30 squares left

I just read ‘How to be fucking awesome’ by Dan Meredith, I’d been wanting to read it for a while and it’s been sat there in the stack of books to read on Audible, I haven’t even started on the stack of real books on my desk! Better get on with reading, just 30 squares to go.

So one part, amongst many, that made me sit up and take note, is that I only have 30 squares left.

What does that mean? Well, the average life expectancy for the UK is 82 years old and accepting that the only certainty that I can know of to be true is I am going to die at some point, and so are you. We only have a certain number of squares.

I am 52 so that means at best I’ve got 30 years left. So where do the squares come from? Well in order to visualise this and have even more impact Dan suggest to draw out 82 squares and then you can see your life, I went further and coloured sections (naturally, being an artist) and then marked off some key events too. But I have had 5/8 of my life and that means roughly, if our lives were 24 hours, 1 day, then I was born at midnight, 12 am, and I am now at 3 pm. I am coming up to late afternoon/early evening.

The thing is my life will naturally slow a little, especially say past 70, so that means only 18 squares to go to that point, that is 18 more birthdays, 18 more holidays, 18 more of any annual event. When we start to look at life and really accept there is an end, it is funny that it makes you value the time you have left more and it focuses you.

So, if you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, have a go, take a piece of paper draw 82 squares and mark where you are now and see how many squares you have got left. It is a real wake up call. I now have my chart on the wall as a reminder that the clock is ticking, the squares are reducing.

I suspect like me, you’ve got a few things that you might have been too shit scared to do and have been putting off. Well as the squares dwindle, so will our time left to do them will decrease. What are we all waiting for? No one died of trying, well perhaps some who do crazy batshit things like diving off cliffs or swimming with sharks or other mad things, but in reality, a tiny, tiny, tiny few die even doing nutty things. Disclaimer here, please do not take that as an invitation to do crazy unsafe things.

I have 30 squares, maybe less, no one knows. Time to get on and do something that matters. I need some more important life markers and events to put on my chart.

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