Thinking of my life, as I seem to have been doing yesterday. I began to calculate how long I have left to achieve something.
If I live to be as old as my parents and grandparents I have 30 years left. That probably isn’t going to happen because they are fitter than me, with lots of fresh food and walking to work, where I have relied on processed food and a car for most of my life. Let’s say I have 22 years left. That’s half a lifetime for D. H. Lawrence, or an entire lifetime for my great-uncle(see below).
It seems like a long time, and for anyone in their twenties reading this it is a long time. For those of us with a few more years under our belts, it’s not long at all. The last 22 years have passed without me really noticing, in fact I have found myself mentally ticking weeks off lately rather than trying to fill them with activity.
If my calculation is correct I have 1,144 weeks left to me. It seems a lot, but allowing for the fact that a considerable part of it will be passed in watching TV, snoozing in a chair and stuck in meetings it isn’t as much as you think.
The main problem isn’t so much the time I have left but what to do to fill it. I don’t really want to invade France and I don’t have the vision to be a great novelist. I do have a few ambitions but they are getting less pressing as time goes on. Should be the other way round when you think about it, I should be getting more eager to do things as time goes by. It’s a bit like the Roger McGough line in The Way Things Are – “No, old people do not walk slowly because they have plenty of time.”
I’m going to have to put some thought into this.
Elephants have it easier. according to a TV programme I’m watching right now – as they wear out a set of teeth they grow replacements. They have six sets then they starve to death. I’m not sure if they count them or not but if humans worked on that principle planning for the future would be easier. And dental hygiene would be a more popular activity.