I’ve been told this idea is a little morbid. Maybe a little too dark. I can see their point. Thinking about your own mortality isn’t a cheerful exercise. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about not wasting your life – my life in particular. One of the things that is ever present in those thoughts is that life is finite. This isn’t dark, this is just reality. We only have a certain amount of time on this earth, and we need to make the most of it.
If you think life is going to last forever, why would you need to change your behaviors or how you live? There is always tomorrow in that world. Realizing you don’t have much time left should be motivating. And that is why I started counting sunsets.
I’m sure I borrowed the concept from something I read somewhere, but I can’t recall a piece in particular, so maybe it is my own idea. I don’t know.
The concept is simple. I take the average lifespan of a male in my country (which is 74) and subtract my age, and that is how many years I can expect to live. That’s the average lifespan. If you don’t take care of yourself it maybe even shorter. And let’s face it, for most your 50’s are your last really good decade for health and wealth. And if you work till you are 65, that leaves you about 9 years of retirement. Not a great prospect. But I’m getting off topic.
My sunset counter is simple, it takes my years life to live multiplied by the number of days in the year. That’s how many sunsets I have left to see in my lifetime. I put the counter on my website so that I have a visual reminder that time is slipping away and to make the most of it.
The older I get the faster time flies. 25 years may seem like a long time, but it isn’t. And if I consider that I have maybe 10 good years for before I hit the ranks of those queuing up for the early bird special at Luby’s, that is fucking scary. I can blink and a decade will be gone.
So, the Sunset Countdown is a reminder to start living an extraordinary life before it is over.