First thought: does that seem like a big number to you?
I don’t know but I’m a little ‘awww :(‘ at that number. 22,000 days seems minuscule to me. For some odd reason in my head, I clocked in a six-figure number of days I will be alive so this was a big drop. I was never stellar with math…
Real math: I will be “statistically” alive for 60 more years as a 27-year-old American woman. There are 365 days in a year and each month has about 30 days so that’s about 22,000 days in life I’ve got left.
You can guess my “pleasant” reaction when I finally lazily plugged in the numbers. That is about the average number of days I have left in this life according to the SSI calculator. It’s a rough guess-e-mate and I’m sure there are better ones out there but the point here isn’t to predict death. I never converted it days before and it’s a little depressing.
Considering half of those days for humans are allocated to sleeping, sitting in traffic, and the mandatory daily poop...I really only get about 11,000 days.
Even Charlie bear is sad! Look at that smooshy, smooshy face.
A Day in the Life
The days always go by so quickly thanks to most of us running on routines. My days have always felt short. There’s nothing particularly wrong with short days, the feeling of time passing is just a side effect of your emotions. I learned that life rule when I was 7 and my parents sent me away to school far away from home.
When I didn’t like my life before, I endured in a passive form of existence to make the time go faster. If I made it through the day, that’s a job well done because it couldn’t be forever.
I really like my kick-ass life now but the joke here is…when you’re happy, time unfairly moves much faster. A mere 22,000 days, until I’m no longer of this Earth, is a very, very scary thought now.
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A very rough draft summary of my day goes like this:
Every morning hubby kisses a half-asleep me goodbye before he leaves for work. It’s our thing. If he doesn’t, I’m pretty sure there would be rain floods and thunder from the sky.
Sometimes I’m half awake for the kiss, sometimes I’m flushed out. I stumbled awake at 10 AM. From that until past 3 PM, I do my rounds of chores and a daily dance regime to keep fit.
Right after my last walk with the dogs, Charlie gets picked up at half past 3 PM and the rest of the day goes towards miscellaneous anything be it outdoor errands, cooking, or writing until 8 PM. Hubby comes home and we goof around and resolve using the rest of the day to sweeten each other’s existence. Then he goes to sleep around 11 PM. The last two hours when hubby is asleep, I lay in bed to finish off my side projects and/or post before passing out for a few hours.
I wake up again anytime between 2 AM to 5 AM randomly, not sure why. But it’s a good chance to catch the east coast blog action because if I don’t do it now, the rest of the day I won’t have the focus or time. Somewhere in there, I will eventually make room for classes for school when I feel like it.
(It’s a pretty chill life.)
Making It Worse
Ignore the amazing magic of compounding, I’m just putting 22,000 the number into my perspective.
*If I earned a $1 every day, I’ll only have $22,000. That’s barely enough for a house downpayment and by then I’ll be dead!
*If I earned $10 every day, it’s $220,000. That’s barely enough to buy a house (average home prices in the US is currently $300,000) with that and by then I’ll be dead!
*If I earned $100 every day (cough, after taxes) that’s $2.2 million dollars. But who cares because that’s barely enough to buy me some immortality and by then I’ll be dead!
You get the picture. Not a lot of time. And yes, this is exactly a side effect to the fact that I just turned 27 and am hating it.
(P.S. If you’re younger than me as of reading this, dude, it’s definitely harder to lose vanity pounds – the old folks weren’t lying – your metabolism bids sayonara after 25. Argh!)
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Solution: Write one sentence line about something defining new I learned, or did, or enjoyed doing for that day. Like a lazy man’s diary mixed with progress. What’s one sentence that defined today and made today worth it?
Easy peasy! In the end, I wouldn’t have a million things to skim through. I know I will definitely have more than 22,000 footnote worthy entries though! It should only take about 30 seconds to jot down and the upside of having these footnote memories would be huge!
I’m unhappy with how little days I have left so to ease my peevishness I needed a practical solution to make every day seem a little cooler than “oh well, there goes another day.”
But we’re all pressed for time. Who has time for long journals anymore?
This quick daily exercise would be good in preventing:
*Feeling like a lack of progress.
*Feeling like the days blend together too much.
*Dealing with mortality and aging.
*Flushing out what brings you joy/matters to you, fairly quickly.
*Like a personal goal tracker but way less demanding and makes you look at the positive every single day.
