80 Year Holiday

Perception is in the eye of the beholder they say – if that is the case why not perceive an 80-year life as a 80 year holiday rather than a chore or challenge. Sure there will be good times and bad times, even on a holiday, but what would that do to your mindset if you were trying to be on holiday in your head more of the time most of the time rather than getting by, getting to the weekend or just paying a few more bills!!

There is a wonderful poem read at many funerals around the world called the Dash and focusses on the dash between two dates – the date you are born and the date you leave this mortal coil.

The Dash – by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Take the DASH onboard and consider how can we refocus our minds for fun, enjoyment, love and friendship rather than just getting by and existing. It is said that we spend a frightening amount of time during our lives on various innocuous activities that might surprise you.

  • Over an average 80-year life we have 700,800 hours to use as we choose 24*365*80=700800.
  • During that time, we spend up to 26 years asleep – that is over 200,000 hours
  • Consider 45 years at work 8 hours a day – 220 days per year = over 90,000 hours of which 2 of these years are spent sitting around a corporate table
  • How about this one – a year and a half of our lives is spent struggling on the commute to and from work
  • According some research we spend 368 days in the pub – which clearly is an underestimate for some people I know
  • Only 15 percent of an average life is spent at school which for many of us upon reflection is all too soon – we never stop learning!

I haven’t gone into the weird and the wonderful research out there, there are further statistics you can find referring to the number of hours spent on the toilet, eating food, sitting on a bus, arguing, crying or smiling and many more.

Now consider holidays – we spend 4-5 weeks per year on holiday be that a vacation or a ‘staycation’ – thats 400 weeks over a lifetime which equates to 2800 hours. Evidence is regularly shared stating that we spend up to 30 hours planning a holiday, checking everything is correct the sun or snow, the beach, the restaurants, the historical places to visit, whatever it is that pushes your button to go on holiday. We plan them well in advance so that no time is wasted or experience or opportunity missed, that’s the importance we place on creating a great holiday!!

If you were to plan your DASH, your 80-year holiday, your life in advance how would you do it differently? This is not meant to be a maudlin depressing subject but one to challenge your thinking, get to grips with where you are using up time without consideration from how precious it is or simply not making changes to your circumstances because of apathy, laziness or fear. Time to step up! There are those people who just appear to have a positive glow about them more of the time most of the time as though they were on some sort of permanent holiday – why not give it a go!

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