Our Days Are Numbered
I told a friend MM recently that my days were numbered.
“Probably no more than fifteen thousand day left,” I emphasised strong on the numeral.
MM was stumped for words.
I explained with a chuckle, “I am not dying. Just do your sums. It’s the same for everyone. Most of us do not live beyond 90, as much as I hope to live till 100.”
I continued, “My age has already passed the midway mark. Based on the simple calculation of 365 days a year, fifteen thousand days is probably as best as it can get. And it’s actually fewer if you count only the healthy years.”
“Life feels really short after hearing the way you put it.” lamented MM, “All the more we should treasure our health and cherish every living day.”
Thirty Reams of Papers
Fifteen thousand days is indeed shorter than most of us can imagine.
I captured a powerful image of its brevity when I was in office one day: thirty reams of photocopy papers. That’s it!
With each ream containing five hundred papers, these thirty reams of papers exactly amounted to fifteen thousand pieces in total.
I thought to myself, “If one piece of paper represents a day, what I choose to write on each piece of paper is tantamount to how I decide to live each day.”
Every day counts only when you make deliberate decisions on how you wish to spend each day of your life.
Counting Down The Days Brings You Closer To Your Loved Ones
Counting down the remaining days of my life has certainly changed the way I spend time with my loved ones.
I decide to spend more time with my parents who are in their eighties. In addition to the fortnightly family gathering, I made it a point to have one-on-one conversation with them on every alternate Monday evenings.
I shared the reason with my thirteen year old son, Conan, “You have thirty thousand days more to go in life. Your dad here used up halved of that. And your grandparents are probably left with no more than three thousand. That realisation made me feel a pressing need to spend more time with them.”
Conan said, “I can understand why you are doing this. Time is running out faster than you think though. Even if you are visiting grandpa and grandma weekly, you have only one hundred and fifty times at best.”
I am heartened that Conan has taken to hearts these lessons of life. And I was surprised how a simple idea can trigger an action in me that made my parents happy. It probably also made me a better son, and perhaps, a better parent by example too.
Know What Matters To You Most
Out of curiosity, I wanted to find out how others would respond to the idea of counting down the remaining days of their lives. Interestingly, their responses were varied.
Some agreed that it also gave them an extra impetus to rethink and act on their life priorities quickly. Others rolled their eyes in disbelief at the silly idea and remarked nonchalantly, “Why worry about the inevitable? Life goes on all the same.”
A friend X made a most hilarious response. He said, “Imagine how many meals I would have left after counting the number of remaining days! I pledge myself to be a gourmand for the rest of my life!”
I laughed out aloud.
Our response may all be different, but it certainly does not take a genius to figure out what matters to each of us most!
Taking a leaf out of the bible, know that your days are numbered and spend it with wisdom.
11 Aug 2019, Sunday