Do You Ever Think About How Much Time You Have Left?
I came across a very interesting thread on a site I won't mention here. The reason why I won't mention the site is because I told the posters that I would use some of their posts on my blog but would not use their names or the name of the site. To make a long story short, the topic is just like the title, "Do You Ever Think About How Much Time You Have Left?"
The title speaks for itself and of course, those interested in this type of discussion are probably middle-aged and up. Still, younger people could learn a thing or two as the posts are practical, enlightening, thought provoking, and even amusing.
The individual who started the thread asked: "Those of you past 65: does thinking about this topic interest you? Do you dwell on it or is too sad or pessimistic? Even if you are in decent good health."
Here are a few of the replies in their original text:
"I wouldn't call it sad or pessimistic, but once you get past the basic goal of getting your ducks in a row, it does seem pointless. Why waste time dwelling on something when you have no way of knowing? You could get hit by a truck an hour from now. Or, you could live to be 100. Even when it comes to have my ducks in a row, I wouldn't say I spend more time thinking about it now than I did when I was younger. I've always done things like make a will, etc. So I guess my answer is I have just enough time left to find ways to enjoy myself every day."
"I don't think about how much time I have left, but I do sometimes wonder what is going to be the thing that kills me. Currently I'm very healthy, no sign of illness that I'm aware of, but everyone dies of something."
"Nope, not really. My "gene pool" is such that living until my 80's or 90's is a thing.....but I don't dwell on that because anything can happen. I just make certain I do what I want to do - and now that I am retired (as of last October) we are doing just that."
"I'm 65 and realize that I could die at any time or live another 30 years. No one knows how much longer they are going to live unless they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have been given an estimate of how much longer they have. While I don't dwell on it, I do think about it from time to time. My thoughts are that I would rather die while still physically and mentally capable rather than live to an older age suffering from dementia or having to live with severe physical weaknesses such as I could not care for myself. And I look forward to going home to be with the Lord in heaven. For that reason, if I were found to have a terminal illness and knew I was going to die within a year, I would consider it a blessing because I would know that soon I would be absent from the body and at home with the Lord."
"A awful lot of people die around 80, I'm 76."
"Live each day like it's your last. Try to be the best person you can be and wake up each morning and think of it like a miracle. If and when I die, I hope it's fast and painless."
"I think in terms of "at age 73 with a chronic illness, this is the last one......." Recently I bought a new bed. I had my last one for longer than I remember. My 80-something friend told me really be sure the new one is the best because it will be the last one I buy (probably). I think this way too. New sofa to replace the old one, new mixer, new table......all will probably outlast me. The jury is out on electronics. My previous TV lasted 16 years and my previous computer, 15. My present TV and computer may or may not live that long. Things are not made as well as they once were. I might just outlast them. I also think in terms of the future. When I was in my 20's, 30's or even 40's if I were to hear the words, "20-30 years from now such and such will happen," I could be reasonably certain I would live to see it. Now that probably won't happen or if it does I may be too senile to comprehend it. I hope I will outlive my ten year old kitty and probably will but one never knows. Yeah, I think about the time I have left but since I don't know,how much that will be, I try to do as much as I like until that time comes."
"Let’s put it this way - I stopped buying green bananas."
"I don’t dwell much on it, but it was a primary influence in taking the early retirement package at 61. 3 working days left. I like to think I’m just too busy to die. It will just have to wait."
"I am turning 65 soon and I think about it. I have had 3 friends die between 59-67. I do think when I buy something that it may be my last. I have plans for who gets my dogs."
"I'm almost 63, and while my health is overall okay (knock wood), signs of it being chipped away are beginning. Ten years ago I might as well have been 35--no worries, no ailments whatsoever. Now I can't look ahead more than, oh, fifteen years with any confidence. My brother passed at 68, but he had lots of health issues. If there's anything that makes things different now for me is a persistent, rather gentle melancholy. Way too many family, friends and pets have already taken the cosmic road elsewhere, and I think of them constantly--and by extension my own mortality. It informs so many thoughts. But each day I'm still grateful to do what I can while I can."
"Wayne Huizenga had a saying "QTL" - Quality Time Left! Nobody wants to live to a 100 if they spend the last 20 years in a wheel chair feeding through a tube. i'd rather drop dead at 65 doing something cool/fun than live 20 more years in a handicapped state. Wayne was a billionaire and lived to be 80. His wife died a about 15 months earlier at age 74. I'd bet those last 15 months were bad for Wayne without his wife definitely not QTL. This guy had mansions/yachts/planes/sports teams/won the world series/owned 3 Fortune 500 companies.......and he valued QTL the most. I would hope more people would realize the QTL concept before wasting all their time doing stuff that won't bring them happiness in the end."
