Sunday, July 7, 2013

The 30,000 Days of Your Life

I used to worry about all kinds of things, but I can remember the moment when I calmed down. I had just moved to San Francisco, and one night I couldn’t sleep so I was on my laptop. I read something online that said “There are 30,000 days in your life.” At first I didn’t think much of it, but on a whim I tabbed over to the calculator. I type in 24 times 365 and — oh my God, I’m almost 9,000 days down. What the hell have I been doing?

So that’s how 30,000 ended up on the cheat sheet. That night, I realized there are no warmups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Every day we’re writing a few more words of a story. And when you die, it’s not like “here lies Drew, he came in 174th place.” So from then on, I stopped trying to make my life perfect, and instead tried to make it interesting. I wanted my story to be an adventure — and that’s made all the difference.

Drew Houston MIT commencement speech CEO Dropbox read the speech here.

Yikes! I just celebrated my 60th birthday. When I figured out how many days I've used up, it scared me! I felt just like Drew...what have I been doing?  Has it been interesting? Has it been worthwhile? Has it been an adventure?

Taking stock I realized it has been some of all of that. I was a teacher for over 30 years. Hopefully, my students feel our time together was worthwhile.

I've been to Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Florence and Naples. I've traveled to Canada, Mexico and whale-watched in Alaska. I've cruised the Mediterranean. I rode a bus to Florida as a college freshmen over spring break with my best girlfriend.(We've had lots of fun adventures!) I trained for and ran a marathon in May.

It has been especially interesting to watch my children grow up. They have become totally interesting people and all of them have very interesting occupations. I look forward to seeing my grandchildren become adults. It has been interesting and challenging to learn how to blog, become a photographer and run a small business.

A perfect life? Hardly! I've made lots of mistakes and wish I had some do-overs. I figured out I have about 9000 days according to Drew's calculations. Sounds like a lot, sounds like hardly any time.
He says every day we are writing part of our story. There are so many chapters left to write in my story and I want them to be interesting, adventurous and worthwhile. I need to take some time to think about how I want those ending chapters to read...but not too much time. The clock is ticking...!

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