While frittering away a few minutes watching random YouTube videos the other day, I came across an old TEDtalk about procrastination. The video is linked below, and I encourage readers to give it a look. The reason I mention it here, though, is that the speaker finished his talk by illustrating just how much time each of us has in this life to either use or waste.
If you assume you are going to live to be ninety years old, then your life will ultimately consist of 4,680 weeks. That sounds like a lot, but the speaker illustrated the reality of this statistic by showing a graphic composed of boxes representing these 4,680 weeks, and reminding the audience that "...we've already used a lot of those."
Even looking at his graphic, the limitations of a lifetime still did not sink in for me, until I created my own graphic to see how far along the path I am already. I created a spreadsheet consisting of 90 columns and 52 rows. The cell in the upper left corner of the array contains my date of birth. The cell in the lower right corning holds that same date ninety years later. Every cell in between contains the date of each week in between. Here is what it looks like.
Each green box represents a week I have lived (or wasted) since the day I was born. Each blue box is a week I have left to live or waste as I choose (again, assuming I live to be ninety years old). We all understand intellectually that we reach a point in our lives where the days behind us outnumber the days ahead, but seeing that mathematical reality in living color really brings it home.
I am inclined to update this chart weekly, and use it as the background image on all my devices. Anything I can do to treat each of those of those little blue boxes like a precious jewel, not to be wasted.
For those interested in burning about fourteen minutes of this week's gift of life, here is a link to the YouTube video that prompted this reflection.