Sunday, February 24, 2013

Momento Mori

Warning:  This post is a bit morbid.  However, it's also a powerful motivation to get off your ass and do something with your life.

100 years from my posting this, about seven billion people will have died.  After all, the number one cause of death is time.  Time ticks away at each and every one of us from the moment we are born.  On average, we have 80 years from start to finish (typically less).  One third, 33%, of that is spent sleeping.  Only about 2% of that is spent in school (not including college).  If you spend an average of two hours per day preparing and eating food, that's about 6.6% of your life.  If the average American spends four hours a day watching TV, that's about 13% of your life, or a decade of your life.  Granted, there's some overlap with eating for many people, so we'll drop the 0.6% from eating.  Altogether, that's about 54% of your life.  Then add in your Facebook time, texting, and so on.  And this is only if you make it to 80.  Good luck with that.

Now, take a look at this:

This is called a Momento Mori.  That's Latin for 'Remember your mortality.'  Too morbid?  Call it Fred, instead.  It is 52 boxes across and 80 boxes deep.  Each box with a dot is a week I've been alive.  I'll fill in each empty box every Sunday morning from now on and ask myself, 'Was that box worth it?'  Each row I fill in, I'll ask myself, 'Was that row worth it?'

On the left hand side, you'll notice that I marked the decades, mostly to help fill it in in the first place.  At the top, I made three marks for the quarters; the middle mark is the half way point to my next birthday.  I stapled several sheets of paper on the back to avoid bleed through from my Sharpie.

Things to keep in mind:
  • The first fifteen rows were spent not even thinking about my future.
  • The next several rows were spent only vaguely thinking about my future.
  • One third of the empty boxes will be filled simply from sleep.
  • I may not exist long enough to see all of the boxes.
  • I may exist long enough to fill in ten more rows.
  • I may exist long enough to fill in twenty more rows.
  • Anything past these boxes is a bonus I plan to spend having fun.
You can download a blank version from here

What will you do with your remaining boxes?

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