How long is one human life?
On average, the answer is: 72.6 years.
72.6 years is approximately 26,500 days.
26,500 is a pretty big number. It’s a lot of time.
So, why does it feel like there’s never quite enough?
Once upon a time, a friend of mine confessed that she desperately wanted to take 30 days off work. She’d never taken this type of break before. Not ever. She had worked tirelessly for decades. She had built great things. Served thousands. Raised millions. Raised kids, too. She was tired and long over-due for a sabbatical.
She longed for this break. She fantasized about it. Thought about it daily.
She yearned to shut down her computer, sleep deeply, wake up naturally without a blaring alarm clock, read actual books, travel, walk, wander, make memories with her children, and experience life away from a digital screen. Maybe she would use this break to write a book. Maybe not. Mostly, she just wanted to rest. Recharge. Reconnect with the parts of herself that have nothing to do with her professional identity.
She had some savings. Financially, she could afford to take a month off work. It was doable. But emotionally, she felt reluctant. Something kept stopping her.
To her, 30 days felt like “so much time.” She worried everything would “fall apart” in her absence. The business. The emails. All the logistical strands. She felt as though she couldn’t possibly take 30 days away from her office. Something would surely shatter. The whole notion seemed almost…dangerous.
We talked for awhile about life, work, death, and time. As we spoke, I was struck with a different perspective. One I hadn’t considered before. I told her:
“You know, it’s just 30 days out of 26,500 days. If you think about it that way, it’s actually not much time at all. If your heart is aching to take a break, give it to yourself. It’s not an eternity. It’s just 30 days. 30 days out of your whole life.
You can do this. The world will keep turning. Everything will be okay. And this will probably be one of the greatest gifts you give to yourself. Ever.”
What is your greatest wish?
Whatever it is, isn’t it worth 10, 20, or 30 days of your life?
A little sliver of your time on earth. A small and beautiful fraction.
Imagine what might happen if you took your deepest longing and gave it 30 days of your time. Or 30 hours. Or even just 30 minutes of your full, undivided attention.
All things considered, it’s really not much time.
A flash. The blink of an eye. So little time. But so much could happen.
And your only regret will be that you didn’t take the time…a lot sooner.
. . .
How long is one human life?
Not long enough.
How much time do you have left?
Hopefully a great deal. But nobody knows.
What happens now?
Whatever you choose.