I had a birthday recently and to be trite and predictable, I had to admit I have a fear of aging. I tend to live a pretty full life, but there is more where that comes from, thank you very much, and I would like a little more time on this planet to get all of this stuff done. We can go deep with this one, or we can go light, but in my worst times, I am in physical pain thinking about what I may not be able to accomplish.
The Equation That Changes Everything
This next aging exercise that I found in one of my books both scared me and kicked me into gear: Multiply your age by 365 (this gives you your current age in days). Then subtract that number from 27,375 (the average life span). The remaining number is the number of days you probably have left, (all things going to plan). I don’t know about you, but the number I was left with SCARED me. That’s it. That is my number. MAYBE. Then I got scared if it wasn’t. What if it is less than that? Then I would be GRATEFUL for my number.
There is no refreshing way to talk about this. We are all living lives we want to change in some way. There is some aspect where we are in pain, discomfort, or dissatisfaction. The only way to change this is to do something toward what you want each day. That’s it. There is the answer to your life. You’re welcome. Anyone that has lost anyone close to you recently gets this in spades. We don’t have time, people.
Spiders on Caffeine and a Wasted Day
When I was a little girl, I was taught to pray at my bed each night hands folded below my chin and I had to say what I was thankful for—I lost that practice probably when I became a teenager, but there is definitely something to it—if each night we were forced to reflect on what we were grateful for, it might make us look at what we do the next day a little differently. I think we call it meditation now, and it does help to practice. If I don’t, I am very much like that spider that has too much caffeine:
I’m sure she is feeling mighty productive until she steps away from her web and realizes—what have I done with all my energy? That’s me. I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want to be alone working really really hard on a crappy web all day, and not realize it until the day is over. What would I be grateful for then? Maybe a fellow spider saying ‘Hey, ah, take it easy there Picasso.”
Back to the Number
I put my number up on my desk tonight. WOW. I might as well have put a picture of the grim reaper up there. But it was sobering. I stopped. I stopped building a crappy web for a moment.
You and I still have time left today to do something about this. It brings your fears into a clear focus—you think you’re scared of this, that or this? Look at the number again—it is nothing compared to that. Might as well line up your fears and tackle them one by one. Then at least you will be living each day with less fear than the last.