How Much Life Do You Have Left?

“You really ought to think about taking that home with you, because you don’t know how much life you have left.”

If you ever find yourself in a position in which you try to sell me a product or service do yourself a favor and don’t peddle fear.

Don’t tell me that I don’t know when I am going to die and expect me to respond with anything but laser beams and fire, assuming I choose to engage with you again.

I know just how little I really know about when my time might come.

There is a checklist in my head of friends and family who died from accidents, illness or were murdered. It doesn’t require much effort for me to recall their names.

Nor do I have to work hard to share the names and ages of grandparents and great-grandparents who lived into their nineties.

Ask me which side of the fence I am going to land upon and I’ll tell you I am going to be at least 130.

Just ask my teenage son who asked me when I would stop pushing him to clean his room and he’ll tell you that I made a promise to keep it up for another 60 years…minimum.

Don’t believe me? Check back in 60 years and find out if I was serious.

How Much Life Do You Have Left?

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about goals and objectives for my life but almost none of it is focused on trying to determine an actual number for how much longer I’ll be around.

That is because I have no reason to worry about death being imminent. If I worry about anything it is trying to to get into better shape so that I am a physically fit centenarian.

Don’t misunderstand this to mean that I have never considered what could happen if the unthinkable happened to me because I have.

Some of that comes from being a parent and trying to figure out the best way to protect my children if I am not around.

But most of it comes from saying I don’t need to adopt a hard line that says I will die young or die old. There is a middle ground that is far more comfortable.

There is a middle ground that is far more practical too.

I am more interested in collecting experiences than collecting things.  That is where the practical application of not worrying but thinking ahead comes in.

It is what drives me to look at some experiences to try to figure out if there is a better age to have them at.

For example, if I decide I want to climb Mt. Everest it might be wiser to shoot to do it in my forties or fifties than sixties or seventies.

I don’t have any plans to climb Everest, but I am not ruling it out. Maybe I’ll decide I want to and figure out how to make it happen.

The point is that there are some things that are probably best not pushed off for a mysterious day/time in the future.

Experiences are better than possessions because they cannot be taken from you. It's part of why education is so very important.Click To Tweet

Experiences are better than possessions because they cannot be taken from you. It’s why education is so very important.

A Better Question

The better question than how much life I have left is how good a job have I done as a parent. That is of bigger concern to me, especially since I realized that in concept my oldest may only live with me for another five years or so.

If he goes away to college and never moves back home we have less than a decade left of living together on a full time basis.

That suggests the bulk of our time living together has passed and that now we are on the tail end of it.

It is natural and normal, but surreal nonetheless.

Did I mention that if that hypothesis is accurate it means that in less than a decade I won’t have a single child living with me at home and I’ll be one of the mythical empty nesters.

No kids at home, no extra mouths to feed and no reason why I can’t buy that car I was looking at. I won’t be particularly old then.

All of this reminds me that I might need to go back to the car dealership where this all started. I need to go punch that salesman in the mouth and ask him if I knocked some sense and clarity into him.

Ok, I am not really going to punch him, but I will clean his glasses so that little pisher recognizes he is speaking with a guy who hasn’t even hit middle age yet.

Little bastard. 😉

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  1. Danny Brown September 21, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Man, I can’t get over the brass balls of that salesman! Not sure whether to laugh, grimace or both!

    This part of your post really resonates with me, mate (well, it all does, but this part in particular):

    “The better question than how much life I have left is how good a job have I done as a parent.”

    As a human being, I want to leave a legacy for good. As a father, though, the best legacy I can leave is my children growing up to make the world a better place. Whether that’s the world in general, or – more specifically – the world they can immediately impact, knowing that they’ve been raised to accept and respect others, and stand up for those who need another voice, will be all I wish to be remembered for.

    Really enjoying the direction of your blogging lately, mate – long may it continue.

    • Joshua September 22, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Hey Danny,

      Yeah, that guy was something else. I am with you about the legacy. If we can do something to make the world a better place for our children and others than we have really done something worthwhile.

  2. tim September 18, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I noticed a while back that I couldn’t keep up with my kids that well any more.

    That made me think I should get in better shape and as you know I’m getting there.

    I’m still not sure how fit I feel but I think it can only give me a better chance of reaching 100.

    My wife thinks I should take up triathlon. I think that might be pushing things a bit too far!

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