Select Page

After reading an article on LifeHack.org, I started thinking about just how much time has been wasted in my life. Here’s the spoiler – I think most of it. According to this article, there may be just enough time left, to bring it back to a 50/50 split. I’m going to do the math here, while I write this, to see what I find.

Some people who care about me might find this disturbing….
If that’s you, close the window. Read something else.

If you read the LifeHack article first, you know we are working on a life expectancy of 88 years, so we are going to examine things in terms of 11-year blocks of time. That’s 12.5% of a lifetime, every 11 years. One might argue that you really can’t count your first block and a half (up to age 16.5 years), as you have so little chance at autonomy until you are driving your own car and taking more responsibility for where you go and what you do. C’est la vie, we move on.

Here are the numbers: 

If we discount the GREAT BIG events, like a first marriage and first child, both of which forced very adult responsibilities on a teenager, and we don’t put a whole lot of weight on a great Illinois suburban education, we can safely say that the first 22 years of my life were nearly wasted. Probably the best that can be said for that first 25% of my life is that I survived, got by with mediocre results and finally abandoned nearly everything for an opportunity to move to California. Yes, we’re leaving out some details here, but just trust that not much good really came of things up to this point. Except, Katie (my daughter), provided some modicum of hope for me.

After my move to California, in the fall of 1981, things got better, then worse for a short time, then serious progress toward improvement began. For the next 12 years, I’m going to say that 11 out of that total period should be considered pretty good, or, not wasted. That takes us right up to the fall of 1993 when I met Margaret. Things are surely going to improve from here! I’m 35 at this point, so we are through three blocks of time and there are two years in limbo, one of which we know was wasted. I’m going to have to say that extra missing year should be regarded as not wasted. So, we are at just about 66% wasted time, with things improving.

Five years into my time with Margaret, I started with my first tech start-up company and things looked pretty good. Less than three years later, however, the bubble burst. Our little party was over! We both scrambled and managed to not allow things to completely collapse. This was 2001 and some serious reconsidering was in order. I’m still going to count the time as not wasted because the lessons learned were pretty compelling. We both managed to find work and we muddled through the next bit of time until we finally left San Jose and moved to Palm Desert in September of 2004. On the whole, I would take those 11 years as not wasted.
So, we are right at 50% now.

Here’s the problem. The block of time between 2004 and now (January 2014) I would have to say has been about 50/50 when considered in the “wasted or not” context. If things turn up right now, and we get to 2015 on the positive side, we will be pretty near even.

Now, according to the article, I have 33 years left to live. Three more blocks of time and I will work to create the upside. Looks like a change of plans should help. Or, maybe just coming up with a plan would be an improvement. Too bad it’s past my bedtime. I’ll have to work on the first bit of the new plan starting tomorrow. Optimism should help. 

Tumultuous is the best word I have to describe current conditions. We shall see.

If you’ve come this far, please send email, call me, or when you see me, mention this article. It will do me some good just to know someone saw it. And, thank you for your patience.

BR