An Introduction to Thousands of Days

03/18/2011

Have you ever heard someone say something like, “What would you do today if it was your last day on earth?” I hear variations on this all the time. “Live like there’s no tomorrow!” people love to claim as a mantra.

But nobody actually lives like that, because it would be stupid to do so. It’s statistically quite likely that there will be a tomorrow, and another after that, and another after that. I’m all about living in reality, so my mantra is “Live like tomorrow is the first of thousands of days to come.” I think it’s worth taking a long term look at life, what’s worth doing and what’s not, and acting accordingly. That’s the inspiration behind this little online journal for myself.

Today is my birthday, and I’m now 30 years old. 500 years ago that would mean that I’d be due for a life-ending disease right about now, but fortunately life expectancy in the developed world has increased dramatically since then. Should I live to the median age of 72, I have more than 15,000 days left, so I’m not even half way through with this life yet. So what to do with all those days?

The Big Quits

Over the last year I’ve mostly been figuring out what I don’t want to do with the rest of those days. I quit going to church and no longer consider myself a Christian because I don’t want to waste Sunday mornings pretending to believe something I honestly don’t anymore. I divorced my wife because I don’t want to waste years being with someone I’m not happy with. I rented out my big suburban house and moved to downtown Dallas because I don’t want to spend any more time than I have to in traffic. I quit my high-end job because I don’t want to dread opening Outlook each morning.

I’ve spent the last year shaking off everything that didn’t make me happy, and basically starting over. It’s been a big shock to many friends and family because I’m good at wearing my happy face and pretending everything is ok. But I think 10,950 days is enough time living for the expectations of others.

I started this blog because I have found a lot to reflect on in the last year, and feel like when I write it down it forces me to organize a lot of disparate thoughts into something coherent, conclusive, and often actionable. I’m hoping that the public nature of writing a blog will keep me accountable to continue to write, and hopefully as a result, to grow.

So where to go from here? There’s a lot going on. Lessons learned over the last year, new businesses, new friends, new lovers, new passions. Hit subscribe and follow along, it promises to be an adventure.