If I use a standard size 70-page college-ruled notebook that has 33 lines (trust me, I counted and looked it up to make sure) and wrote one sentence about one day on every line, at the end of my life I will have between 6 to 10 notebooks of “highlight reels.” Considering those notebooks come in a pack of 10 for $10 bucks…boy that really makes me nervous how little 22,000 days is. Eeeeek!
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It could be anything from “I got married today” to “I found a penny in the subway train” as long as it was relevant to your growth, development, and can serve as a single remainder of something terrific you did on one of those remaining 22,000 days on Earth.
Every single day I wake up, I should be thankful for one thing, one action, one occurrence, one occasion, one emotion worth jotting down real quick.
This exercise is good for the big picture too. If at the last setting sun of my 22,000 days, I would be so lucky to have accomplished most big ticket thing I’ve wanted to do but I have no memories of my journey (AKA “the highlight reel”) then I would be pretty sad. The journey matters just as much as the ending so it’s important to keep some track.
*Entry Day #22000
My blog post was featured on Rockstar Finance (awesome) on my 27th birthday! Then I went to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle where I heard for the first time…the pack howl of real wolves AND I saw a little wallaby trying to lick its own crotch (also pretty cool).
*Entry Day #21999
Took my visiting friends out to a seafood buffet because they had a ‘birthday person eats free’ deal as long as we can bring 3 other people along for my friend’s b-day. I learned how to eat a crawfish properly (without help) for the first time in my life. They’re like dense little shrimps!
*Entry Day #21998
Financial Orchid came to visit me again and we went to the mall to buy nothing (because frugality is awesome.) Then we all went out to a small divey Korean restaurant and I had the best Taiyaki (red bean fish shaped pancakes) I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Top 5 in the best-tasting desserts of my life so far and it’s only $1 for one Taiyaki! Mmmm!
*Entry Day #21997
I got an idea to start tracking one noteworthy memory a day. I feel like my life goals are big and long so I need small little accomplishments to make me feel like “the life in between” isn’t going to waste. I’m totally in love with this idea. I haven’t decided to jot it on the blog publicly or just buy some notebooks privately.
Sometimes (most of the time) my ideas are stupid but I’m all “in here” so I can’t tell. But it’s a very low point of entry for something that might be invaluable to have down the road. I would love to be bedridden and sick at 88 with a few holographic notebooks (assuming that will be a thing) to glance through the highlights of my 22,000 days!
You can read the official first entry: Day 21,996 to Day 21,992
If this is a quarter life crisis then a solution of a few sentences per day is not a bad result. At least I haven’t decided on the color of my Ferarri yet 😉
Some people find it’s effortless to look into the past and find a gem of a memory but that’s not how my brain works. I need a little kick here and there to make sure that every day is special. I need something to make me go “oh, that was a ‘worth it’ day because I was able to ________.” It calms the internal voice that’s constantly screaming at me to find meaning within and make life worthy of impact. Maybe it would be helpful for some of you out there like me?
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Accidental FIRE says
Ha, you’re waaaaay to young to be thinking bout these terminal-type things but kudos for doing so. Running the numbers like that sure puts things in plain perspective.
Well, if she sleeps like that, she’ll have less time according to your latest post.
So maybe she should worry about it. Just kidding. 🙂
I don’t worry about how many days I have left because you really can’t control it. Just try to eat healthy and exercise once in a while. Then enjoy the rest.
I like the idea of jotting down one sentence, though. It seems like a good way to appreciate your day.
I suspected that was the case already Joe! Early grave for me…oy vey!!
Yo, thanks AF man!
Ms. Frugal Asian Finance says
The daily entry idea sounds great! It’s just one sentence, so it won’t take too much time. And you can go back and read it later to see where life has taken you. Maybe you can start with #1 instead of 22,000? :p I guess it can go up to #30,000 instead of dipping in the negative one day hehe.
I try not to think about it too much since it sounds life a death sentence hanging over my head. Just enjoy life. You’re still so young! 😉
Hahahaha that’s a good point!! 22,000 is more dramatic though! When I’m 90, I’ll be like….HEY HEY…any day now.
Half Life Theory says
This is the precise reason my blog name is Half Life Theory… because in the grand scheme of things, our time here on earth is so finite. Most people fail to realize how precious their time focusing on things that do not matter whatsoever.
Yeah, 22,000 is really not that much time. Thankfully you are aware and already doing things now to live the life of your dreams…. Cheers Lily!
