“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Diane Ackerman
I have been thinking a lot about this quote lately. The average life expectancy for an American male is 76.4 years. If, and this is a big damn if, I make it to 76.4 years of age that means I have 21 years left to walk on this planet.
Now if you had asked the 30-year-old me I would have said, 21.4 years sounds like an eternity. But the 55-year-old me says, shit I better get busy. Get busy doing what though?
My father-in-law just celebrated his 79th birthday. I sent him a text wishing him a happy birthday and he responded “Thank you. One more”. His response made me smile, that’s right one more, three more than the average and I am sure for him and for us, his family, every healthy “one more” is a bonus.
My father-in-law lives not only the length but the width of his life as well. He plays golf two or three times a week always walking, never riding in a cart. He hikes once a week. Not one mile strolls through the park but five to seven mile rough terrain, kick your ass, mountain hikes. When he first retired we all wondered how he would handle it. His answer to us, he will be just fine.
He realizes that the width of his world, and his activities would change dramatically if he broke a hip, or developed heart issues. He also understands that right now he is very lucky and fortunate but time will ultimately win, as it always does.
So for whatever time I have left be it 21.4 years or 21.4 hours I hope I will live the width as well as the length. I alone am responsible for making sure this happens.
“Drink in your summer, gather your corn, The dreams of the night time will vanish by dawn, And time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me”– The Rolling Stones “Time Waits For No One”