Editorial

Survey says: Life moves fast, enjoy every day

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

4,000 days.

Depending on your age and perspective, thatís either a drop in the bucket or an eternity.

Sometimes, we of a certain age try to gauge where we stand in the march of time.

Weíve long passed that point where we have more days in our future than weíve had in our past.

What prompts this discussion is a tacky online survey of sorts designed to calculate lifespan.

As a disclaimer, I put zero faith in the results of this survey but it did provide a good way to waste 15 minutes.

The survey asks you to input family history and lifestyle factors like drinking and smoking.

And then you provide some answers in attitude and outlook on life.

My score? At a maximum, my results stood at 4,000 days.

And let me repeat ó I put no credibility in this highly-unscientific survey. Nor should I.

Truth is, at a certain age, you donít need an online survey to tell you the clock is ticking.

Itís probably just best to ignore any survey outcome as quack science. Which it is.

While visiting with a like-aged friend recently, I shared my survey results and opined that given luck and decent health, 4,000 more days would probably not be far off base in my lifespan.

Granted, tomorrow could be that fatal day or the stars could align and I could far exceed that 4,000-day deadline (pardon the pun).

So the question we probably should ask is what do you do with those 4,000 days?

For starters, waste not one single day. Not one.

If we were promised a seemingly endless number of days, losing a day here or there would not be a tragedy.

But by putting a hard number goal, it changes both the attitude and approach.

Like many of you perhaps, I look back at wasted days and regret that those times can never return nor be recaptured.

They are gone.

Iíll be real honest, by putting a finite number on those remaining days, I find it both sobering and scary.

The truth is that when youíre young and you have the promise of 20,000 days, a day here or there can easily go unnoticed.

So what if you accomplished nothing. So what if you failed to do something for someone else. So what?

But 4,000 days isnít 20,000. And as that number dwindles far too rapidly, you begin to appreciate each and every day.

Placing a realistic number on a potential lifespan may sound morbid. And maybe it is.

And indeed, I fully appreciate this is an exercise for those of us who fall squarely into the senior citizen category.

I canít imagine a 20-year-old making the same calculation. Itís not a topic of consideration for any other than the aging.

Since I first shared this 4,000-day scenario, Iíve chalked up about 15 of those days already. The countdown has begun.

Iíve learned two things from this new-age calculation. First, life is fleeting and we should take advantage of each and every day. And secondly, start by not wasting time on online surveys.

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