12,000 Days

If you live to be 82 years old, you have around 30,000 days on Earth. However, if you subtract the seven hours of sleep the average person gets a night, you’re left with about 21,300 days of awake time. Now, subtract 30 hours per week for work over a 40-year span, and you still have 18,700 days of spare time—until you subtract three hours per day for eating, drinking, and household activities, which leaves you with a little over 14,900 days of leisure time. While we’re at it, we should factor in .5 hours per day for education, so now you’re down to 14,300 days, but let’s say you care for others .7 hours per day. If so, then 13,400 days of disposable time remain, until you subtract one hour per day for shopping, email, and phone calls. Now you’re down to just over 12,200 days worth of spare time beyond all these obligations. Let’s subtract other social media and networking obligations to bring this number down to an even 12,000 days. At best, then, you have the equivalent of 12,000 days of free time to do as you like, assuming near-perfect health, and this number shrinks with each passing moment.

A few things are probably worth considering, here. First, if you value life and wish to last to a relatively healthy 82 years old, then you’ll need to exercise and eat right to maximize your chances of reaching this goal. Next, you’ll want to avoid unnecessary worry as best you can because each moment of worry subtracts from any pleasure you might otherwise enjoy in that 12,000 days of leisure time. If you choose to make an honest assessment of your identity in those fleeting hours, please remember not to be too hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect, and you’re running out of time. If you’re not highly anti-social, which most people aren’t, then you might as well commit to doing good things for other people and spending time in social and private settings that delight your senses. Activities like these stimulate the serotonin in your brain and inspire feelings of well-being and happiness. Also, you can act on your creative impulses and invent something, anything, that expresses your personality, exercises your will, and validates your uniqueness. Traveling is fun, too, so long as it remains an adventure. What else will you do in those 12,000 days of spare time?