December 26, 2013

The Time In Our Lives

This is one of the more powerful visuals I have seen in quite awhile. In a way you can't ignore, it shows us the effects of decisions we make about the time given to us. Then, it asks some important, possibility life changing questions.

Watch the video, read my recap, and see what your answers may be.





In case that went by too quickly, the average American will live 28,835 days, or 79 years. How do we spend that time?

  • Just to get to the edge of adulthood, age 15 in this example, we spend 5,475 days.
  • 8, 477 days are spent asleep
  • 1,635 days are spent eating and preparing food
  • 3,202 days are spent at work
  • 1,099 days are spent commuting to that work, or other errands
  • 2,676 days are spent watching television in some form
  • 1,576 days are spent doing chores and household duties
  • 564 days are spent caring for family and friends
  • 671 days are spent bathing, grooming, and other bathroom duties
  • 720 days are spent on community and religious activities

That leaves, on average, 2,740 days, or 7.5 years of our life to do everything else that makes life worth living.

So, the obvious questions:

*Depending on your age, how many "beans" do you think you may have left?

*What do you plan on doing with them?

*What if only half of those 2,740 beans are left in your pile. Now what?

*What if only half of that half is left? What would you do differently?

*How are you going to spend your remaining beans?


Makes you think, doesn't it.


21 comments:

  1. Bob, this is a VERY important factor to plug into one's retirement planning and into how one spends each day.

    Regarding reaching retirement, every dollar we can shave off our retirement baseline budget shortens the time needed to accumulate one's stash and be able to pull that retirement trigger. In my case, just my vehicle decisions cut 8 years off that waiting time.

    In our daily living, we can't let the have-to-do's completely take over. We have to in effect schedule in time for our want-to-do's to make sure we get to enjoy them. In my case, have-to-do's are limited to 4 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. The rest of the day I claim as MINE.

    Cheers!

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    1. That is the eternal battle isn't it: the have-to-dos versus the want-to-dos.

      Betty and I are starting the new year with a new determination to increase the want-to-dos. There will be actual places on the calendar for some of these activities. I will detail all that in an upcoming post.

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  2. Thanks for the video Bob. Yeah it makes you think about how you spend your life. I guess I only got about 4,000 left so I better get going..... I hope a lot of them are licorice beans as those are my favorites....

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    1. As I watched that video I decided to figure out how to reassign some of the beans instead of just counting how many I may have left. That felt more proactive!

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  3. Interesting video piece, as long as it doesn't imply an evaluation of what one SHOULD be doing in that remaining time. Especially in the prime of one's retirement age, I would hope that we are in the midst of identifying what we WANT to do, followed by the identification of what strategies we will execute to get there.

    Right now, I am floating on a conversation I had with two good friends I was talking to at yesterday's Christmas party. To make a long, wonderful story short, we decided to do a once-a-month (at least) gathering of Doo-Wop singing together, just for fun. So today, I am strategizing just what that means, e.g. scheduling, communicating, sheet music prep, etc. While I, a street musician and a bluegrass jammer, am constantly involved in music (earlier that day, my guitar playing and singing son - in from NYC for the holiday - and I were doing our own family jam), I was really revved up by the deep down desire of my two buddies to get singing/music back in their lives. Since I know that they are not especially good planners, I intend to take the reins and make sure it happens. What fun!

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    1. What a great goal for 2014. That should be a ton of fun. I would love to get a video of a few minutes of you guys doing your thing and I'll integrate it into a post.

      Your point of should be instead of want to is the same point Retire To Win made in the previous comment. We are much more in control of those darn jellybeans now than ever before. How we move them around is our choice.

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  4. I've been up since 5:00 AM working on completing a photo book on our just finished trip to Ecuador, and redeeming a 12 pack of tickets for our upcoming trip to the Palm Springs Film Festival, as well as figuring out where we will be hiking and dining while we are there. And my list for the remainder of the day is just as long.

