If you knew how many days you had to live, would that change what you’re doing right now?
Would knowing that make you want to do more of what makes you happy perhaps?
Your life in days.
“The average life expectancy of the global population in 2011 is 70 years, ranging from 80+ years in countries such as Japan, Australia, and France, to less than 60 years in South Africa, Laos and Kenya. ” World Health Organization, 2012. From Life in Half a Second, by Matthew Michalewicz, Hybrid Publishers 2013
Let’s assume you might live to be 80.
Subtract your current age from 80 and multiple the result by 365 to find the number of ‘days you have left’.
So that’s it. That’s all you have left.
What will you do, where will you go?
A lot of people I know love travelling, or they like the thought of it. But many don’t do it, because there are always compromises that have to be made in order to actually get on the road or on a plane. Money, time, you know the reasons. I do know however, that there are a whole heap of Baby Boomer bloggers who love to travel and do get out there, do it and blog about it.
You know who you are! Please would you all link in the comments so that we can pop by to your latest blog posts 🙂
Taking a an alternative angle on what makes us happy, Kelly Exeter asks : Should we Aim for a Happy Life or an Interesting Life?
What makes us happy?
Knowing approximately how many days you might have left, do you feel a sense of urgency, as if there is actually a countdown on your life. The egg timer is running, the dress rehearsal ended a long time ago, this is it.
So have you figured out the things that make you happy, and do you make an effort to do them?
Because really we should be in a hurry to do them. A hurry to do things with the rest of the time we have left.
In his book Life in Half a Second (which really made me think) Matthew explains that it took billions of years for you to be made from scraps of living matter, from bacteria, microbes, fermenting cells fighting for the right to exist to create Homo Sapiens. They went on an epic journey of survival hunting and being hunted enduring pain and suffering so that the species could survive. At the end of this one sperm out of 300 million attached itself to an egg, creating you, only you.
“The point of it all, since the planet cooled and nature first put her hand to work, was to produce you ….and here you are the finest specimen of an eternity of mutation and adaptation, surviving the evolutionary climb of all evolutionary climbs, through miracle and chance, beating all odds, winning a trillion-to-one-wager, winning the sperm race to be born, to be you. And today, sitting comfortably, reading this book safe, warm, fed, the beneficiary of millions of years of unimaginable suffering and billions of years of incalculable good luck, there you are, with just half a second to enjoy the result, the marvel of existing, the miracle of being. And what do you do with that half second? Something other than what you want!” Life in Half a Second, Matthew Michalewicz. Life in Half a Second challenge
What makes me happy?
Well really it comes down to the little things and I suspect some of these things make you happy too:
- being with the people I love
- looking up at the stars
- misty mornings
- beautiful gardens
- long walks on sandy beaches
- cycling in the forest
- taking in the moment wherever I am, whatever I’m doing
- eating a delicious meal
- writing a good blog post!
I’m always thinking about travel trips to organise with my hubby, and planning to spend time in England with my Mum.
But I’m wondering what makes you happy? And are you doing it?
So what are you waiting for?
How many days did you say you had left?
Action: Get out today and go do something that makes you happy. In amongst that big list of To-Do’s, go hug your grandchildren, phone a friend, set some goals, plan a family holiday, organise a Sunday lunch with your children, bake a cake, or take the dog for a long walk somewhere that speaks to your soul – why not do something to treasure as well as figure out something lovely you can work towards?
Why not share with us one thing that you can do which will make you happy today. Go on, write it down in the comments section – then get off and do it.
A Cook Not Mad (Nat)
None of us knows what life has in store, whether we’ll live to see another day. We should all try and be strong enough to let go of fear and live a happy life.
Yes, that’s a great philosophy Nat. Worrying doesn’t do us any good.
For all the procrastinating I do, no one (including myself at times) would guess how much I love writing. Once I put butt to chair and start the process, I’m carried away. I love finding le mot juste, as the French say, weaving sentences together to create a compelling story, So thanks for the reminder of one thing that makes me happy, Jo. Good thing I do love writing because I have lots to catch up on today :-)!
Love it when a post makes a person think just a little bit about their day or their life. I can understand how writing just ‘takes you away’ and makes you happy – me too Nancy 🙂
I love how much I agree with what you say. I have just started a blog because I feel that there have to be so many women similar to me out there who are going through the same stages in their lives and we should talk!
You only live once. I know I have to make every moment count and live it the best way I know how. Then i will be happy.
Look at my blog if you have a moment – I think you will relate
Yes Lindy, I love that we can form this big world wide connection to women of a similar age going through the same trials, tribulations and joys. I shall pop over to your blog.
Carole Terwilliger Meyers
Yes, I do feel the countdown. And I do love to travel. But I also love to be home and have time to savour my travel as I blog. So I don’t plan to step things up. I do plan to be very selective, and I do have a bucket list. I am a tad torn, though, because I love to write and post, but I think I spend too much time in front of my computer. I agree with doing things daily that bring pleasure. Today I went to a fabulous and famous local produce market and bought things like sunrise papaya from Hawaii and dark delicious tomatoes from Mexico, http://berkeleyandbeyond.com/Berkeley/Restaurants/Monterey-Market/monterey-market.html I can’t wait to break for lunch!.
Hi Carole, I totally get that you love travelling but also love writing and posting about it too. I also spend far too much time in front of my computer, but I love being creative and sharing stuff – so if it makes you happy, then why not. I would love your local produce market – hope you found time for a fabulous fresh lunch!
