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10,000 days

10000 days

After a bliss-filled reflective Father’s Day a couple months ago, I decided to take stock of my life and worked out that I have about 10,000 good working days left.

Obviously, it’s an arbitrary number and not a hard science. I have no plans on ever retiring, nor dying for that matter. Who knows what might come my way, but I think it’s a fairly realistic assessment of my time here.

10,000 days to enjoy the extraordinary family I’ve been given. 10,000 days to soak in the beauty of the earth. 10,000 days to leave a mark on the planet.

Part of my routine each morning has been counting down the days on my white board (I’m at 9952 right now). It’s a bit morbid, but it reminds me my time here is not endless. I am not a machine. I cannot do it all, nor should I.

I spend a moment meditating on the pending end because it gives me heart-piercing clarity on what matters. It helps prevent me from deceiving myself. It’s easy to have busy, efficient, and exciting lives, and still be void of meaning.

Some people feel that death is what makes life meaningless, but the truth is, death makes life burst with meaning. Wouldn’t that next kiss, that next conversation, that next bit of human contact, be phenomenally different if you knew it was your last?

Sometimes my eyes accidentally catch those numbers winding down and it almost always jolts life into me. Thoughts of death have a way of resuscitating me from my waking slumber.

What I do each day matters because I’m exchanging a day of my life for it.

I have 10,000 days left. I refuse to let them slip by. There is still much to do, and change, and become.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Brian Yee August 6, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Nicely written Lon. A reminder to stick to the things that matter, and not be swayed by what may appear exciting and meaningful.

    • Lon August 10, 2012, 2:52 pm

      Hey Brian, agreed, thanks for chiming in!

  • JR Woodward August 10, 2012, 3:36 pm


    This entry reminds me of what the psalmist said, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a hart of wisdom.” How long are you planning on living till? Do these days include non working days like Sabbath?

    I think I will do the same thing. Seems like a helpful exercise.

    • Lon August 10, 2012, 5:35 pm

      Hey JR, thanks for tweeting as well!

      I’m in my 30s, so 10,000 days takes me into my 60s. I’d sure love to have more than that, but I figured it was a reasonable number to aim for.

      And nope, I didn’t work in sabbath days. I hope the post didn’t come off as purely working productivity oriented days – my next 10,000 days involves plenty of enjoying, relaxing, and laughter as well!

  • Arlene August 11, 2012, 12:28 am

    Awesome exercise to number our days…these days I’m trying to combine this with living for the long haul…though I might have days left here on earth…if I was to live to 100 what should I be doing to make it stong “till the end”…could you think of a fun excercise to help me with that?? I would do that :)

    • Lon August 11, 2012, 9:43 pm

      Hi Arlene, good question. I think keeping in mind ‘leaving a legacy’ helps. What kind of imprint might you be able to leave on the lives of those around you, far after you’re gone?

      I wouldn’t get too worried about the distant future. I find if you limited your days even further, say 10 years or even 5 years left, and you lived with that level of urgency, you’d probably build foundations for an awesome finish however long you live.

  • You’ve got to be kidding me-it’s so transparently clear now!

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