gender and related characteristics. These lines are not gender based, but typically, the women in the western world outlive the males by some years.

I find this all rather illuminating. Which makes me consider the following serious question:

What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

For argument’s sake, lets say I live another 30 years.

That’s 10,950 days, or 262,800 hours.

That’s a lot of words I could write during those hours…

Here’s one more little tidbit I came across this morning. A blogger out of New Zealand published a book of poems called How To Be Old. Her name is Rachel McAlpine and she is 80 years old. This book is sold out and they’re issuing a reprint for further orders.

How amazing is that? It’s not even her first book; she has a slew of published books under her belt.

Check out her blog, her podcasts, and of course her books here.

I mention Rachel because she is 30ish years ahead of me. And she is still doing it, writing and publishing and podcasting and blogging and living her life on her terms.

❤ You inspire me Rachel ❤

Tell me, what are you going to do with your days and hours? How can we help each other to propel forward, stay focused and on track?

Let’s to this. Who’s in?






33 thoughts on “The numerical values of time, and what to do with it

  1. Here you played the big theme, time, one of my favorite themes. Time is somehow life.
    I read a lot of books about time and there’s always a cloud of mystery ahead of us.
    Many times I did purposes and projects of what to do with time ahead, sometimes I could fulfill them and other times the unexpected situations took my canoe anywhere and I could only avoid crashing into the rocks and sometimes I also crashed and was castaway for some time.
    Time, life is mysterious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While reading this, I started remembering the scene in Dead Poet’s Society – where Robin Williams starts whispering voices from the photos of past generations.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I re-watched the Eurovision movie tonight with my eldest – she finally understands why I keep standing in the kitchen and shouting “PLAY JA JA DING DONG!” when they put the radio on 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Though I’m not sure what “it” is, I suspect that I’m in. I may be a bit ahead of you, a decade or so in years, but also having done my devastating mid-life crash in a big way. It was, in part, in furtherance of the path of getting back to me, with the knowledge that time was growing shorter. And what did I want? I wanted to write. I wanted to find my way out of the city, and to garden and have fruit trees and space. Delightfully, that’s where I am and learning more all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet we would have lovely chats over tea, or ice tea in this heat, if only we were a bit geographically closer. You sound like you have a story to tell. One that could teach me a thing or two about, oh, life. Thank you as always for reading, and commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Our first act coming in is to urinate. Our second to last act going out will be to urinate…but as Cupcake so accurately pointed out on her blog, our last act of life will be to exhale. Everything in between is leading up to that last act.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember all of your tips you have shared with me. Thank you for the reminders. You have such a sunny outlook and perspective, it’s rather refreshing! 🙂

      I am working on my neglected WIPs and will be returning to my office away from home on Monday for several days. There’s no time like the present. I will focus and follow your advice.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I once came upon a man during a permaculture site field-trip (for a energy management class I was taking) who had just retired from a major university. He had done some research (as was his habit) on growing older and used that information to plan for his “golden years”. He said to maintain a sense of community and connectedness was the most important, and to have a useful place in that scheme. I’d heard around the same time a study (and a book) that had concluded that “competence, connectedness, and autonomy” were the keys to happiness, according to research. Some things to keep in mind moving forward, as i’ve reached 20,165 days.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I continue to ask myself the same questions. After the big divorce hurdle I was willing to give myself some time to just “be” and adjust, but that’s been 3 years now and I need a new hurdle to dwell on–namely old age and endings…and how I want to go about all that. The necessary stuff is done- like a will and end of life planning- but the practical me is struggling with the “just live each day as if it was your last” me and I’m not ready to pick a side quite yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about picking a side. It’s not always a pleasant topic to dwell on. I’m simply saying that maybe I (we) have to make/take the time to do what we need and want rather than wait around for a time that may never come.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, if you are thinking about how best to live your life now, you better play “Hurry up and catch up!” Because you have 35 years left and the best years, you better hope you lived them well. Old age is not for sissies.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with that because you are thinking of old age! Recently with the granddaughter, I was thinking of all the great things she has to experience and I was hoping we could take a trip somewhere one day together! I think we will and her stamina will keep me going!

        Liked by 1 person

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