Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

So, it turns out that I’m not going to live forever.

I have to tell you, I was quite disappointed when I found this out.

The strangest thing is, I can’t tell you what brought my attention to this irritating fact.  I mean, I was just sitting in a shuttle on my way to the airport early in the morning, and in one of those moments of clarity that only comes from being awake at an unnatural time of day, I found myself counting the number of weeks until I die.

Now, I would say that, barring a radical change in my addiction to processed meat products, I’m not planning to be around for New Year’s 2100 (aka Y2.1K).

In fact, I think I could plan on a life span of 100 years and that would still be placing my bet on the “Optimistic” side of the roulette wheel.  But let’s say 100 years, because regardless of the facts, hey, that’s easy math.

So, I’m 27.  That gives me 73 more years.  Seventy-three more winters.  Seventy-three more birthdays.  Seventy-three more longest days of the year.

Even more chilling, only 18 more Feb. 29s.

I’ll only take part in eight more decades, and I’ll never have to go through the eighties again (I guess it’s not all bad news).

Assuming about 18 days off a year, that means I only have 200 weeks of holiday left, total.

In fact, if I retire at age 65, I only have 98 weeks of holiday left.  I’ll also be bored stiff before I’m 66, but that’s another story.

98 weeks of holiday.  Now, let’s try to figure out how I’m going to spend that—working on my apartment, heading to the mountains to camp, visiting family and friends, traveling to one of the zillions (OK, dozens) of countries I haven’t been to yet.  That’s only days per country.

If I read a book every two weeks, that’s 1,898 books.  Seems like a lot until you realize that Steven King alone has written 52 books.

I’d like to go see a movie from time to time, and even if I don’t waste my time on the dreck, there were 53 nominated for Academy Awards this year.  I’ll need to watch one every week, just to keep up, to say nothing for the movies of the 20th Century that I’ve missed, or those movies that are passed over by the academy.

Take a roll of pictures every month: 876 more rolls of film.

Eat a steak every fifteen days: 1,777 more steaks (with a significant percent of them puréed for when my teeth aren’t up to the task).

Read the comics every Sunday: 3,809 more color comic pages (assuming that newspapers still exist).

Drink champagne four times a year: only 292 more glasses of champagne (OK, it’s probably more like 584).

The basic message here, is that I’ve finally reached the stage where I’m both old enough and good enough at counting to number the opportunity I have to do any particular activity.

And I have to tell you, I somehow doubt the situation’s going to get better—you can count on that.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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