Written by: Jenn Drakes
Quantifying things tends to make them starkly real and tangible. 525,600 minutes will measure 2021, but 29,200 sunrises will measure your life. You get to choose which math to follow and what you will do as a result of it.
One of my all-time favourite songs is Jonathan Larson’s “Seasons of Love” that was powerfully delivered in the stage play RENT. The song asks us to consider how we measure a year, and quantifies that year in minutes. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, to be exact.
In kicking off this new year, I am bringing us back to this line of questioning. “Seasons of Love” sets our focus on minutes within a single year and then inquires if our own measurements are in sunsets, cups of coffee, inches, miles, laughter, even love and strife. How do we measure how we are living, and where does our focus lie in living this one life?
In contrast, I quantify life based on sunrises (or “daylights” in the song), and in 2020 I discovered that the average lifespan is currently at about 80 years old. Interestingly, that is a far longer lifespan than several decades ago because of improvements in science, technology, and healthcare. That means each of us has the potential to face 29,200 sunrises. Now do the math by factoring in your current age, and you get a sense for how many sunrises you may have left. That number is eye opening. It underpins
the importance of not wasting a day or moments in a day. It reinforces the necessity of waking up in gratitude for another day, irrespective of the type of day it may be – good or bad. It supports in choosing to live a purpose-driven, intentional life that leaves amazing memories for you and those around you.
2020 unexpectedly set to rest the sunrises of others, and now 2021 is here with the hope of a vaccine that will prevent COVID-19. 2020 halted us in our tracks and forced us to slow down our pace. We came to appreciate a simpler level of living and be grateful for the things we took for granted. Many who had not considered retirement pre-COVID have now retired, for example.
A vaccine that works means re-emergence from social distancing. How will you emerge? What remnants of 2020 will stay with you? How will you use your days, your hours, your minutes?
My thoughts, my writing, and my teachings are all about maximising our purpose, ourselves, our lives, and being a positive force for others.
Use the math to guide your moves. What life do you choose to live in 2021?
About The Author: Jenn Drakes is passionate about life, and fully living it. Her podcast Arrays of Living is about encouraging listeners to get unstuck, learn from the past, but move beyond it, grow personally, and live their best life.