    As this video points out to nicely, I likewise recognize that we only have a finite time here on earth, and more importantly, that not all of it will include the health and energy we have today, so I don't want a moment of it to go to waste if I can help it. I'd rather be tired than bored when I get into bed at night, and that is what I try hard to keep top of mind as I go about my day.

    And a belated but heartfelt 'Merry Christmas' to you and your family, Bob, for all the wisdom you so generously share here.

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    1. "I'd rather be tired than bored" is certainly your mantra, Tamara, and you are living proof what fun and excitement can come from that mindset. Ecuador looked beautiful - and so will Palm Springs in a very different way.

      I will leave getting up at 5:00am to those quite a bit younger than me. I had my fill of 4:30am wakeups during basic training in the Army!

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  5. Love the video, and I agree with Steve, There are no :shoulds' as long as we are doing things we love and or make us satisfied or rewarded. Everyone's choices will be different. Everyone's days will be different. Today I sit barely dressed by the window relaxing in my favorite chair reading, writing and checking internet sites. It's what I should be doing today. Tomorrow I'll be going dawn to dusk, half the day quilting and half the day volunteering. As long as we are not sorry at the end of the day...................

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    1. I wish I could go back 10 or 20 years and re-apportion some of those jellybean days wasted on worry or silly things. But, since I can't I must be content to be happy with my jellybean choices for today and the day after and the day after that

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  6. Great video. If you view that information with a negative eye, it could be depressing. However, if you realize that the greatest percentage of time doing things you WANT to do rises dramatically in our later years, you can envision considerate potential. Potential to control your time that you probably didn't have in younger years. Potential to do things you havn't done. Potential to be happier than you ever have been. Take advantage now of our WANT days!!!

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    1. It is all about the potential use of our remaining jelly beans that shows us the power of choice to influence our life's direction and satisfaction. Good point, Kayakker. And should I assume you choose to get on the water whenever possible?

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  7. Bob,
    I have very few "have to do's" anymore and still a lot of "want to do's" that I am pacing myself through. I have to admit, that sometimes I do feel the pressure of running out of energy before I run out of time.

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    1. As Betty and I make plans for 2014, we are making sure any "have to do's" are really necessary. Sometimes we find that something we think we have to do is a self-imposed requirement that isn't really a must.

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    2. This has part of my 2014 goal planning. My goal is to keep part of my day unplanned and part of my money uncommitted, as well as keeping absolute committments to a minimum. I want to be able to move as the spirit moves me.

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  8. That certainly readjusts my perspective. There is always a feeling of forever stretching ahead of me. Some things I feel like I will do later...but it is already later and I should go do those things.

    Good message and reminder for me to take into the new year.

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    1. We can't do the type of extensive RV travel we want (meaning 6-7 months out of the year on the road) until 2015. Commitments made 12 months ago will affect our freedoms in 2014. That scares me. 2015 is a long ways away for my health and present condition to remain unchanged. It is later than I wished.

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  9. Interesting, yet a bit frightening, exercise. I've given up on trying to please everyone, so the 'should've' list is guilt free now. We stumble through so much of this life trying to do right by others and concerned about being judged. Enough! I am claiming whatever time I have left as mine. If I don't feel like doing something I simply won't. Dues were paid long ago...Me Time! Our Time! That's on the end of my life's agenda. and I am guilt free.
    b

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    1. The video makes clear how much of our priceless time is just frittered away on things we don't even give much though to. At our age, that cannot be.

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  10. I retired a year and a half ago at age 56 and am working on my bucket list. I'm hoping to make an average of 5 trips each year for the next 10 years to many different parts of the world, mostly for adventure travel involving camping and hiking. In a couple of weeks I'm going to Venezuela to climb a mountain. Seems to me that now is the time to do these things. With the passage of time there will be increasing responsibilities and decreasing physical ability.

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    1. Climb that mountain while you can...absolutely. We are guaranteed nothing past this moment.

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