We tend to think of our lives in terms of the number of trips we've made around the sun. By that count, I'm on my 57th trip as I write this. Although time seems to fly by faster as we grow older, years are still rather abstract. The years of a way of sneaking up on us that isn't apparent until it's too late.
On the other hand, days are very real and concrete. They count the here and now with relentless regularity. Sunrise. Sunset. Another day, another dollar. What day of the week is it? How many days until the weekend? What day is that hike on? And yet, we often fritter away days as if they will go on forever.
What if we measured our lives by days rather than years? Does it add a sense of urgency?
Malcolm Gladwell suggested in Outliers that it 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. If you practiced four hours every day, seven days a week it would take 2,500 days to achieve expert status, or roughly seven years. Days (and hours) matter.
As for me, my 10,000th day fell on August 15, 1989. I was 27 years young. I had three kids and was trying my best to win at adulting.
My 20,000th day fell on New Years Eve, 2016. I was 54 years young, happily remarried four years earlier, celebrating 25 years of service with a single employer and getting ready to move to Seoul, South Korea.
My 30,000th day falls on May 18, 2044. I will be 82 years young. I've got lots on my life-list to accomplish between now and then, including writing a guide book for the Theodore Solomons Trail, relocating full-time to Bend, inspiring thousands of people to get outdoors more, and thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Where are does this all lead?
According to actuary tables I should live 94.94 years, or 34,653 days. If the actuaries are accurate, I'll give up my last breath on Monday, February 12, 2057.
20,502 days down. 14,151 days to go.
And because I need a reminder from time to time, I've got
left to get shit done.
What are you going to do with your days?