What makes me happy? Family, friends, travel and writing. Most of my family and friends do not live where I do, so I travel to them — or with them — once a year. I usually take two 3,000+ mile road trips every year in addition to my foreign travel. What else makes me happy? I am going to be a grandmother! In early January my granddaughter will be born and I am very excited!
So happy for you Marilyn! That’s precious happiness!
Happiness is planning the next adventure 🙂 I have never heard of this book. I must have a look for it.
It’s a super short enlightening read Nancie. Hope you find a copy.
Very thought provoking post. I always look forward to reading your blog. I really try to live each day to it’s fullest because I know and have seen that there are no guarantees 🙁 I try to make plans daily, weekly, and monthly to cross items off my bucket list.
Thank you Michelle! That’s such a compliment 🙂 Yes, bucket lists and plans are great ways to make sure we don’t miss a moment.
Elaine J Masters
If I can’t be traveling, I love trading stories with travelers. There’s nothing like settling in to hear about adventures, share pictures and commiserate. It’s a great question!
I so get that Elaine! Love hearing other people’s stories 🙂
Never trade time for money is my motto. There is so much to see and experience in this big world and most only crack the surface. Happiness for me is travel, writing, family, friends and laughter.
Five of my favourite happiness pills too Carla and I love your first point 🙂
Irene S. Levine
I’m currently in Italy, traveling with my hubby and son. It doesn’t get much sweeter than this!:-)
Oooh lucky thing Irene! Still at least we get to read about your adventures 🙂
Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
A very thought-provoking post! We had the big epiphany over three years ago that our lifestyle of overwork and sheer busyness was making us miserable and that happiness was passing us by. So we decided to retire early, pursue our interests and travel full-time rather than two weeks here and there. When we finally left the US in September of 2012 the feeling of freedom and self-determination was totally exhilarating! That feeling has never left me and now, as we arrive and depart, research destinations and plot our next moves we still say with great wonder, “Can you believe we’re doing this”? I love waking up each morning and deciding what I’ll do with MY day and the feeling of anticipation … Big Smile!
Love that you’re living your dream Anita, and loving it. No particular place to go is a wonderful feeling I agree 🙂
What’s made me happy recently? Spending 2 weeks with my daughter & granddaughter who live over the other side of Australia and getting to celebrate my granddaughter’s 16th birthday with her. What makes me happy in general? Being out amongst nature, walking and thinking, researching & planning my trips and then succeeding in the challenges I set myself, like trekking to Everest Base Camp.
So glad that you’ve been able to do things that make you happy Pam – and I can’t wait to hear about your trek up to Everest Base Camp.
Life Images by Jill
What makes me happy? my children and grandchildren, a walk along the beach or through the bush, searching for wildflowers to photograph, taking photos, lunching with my girlfriends (it’s being going on for about 16 years!), traveling with my husband, standing on a rock out in the great Australian outback and looking across our magnificent country.
Yes, I feel life creeping away (or at least the time when I can be physically fit and active), and I am hoping very soon to make significant changes which will lead to a happier existence being me, looking after my health, and doing what I want to do. Life is too short. The last few months have brought that home to me.
Love your insightful thoughts on what makes you happy Jill. I relate to many of your happiness points too. I can see you standing on a rock in the great Australian outback and looking across our magnificent country – with camera in hand of course! I hope your life changes happen soon, as I know you’ve been hanging out for them to happen. I’ll be watching with great happiness when they do x
Do it Jill – don’ wait for the right time … If you want to do it – just do it!
Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
When I turned sixty earlier this year, the idea of a finite number of days hit big. I’m not wasting any of it. We’re traveling the world for 2 years, and I feel very fortunate to be able to do so. Good reminder, but I suspect you’re preaching to the choir here. 🙂
Hi Betsy, I’m loving your travel articles, so definitely know that you’re not wasting a single moment 🙂 And yes, good point, suspect I probably am!
I’ve been working very hard on a project for two years that should wind up in about a week. Happiness will be taking a few days to read for pleasure – so I’ll make time for a trip to the bookstore – another one my other big loves – and then sit down with no guilt and a 5 PM glass of wine.
Wine and a good book – sounds like a great plan for some happiness Leigh! Hope the project winds up successfully – do tell 🙂
Seeing a rainbow makes me happy or a hummingbird or sometimes just a dust mote. Sunsets and leaves turning color. Great old doors and fresh foo at markets make me smile. And the best part, if while I can see these all traveling, I can also see them at home.
Love your take on what makes you happy Santafetraveler. Yes, that intense pang of feeling over something quite tiny is pure happiness for me too.
The one thing today that made me happy was spending time conversing with my 26 year old son, as he has just returned from a holiday. I guess when I think of my happiest times is when I’m with my family, enjoying one another’s company, celebrating occasions together and being there for one another during hard times. Otherwise, as everyone in the universe knows, I love spending my time travelling, taking photos and writing about it! That really makes me happy!!
Spending time with our grown up children and listening to their news and views makes me happy too Kathy. I so ‘get’ that. Yep, have to agree with your other happiness makers too. And yes, who doesn’t know that you love travelling and taking pics 😉
I have that book on my bedside table, it lives between there and my hand bag. When I have a moment I read a chapter, the content tends to stick with me x
Hello Rae, It’s such an insightful, easy read isn’t it? Yet it packs a whole lot of wisdom between its slim covers.