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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Time to start living

Recently, a link to an article titled “Your Life in Weeks” surfaced on my Facebook wall. Being (slightly) obsessed with order, planning and being in control, the article (which had an accompany picture of neat rows of boxes) naturally piqued my interest.

It turned out to be an attempt to sell posters (that anyone can create with their computer), but having the opposing concepts of a finite lifespan and an uncertain end presented in the graphical format really gave me a timely reminder about life.

When I saw the first chart with rows and rows of boxes (each representing a week of your life) in the article, I thought to myself, not bad! There’s lots of time left to play with - perhaps a new house at 35, a holiday in Greece at 40, and world domination by 45. Maybe I should fire up Excel on my laptop and plan out the next 10 years on a spreadsheet, like I did 10 years ago. After all, things did go largely according to that plan! How exciting would "My Life in Excel 2.0" be, I wondered.

Obviously not taking things seriously when asked by my employer to write a note to ourselves 3 years into the future. The note was kept in a time capsule in 2008 and only returned to us in 2011.

And then, I saw the same chart but with some famous deaths marked out according to the exact week that they passed on. John Lennon at 40 plus, Michael Jackson at 51 plus, Steve Jobs at 56 plus. Suddenly, I was at a lost. There isn’t a formula in Excel that could predict when my own end will come and automatically adjust my life plan accordingly. Life often just… ends.

How would I feel if my end came unexpectedly early. Would I be looking back at a fulfilling life, or would I be lamenting about what could have been if I had a little bit more time?

My thoughts were then interrupted by Aiden’s voice coming out of the bedroom. He was calling out for Mummy Cher to join him and read him some Chinese storybooks before he goes to bed. I switched off the laptop, went into the bedroom and offered to read him some storybooks.

"Daddy, you very long never read this book to me", he exclaimed at one point.

He enjoyed the first three books that I read so much that he asked for four more. Mummy Cher eventually read him three more before he called it a night.

Life may be short for some, and long for others, but with an ending that comes suddenly, there isn’t a better time to start living than right now.


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