The Habit of Writing - The Topic of Life

It's been awhile since I wrote anything of any significance. I guess after college is over and we dive into work, we seldom find time or need to write. But I do want to make an effort to write again. As a hobby, as an exercise, as whatever this is. Looking back at some of the things I've written, I often wonder how I was able to write like that, and some of the ideas within my writing are quite different than how I feel today. So much so that it felt like reading another person's writing. As we develop and evolve, one could argue that the us back then, was a different person from the us today. After all  it is a person's philosophy, principle, and in turn decisions and actions that defines who he/she is. As I am writing this, more ideas generate and turn into writing. It is an exercise of the mind - writing helps us develop and evolve.

So, what am I writing about today? It's a topic that has been "beaten to death" by many writers in the past, the present, and will continue to have its share of publications in the future. It is the topic of life and how to make the best out of life. Human beings are creatures of habit and our brains forget what we do not repeat. We get comfortable in our daily routines and we forget our long-term goal, our new-year's resolution, and we also forget what or who is important in our lives. If anything, I hope writing will help me remember things that are important to me and work towards my goal of living a full life.

The average life expectancy in the United States in 2010 is 77.97 years old - ranked at 40 (Wikipedia). Countries like Japan and Switzerland are at the very top of that list with 82.73 and 81.81 years old while others like Sierra Leone are all the way at the bottom with 46.26 years of life expectancy. World average is at 67.88 years old. Many people today move from country to country, because of family, job relocation, or other reasons. And for that, we'll use the world average as our benchmark. Let's assume that we do a little bit of exercise somewhat regularly and eat somewhat healthily most of the time, and that would raise our average life expectancy to 68 years old. Let's analyze how many years we actually get to live.

The first years of our lives are a blur for most of us. Growing up was fun but I wouldn't consider it "living" our lives before 18. This is the milestone where we gain more independence with a new-found ability to make some real decisions of our own. Most of us go to college, either out of pressure or maybe out of curiosity. Logically speaking though, you would think we were tired of school after spending at least the last 13 in them. 4-5 years go by, more if take a master's or doctoral degree. Then comes the job hunt, struggling to pay rent and possibly loans, and finally sticking to a job that we like. I'd say that would take 10 years of our lives, bringing us down to 40.

With 40 years left to go, we are at the beginning of our careers. I would say it takes another 5-10 years to get a solid amount of savings, maybe get married, buy a house and car. Then comes the kids. Now I'm not married and I don't have kids, so anything about marriage and kids are purely speculation. Kids will certainly drain our resources faster than it has for years. And that would continue and rise for the next 18 years, more if you have more kids. Let's assume 20 years, leaving us with a mere 10 years left. During that 10 years, where are about 58 years old, things are finally slowing down, but so are our bodies. Counting sick days, sleep, and other unforeseen events, that easily cuts our remaining life to 5 years, where we would be able to enjoy, and live our dreams.

So, that's a very grim picture I'm painting, but it's probably true for many individuals. Why do we struggle so much to make more and to accumulate so much, while at the end of the day, none of those things matter. What matters the level of fulfillment in our life journey - our loved ones, our passion, love. And we should always remember that. It's in our nature to fight, to be angry, to be jealous, to reject changes and differences. But it is also in our nature to love, to care and to support others. We can learn to embrace the negative in us and turn them into positives. 

Do what you love and you'll love what you do. Be grateful of what you have and make the best out of it. Times can be tough but always remember that it's all temporary. Life is shorter than we think. Death is inevitable. So while we are still alive, let us try to live in peace and be happy with one another.

Photo Credits:
"happiness, happy, life, love, sky" -
UN World Population Prospects - The 2006 Revision: 2005-2010 Life Expectancy at birth (years)
"do what you love what you do” art card from