Death Clock

The perfect campy horror movie title, no doubt.

We were talking about it the other day: you have a set number of hours in your life. We all know this. We don’t like to think about it, but it’s nonetheless a fact: no one gets out alive.

As a Canadian male my life expectancy is about 81 years. 710046 hours. Getting to this point right now took up about 168315 of them. That leaves me with 693233 left.

Depressing.

And, since waking up this morning about three and a half of them have slipped by, forever removed.

But I don’t see this as much a gloom and doom as a reminder of how valuable time itself is. Time isn’t money – money is time. How much would somebody have to pay you to take one of those hours off your counter? You only have a limited amount of them. $1000? $100? Or… $9.50? Minimum wage.

There’s been a lot of existentialist thought going on in the past few weeks with my rapidly upcoming graduation and that ejection from the womb of academia, and I guess that’s what it comes down to for me. Sure, I could be a doctor or a lawyer and make ridiculous amounts of money per hour, but it I hate what I do, what’s the point? Like, all that money just goes into trying to live at the end of your life – trying to undo all the damage you did working like a mad man the first chunk of your life. It’s bizarre to me.

And the Dalai Lama too, apparently:

“Man.

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

I’d like to construct a giant hourglass, with enough sand to last until my theoretical death, and put it on a shelf or somewhere where I can always see it. A reminder. Both to hustle, but also to live. To be awesome. Not about houses or cars or show boats. About taking each of those hours and making something awesome out of them.

And, if I live to see the day when it eventually runs out of sand I can watch that last grain fall and laugh, because I’ve then beaten the average. In a fate of cruel irony, moments later I’d be struck by a heart attack or something and that’d be okay, because I’d still have gotten that much more out of life. And that moment would be awesome.


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