And that’s why I love your blog baby boy. I’m happy I’m manically aware…and find humor in it enough hehehe..
freddy smidlap says
crawfish are great, eh? we bought 30 pounds of them for my birthday party in april. i got some adult diapers just as practice for old age when i’m reading my notebook entries.
Pfffft hahahaha, ewww oh god please science invent something that will make diapers extinct soon!!!
When you put a number on days remaining, man it really makes you face your own mortality which sucks.
If anyone should be sad it should be me, I’ve got 20 yrs on you AND I’m MALE. 🙁 I don’t even want to attempt and figure out how many more days I have left in the ticker.
I guess you really have to make every day count and your daily entries serve as a reminder that you need to do something noteworthy that day.
Aww I’m sorry I bummed ya out doc!!! But your little girl is a life renewed. I think that’s beautiful! Plus you got plenty of life left, being male isn’t that much of a difference. Lifestyle and access to good medical care help more I bet!
Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early says
I love the idea of the daily highlight diary, but as I only jot down notes in my kid’s “baby book” (okay phone notepad), I don’t see myself actually doing this ? Though I guess in a way, my Friday Frugal Five posts are doing this for me, hooray!
And I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “Never regret growing older, for it is a privilege denied to many.”
I thought your Frugal Friday was the diary!! I’m a bit lazier than you. Just one sentence to make me keep going.
Gosh I love that quote <3 I got 22,000 blessings.
Dr. McFrugal says
Hmm.. I have no idea how much longer I have to live. I would like to believe that by eating a healthy diet, my wife and I will live a long happy life together though.
My wife bought “The Five Minute Journal” for me for my birthday when I turned 35. I love the idea of jotting a few things down and reflecting all of the meaningful things that happened each day that brings us joy and gratitude. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the initiative to fill it out yet! Maybe I should start. Thanks for the reminder Lily!!!
Oy! That’s already been invented? Oh I thought I was being clever :p Great gift. You just gave me a Xmas gift idea doc!
SC | MissFunctional Money says
Wow! That Venn Diagram is similar to my life strategy “Line Down the Page” from my post last week. I didn’t know other people were weird/cool/visual in the same way as me, and that makes me happy!
Also, have you ever heard of the 1 Second Everyday app? My friend uses it and I was blown away with her recap video last year! It works exactly like you’d think — you just record one second every day and it compiles your year into a visual diary of sorts. Such a cool concept, and right in line with your one sentence journaling.
MOTHERFREAKIN’ that’s awesome!!! I should get that O_O
Mrs. Picky Pincher says
I’m not too far behind you – I turned 26 this past year and HOLY HELL does it feel like the ol’ metabolism took a shot. I was wanting to blame it on getting my thyroid removed, but after seeing that all of my labs are normal, I have no one to blame but me and my love of cupcakes. Sigh. And this is with daily exercise, mind you.
I like being reminded of the time we have on this Earth. It makes the journey to freedom much more important and pressing. Especially since living another 60 years would be a GIFT. No one knows for sure how long they have, and it’s so important to appreciate it.
Great point Mrs. PP 🙂 appreciating time is important.
Mr. Tako says
Great reminder Lily! We’re all just a few (thousand) days from the grave! Carpe Diem!
Thanks, gotta remember it more often. Then some math classes.
I use a gratitude diary but this seems much easier! I def forget important lessons learned each day, it would probably be much more productive if I wrote them down!
What if the singularity happens and we can download our entities into a machine? Here’s hoping! I’m sure you’ll outlive by much more than the average considering how active, healthy, and educated you are!
Ha…sometimes Olivia…I think you’re a mad genius. #honesty xD
Leo T. Ly says
Lol , you’re definitely having some sort of crisis. If it’s a quarter life crisis that would make your life expectancy to be 108 if my math is correct. There. I just bumped your days on earth up by another 7,000 days.
In all seriousness, the journal of your happy thought on a daily basis is a great idea. I am going to give this a shot let’s see if it’s going to make me any happier when I read this in a few years. Let’s be a little positive. I probably would prefer to enjoy this journal on a beach somewhere and sipping on a nice cold drink instead of my deathbed someday. 🙂
Ooh 108! That extra compounding! 😉
Haha me too Leo, meeeeee too 😀
Mike - Budget Kitty says
I think this is freakin awesome idea! For one, it will motivate you to get off your butt and do something worth writing down. And secondly, it will give you something to look back at and remember some good times to be thankful for.