It’s common for people my age to ask, “Where did the time go?” For some it’s simply a rhetorical question; for others it’s not.
Others like me.
If I were to itemize where my time went and put it into a pie chart, the biggest piece would be for sleeping. If I translated my ZZZ’s into 24-hour days, I’ve been hibernating for an alarming 6,200 of them (27% of my life). That seems like a lot to me, particularly since the latest I’ve slept in the last 40 years is 6 a.m.
The next-biggest piece of the pie is for work: 3,800 days (16%). If I didn’t need to work to provide for food, clothing, shelter… and retirement, I probably would have been doing something else. The next piece is for all-things transportation (1,650 days; 7%) that would include riding the school bus, commuting to and from work and several exhausting three-hour round trips from Birdsboro to Philadelphia with Aunt Freda when I was a boy to buy new shoes for school at Thom McAn.
So now that I’ve accounted for half of my life’s pie, what about the other half? (Also not a rhetorical question.)
Presented in lightning round format:
- Writing (and reading) – 1,600 days (7%). I love to read and write, and there’s not a better time than now to plug my latest book, “Running out of Gas.” (Sorry.)
- Eating – 950 days (4%). An hour a day sounds about right, don’t you think?
- Running - 875 days (4%). I figured I would need to run 875 days without stopping to account for my life’s mileage. How many would that be, you ask? Feel free do the math for yourself.
- Education – 868 days (4%). Twelve years of public school and five years of college. Throw in homework and make it an even 870 days.
- Sporting events – 850 days (4%). I’m surprised this piece of the pie wasn’t larger, considering I’ve seen almost every Florida Gator football and basketball game for the past 45 years and watched every single Atlanta Braves game in the early ‘90s when they were worth watching. Of course, that was before the strike of 1994 at which point I swore off all professional sports, so maybe I’m not so surprised after all.
- Playing golf – 400 days (2%). I quit playing several years ago, mainly because several months of those 400 days was spent standing in fairways waiting for the foursome in front of me to finish putting out before I could hit my next shot.
- Personal hygiene, dentist/doctor visits, shooting free throws in the driveway, wrapping presents, pettings dogs and cats, yardwork, laundry, numbers 1 and 2 (you know what I mean) and other stuff to keep the earth spinning on its axis – 1,200 days (5%).
So now that I’ve accounted for 80% of my life, where did the rest of it go? Well, I didn’t include the time I’ve spent with my grandson, primarily because he’s only been around for the past nine years and the time I’ve spent with him wouldn’t take up much of the pie. It will soon, though. He told me when that happens, he wants his piece to be cherry.
Since there’s only one thing left, sadly it means I may have spent the other 12 or 13 years sitting on my butt watching television. Is that even possible? Assuming I started watching TV when I was five that translates to… well, a whole lot more than I care to talk about.
Back to my question: Is that even possible? I don’t watch that much television. Sure, I’ve seen all nine season of “24.” That accounts for nine days. I may have seen every episode of “Gilligan’s Island” and “Gomer Pyle, USMC” three times (maybe more). What’s that, another month or so? Then there’s every single episode of “M*A*S*H,” “Taxi,” “The Office” and CBS’s famed Saturday night lineup in the ‘70’s and NBC’s Thursday night lineup in the ‘80’s. And “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” and…
Getting back to my original question: Where did the time go?
If you figure it out let me know. I’m going to start watching “The Sopranos.” All 86 episodes.
What’s another three days?
Scott Ludwig lives, runs and writes in Senoia with his wife Cindy, three cats and never enough visits from his grandson Krischan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org