Time Well Spent

4th January 2017


How we spend our time, and by extension our lives, is one of my favorite subjects. Tim Urban’s essay, The Tail End, changed how I think about time. He makes visual charts of a 90-year human life in years, months, weeks, and days. Then he walks through how many more ocean swims he’ll likely have, how many more slices of pizza.

Two things got my attention:

You’ll read a finite number of books in your lifetime. For some reason, this had never occurred to me. Reading an average of twelve books a year, I have 688 books left. It sounds like a lot, and also not enough.

If your kids don’t live near you as adults, by the time they move out you’ve spent 90 percent of the time you’ll have with them. Aaaaaaag! Urban concludes that it’s key to build a life near the people you love. Truth.

Anyway, go read this. It will give you that self-helpy kick where you savor things more acutely for a few weeks afterward. And then maybe read it again.

3 thoughts on “Time Well Spent

  1. Meg

    Straight up, the book thing is why libraries make me overcome with anxiety – it’s a clear, visual representation of all I will not read, do and know in my lifetime.


  2. Nora

    As someone who lives far away from my parents, sister, and extended family, that last bit makes me so, so sad.

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