Mortality and me – why I’ve been thinking of how much time I have left…

Well isn’t this just the cheeriest of blog titles to ease you into those final few hours of the weekend?! Don’t worry though – this post isn’t as morbid as the title suggests. It’s actually more of a call to arms, though I have been thinking over recent weeks and months about just how much time I have left. Thinking about it a lot for a number of reasons.

As I’ve written in previous posts, I’m acutely aware of the fact that I could be healthier, especially when it comes to having a little less body fat. Whilst not a relic (yet), I’m not getting any younger. I’ve seen people I know, of varying ages, have significant health issues. Also, the nature of a lot of the podcasts I listen to means I hear a lot of stories of people (famous and non-famous) who have dealt with adversity and health issues.

I guess all of this has been preying on my mind lately. I hope I’m pretty much at the mid-point in my life right now. I’m 46 so I’d take 92 as an end point if I were offered that right now. Hopefully I can live a little longer, perhaps I’ll live less. Time will tell, though I saw some figures the other day which really made me think more about this. These figures broke down the time we have into months and weeks. For example:

  • If we live to 60, that equates to 720 months / 3120 weeks.
  • If we live to 80, that equates to 960 months / 4160 weeks.
  • If we live to 100, that equates to 1200 months / 5200 weeks.

Given my estimate above, if I live to 92, that’s a total of 1104 months / 4784 weeks. Or, more appropriately, I have a further 540 months / 2340 weeks left from this point onward. I did think about breaking these figures down further, converting the weeks into hours, then subtracting the time spent sleeping, working, commuting etc, to arrive at a figure illustrating how many meaningful hours I have left, though I thought better of it, primarily as I don’t want this post to be thoroughly depressing, especially as I’m trying to conclude with a more positive message.

Believe it or not, mulling over this didn’t depress me. Quite the opposite – it actually lit a fire in my belly. Regardless of what age I live to, I want to make this a life worth remembering. I want to spend quality time with people who matter to me; I want to make music and play gigs where I see people smiling, dancing and singing; I want to enjoy good food (but mainly heart-healthy good food – thanks, Bob & Paul, for the pointers there…); I want to take in the sunsets at various beaches; I want to attend many more memorable music and comedy gigs; I want to write voraciously and create content that will be read and appreciated by others; I want to listen to my favourite albums whilst also discovering brilliant new music; I want to establish a daily exercise routine and stick to it (it’s getting there…), get healthier and therefore vastly improve my state of mind; I want to see new places, whether they’re on my doorstep or halfway around the world; I basically want to live life to the fullest. Saying I don’t have time to do all this is nonsense. Having 540 months left (hopefully) might not sound that much but it’s actually a huge amount of time. Focus is key – it may sound cliched but we do all have the same 24hrs each day. How we use those is absolutely critical.

So please forgive me if what I write about, and the posts / images I share, aren’t your cup of tea, but I intend squeezing every last drop out of life while I can, whether that be for the next 5 years or 55 years. I enjoy being inspired by others who have a similar view of life – I have a folder on my phone of images which I look at early every morning and get a lot from – and one of my main reasons for starting this blog, in addition to opening up conversations on mental health, was to try to share a positive viewpoint on what us usually a very downbeat subject. So, here’s to a positive future for all of us. Here’s to creating many memories over the next 540 months (or more) and to getting to an end-point where I’ll hopefully look back and be thankful that I lived a wonderful life.

One last point – I’m aware that one of the accompanying images may be confusing to the uninitiated. However, I’m sure fans of classic 80’s movies will recognise and appreciate the link to mortality. I’m not sure it’s better to burn out that to fade away (though there is a rock-star romanticism to that view). I’m also not sure that there can be only one, or that I want to live forever, but it’s still a classic film and a great image.

As always, thanks for reading and take care.

Mick

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