Saturday, August 23, 2008

So, I'm 40.

During a recent bout with morbid curiosity, I spent some time with a Life Expectancy Calculator, trading facts about my physical and mental past for...a number. A number which absolutely plays into the category of, “If you don’t want to know, seriously, don’t ask.”

So lets have a look at my scoresheet of suspect decision making to-date:

I smoked for roughly 17 years until the pretty girl I was courting said she would never marry a smoker.

I’ve had a weight swing of roughly 40 lbs in the past 20 years, and the swing rarely comes down…that damn gravity…

I spend the better part of my career in traffic, and when you couple that choice with a fairly significant and nagging case of ADD, my odds of a fiery demise are pretty well astronomical as compared to the norm.

And, I love you Mom, but you’re British. Your DNA isn’t gonna do me any favors, nor is Dad’s. Unless…do you want to share any deep dark secret about abducting me from a Russian couple on a yogurt farm outside Vladivostok?



As in, holy shyte ........... 72.

Let’s set aside the really emotional stuff for now, like the chance of missing a father-daughter dance, a grand-birth, or leaving my wife so early that she feels she HAS to replace me, and deal with the purely selfish. Time is no longer endless, like it was when I was a kid... you couldn’t move the clock no matter how hard you tried… couldn’t make Santa come but once a year, couldn't stretch summer to feel like it lasted more than a couple of days. Now, especially with kids, time moves exponentially, horrifyingly so.

72 means I’m well past halftime, and I only just realized. And clearly I haven’t been paying attention, and therefore haven’t been planning. Haven't been learning my lessons, haven’t been applying them to avoid the ones to come. If there were ever a time to start to do it “right”, it’s now.

So, at the tender age of 40, I'll call this lesson number one. Get with it, already.

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1 comment:

Charlie Seymour Jr said...

I'm just a bit older than you are and closer to my own "end date."

Loved a story that legendary marketer, Dan Kennedy, tells about doing his own life expectancy calculations... much the same way you did it.

And when if subtracted about 25% for eating, sleeping, and deficating (I swear that's what he said), he had 16 years left.

And his thought then was: How much time to I want to waste around people who drive me crazy and isn't it time for me to grab the bull by the horns and do what I love to do in life.

Personally, I just updated my "What Does My Perfect Life Look Like" and my "If I Knew I Only Had Five Years To Live, What Would I Be Doing?" Awesome ways to pull ourselves up by the collar and take a status check.

I Learned It All From My Kids will be that "5 years left" project (though I hope I have many more years than that left).

Chat again soon.

Charlie Seymour Jr

posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson