Your Life In Weeks
So a month or so ago I tripped across a fantastic post over at waitbutwhy, about an exercise that I really liked. Here’s the quick and dirty explanation. Create a drawing with a box on it. That box represents a week. Now, multiply that box 52 weeks for all the weeks in a year. After you have done that, duplicate the row of 52 boxes 90 times and now you have a long life detailed in weeks. Over at Waitbutwhy they then began playing with the blocks in different ways and showing various types of data. My favorite view was their view of a life in averages.
My first epiphany was the realization that everyone loves to talk about living life to the fullest when they retire, but life expectancy and retirement are very similar averages… they are on a collision course really. And what are the odds you even make it to retirement? Its not a guarantee that’s for sure. A few other things stood out as well. The disparity between life expectancies in Sierra Leone and America is a big one. Another being just how short the average marriage is that ends in divorce… which is seven years. But it was really a fascinating way to view a life and its experiences. So I figured I should build one of my own and see what insights might be available for the taking.
So looking at the expanse of my life (or more appropriately, the blip of my life) I am just amazed on just how short it really will be on average. But only 68.2 years life span?That’s not cool. I will only have retired at 63! Five years of playing and then kapoot? I totally didn’t believe that could be right. But look at this:
Sure enough. Incredible. Which says to me that I need to live my life now. Not after I retire. Right? Because there just isn’t any life left (relatively) after one retires.
A few of the other big take aways was the opposite of what I expected to feel. When I looked at everything I had accomplished so far I began to think that anything was possible going forward. I’d forgotten about many of the other things I had done and places I had lived. But to see it all stacked in one location is not an insignificant experience. So instead of feeling depressed that life is so short… I actually came away with renewed energy to push through on the few things that I want to do with my life. I’d like to perfect a book and get it published. I’d like to run my own design shop some day. I would love to experience areas of the world I haven’t seen yet.
If you are intrigued about doing your own view of your life by the weeks, I have included the template below for you to use if you’d like. I can even give you my high-rez version that I built as well in case you want to print it out and put it on your wall. But most of all, hopefully you will be encouraged not to waste a single day. To push for your dreams today because you just don’t know what is in store tomorrow.