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.
By Susan Coolidge
“A commonplace life,” we say, and we sigh,
But why should we sigh as we say?
The commonplace sun in the commonplace sky
Makes up the commonplace day;
The moon and the stars are commonplace things,
And the flower that blooms, and the bird that sings,
But dark were the world, and sad our lot,
If the flowers failed, and the sun shone not;
And God, who studies each separate soul,
Out of commonplace lives makes His beautiful whole.
A Dose of Prose – another website with the same poem, in lovely colors.
Today, I bid farewell to a friend. His name was Rocky, affectionately referred to as, “Rocky Boyoh”, or simply, “My Best Boy.” I’ll miss him.
It may take days or weeks before I adjust to not having to listen for his footsteps at night. This little dog, who could go 10-12 hours during the day with no accidents, somehow could not go more than 3-4 hours at night without the need for relief. I was there for him.
Clicking his nails on the floor as he walked from the bedroom, he would stop at the corner of the hallway (like he was waiting for a cab), just before it turned into the living room and (hopefuly, I got there in time), I would pick him up and carry him to the back door, slide the door open, strip off his diaper and drop him into the cold night air on the patio. This was our routine for so many of the past months.
Before all of that, he was fairly happy, even after losing the one eye he had when we found him. In spite of his blindness, he was quite capable of negotiating corners and doorways, and always able to find his water bowl and a bowl of food. He was like a sturdy little tank, still capable of putting up a fight, if he disagreed with being man-handled.
Rocky came to us with his girlfriend, Savannah. He may have never recovered from the broken heart of losing her in 2008. We rescued the two of them in Marin County, California, to save ourselves from being without dogs. Greg Kihn (yes, that guy) used to have a radio show in the bay area where he profiled dogs in need of rescue and Margaret learned of Rocky and Savannah through that medium. She jumped on the website and saw pictures. Initially, she saw Savannah and sent me a link. Then, she saw Rocky and said; “forget about that last one, I want this one!” When we went to get him, he was tethered to Savannah on a split leash. Margaret loves to tell this story. All of this was in 2002, while I was working as a consultant to Yates Advertising, a company in San Francisco.
So, imagine having to sum up twelve years of your time with a dog. We’ve had many and we still have two. I’ve been through this five times now. Champagne, Beijing, Savannah, Lady, and now Rocky. It doesn’t get easier. There’s no way to avoid it. I still love having dogs. Rocky is gone.
Leaves Of Gold will be there waiting for my attention again, tomorrow.
“For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his [or her] happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.” – Andy Rooney
I found that at – http://conal.net/quotes.htm – funny how the simplest website or blog may have just what you needed to find at that moment….
Happiness, it’s easy, once you’ve decided.
Elements of Style
Brothers: Statue of Brothers on Wikipedia
”There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
None goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.”
Edwin Markham (1852-1940), U.S. poet. A Creed (l. 1-4)… Family Book of Best Loved Poems, The. David L. George, ed. (1952) Doubleday & Company….
In one of those rare instances, where laziness pays off….
After searching to find this brief quote in two different places, I decided to look in another of my books; The Best Loved Poems of the American People (also published by Doubleday) – and there, I found this second verse:
I care not what his temples or his creeds,
One thing holds firm and fast –
That into his fateful heap of days and deeds
The soul of man is cast.