"Every day is a gift. Focus on the now and on short term small special goals, IMO. We don't know when we'll go or how we'll go. Let's just be grateful. Attitude is gratitude."
"I started waking up every morning thinking, "Will this be the day that I die?" when I was six and a same-age cousin died. It lasted until I was in my forties, when I found myself in a position where it was quite possible that I was facing the moment of my death. A lot of people near me died, and I did not. After that, I began to notice that the fear of death was gone. I'd been a white-knuckle flyer before that, now I enjoy flying. I think that day hammered home the idea that you are gonna die when you are gonna die and there's nothing you can really do about it. It's a peaceful feeling. I do wonder how and when I will die, but I'm not afraid of it anymore, and I'm enjoying living in the meantime. It's also nice not to wake up with that thought anymore."
"I don’t waste too much time thinking about when I’m going to go either. My mind is racing every night before I go to bed, try very hard to calm myself thinking about what I’m going to do when I get up in the morning. That’s what having a garden do to you. You got to take care of lots of things. My thoughts are occupying about what to plant next. Who has time worrying about anything else."
"Points I can relate to! I'm nearly 63, and two years ago I bought the most luxurious bed imaginable, knowing it'd very likely be my last one. It's so comfortable that I always risk taking a way longer nap than planned. Even more significant is weeding out 80% of everything in my house. Unless I want a glorious museum to myself, i see no reason to hold onto so many things anymore. Time and again I see older houses being demolished on the block, their particular eras over, and I have no illusions about this house, or myself. But for the time being I'll make the best of it."
"I celebrate every birthday as ive never done with a mindset "I made it this far" !!!ive been to too many funerals and seen too many young people die and suffer....and seen too many people squander their life on drugs or alcohol....I will live my days appreciating....more not regretting...mortality is more real as you age but I also think many or most of us are not afraid to go.....we've had some rich memories … and just hope we go quick and painless and not be a burden to anyone else..time...is measured many ways by clocks or calendars.....but a content heart...soul... lives forever...I believe our spirit lives on …. ive had a "visit" from an older relative I couldn't deny .."
"The original question made me think of what I wonder when I hear of someone in their 90s or 100s. Every night when they go to bed, do they fear that they won’t wake up?"
"My grandmother, a widow, who lived to late 80's said she would wake up and think "God, why didn't you take me last night." The reality was she required less sleep, was waking up at 5:00 am and had too many hours to fill with too few people still living to fill them with. She had always been active, worked through her 70's and was ready to go. With every death of a younger family member, she would say, "I don't know why God didn't take me instead."
"I think it's natural for people to sometimes wonder about this as they get older. Me, I think about it, but try not to dwell upon it since it's a fairly pointless endeavor. All any of us really have is this present moment, and it's up to us to live in the present as fully as we can. Do that and whatever tomorrow brings will take care of itself.It's a good day to be alive!"
"It is good to keep getting our affairs in order. It’s a process. I don’t think we should stop living a full life...whatever that means to us. I assume that my husband and I will not die together. If we do, then the kids will need to work it out. If we do not, then the surviving spouse gets to make the decisions. If I’m dead, I won’t know. If dh is dead, he won’t know."
"Like a lot of members, I do but I try not to focus too much on it because, since I am horribly self critical, what follows is "you should have done this or that instead" which is pointless and a waste of time leading only to sadness."
"That is the best way to go. No pain, no theatrics, just don't wake up."
"I have a ways to go (though if I die prematurely it will be from crossing a street in Miami).I am just hoping for quality of life...the day I am walker or mobility limited will have a dramatic impact on my life.I will not go to an assisted living facility—biggest mistake I made with my mom; should’ve hired a visiting home health aid.If the time and situation comes, not sure if I would have the courage to take a pill cocktail."
"I think about it a lot more since my husband died. I have already lived longer than my mom who died in her 50's, closing in on my dad who died at 66. Both from cancer. I have been healthy so far, knocks wood. I try not to obsess about it, and instead count my blessings - good health, friends, financial security, and a sense of purpose in life. I tell myself, what if I live another 30 years but I wasted them worrying about dying?"
So, what are my thoughts on the topic? After reading so many responses in the above mentioned thread, in a way, I feel that many of the respondents spoke for me as well. If you can look back on your life and say "I sincerely acknowledged my Creator, I did well, I did my best," you will be at peace in the end. God Bless...