COLUMN — Enjoy the gift of days fully

Published 9:16 am Thursday, December 24, 2020

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What are you doing with your 29,147 days?

As we are preparing for Christmas, whether shopping for gifts or planning to visit relatives, we are making decisions about where we want to be on Christmas Day, and if everything is as it should be for the big day to be a joyous Christmas for all. Let us pray that all will have a blessed and safe new year.

What has that got to do with the number 29,147? On average, that is the life span of Americans. If converted to years, that would be 79.8 years. Of course, none of us are average, so some will live longer, while others’ lives will be shorter. For the purpose of this column, however, let’s use that average number of 29,147.

As with preparing for Christmas, and other things that we do in life, we should always understand where things should be at the end. What do we want the results to look like when we look back at the end of the day or lifetime?

Getting clear on the desired outcome allows us to think more creatively and collaboratively on how to successfully accomplish those goals, create an experience and share a process that is transformational. Not having goals for ourselves often leaves us wasting our time and energy. This serves no purpose to ourselves, our family, our friends or our greater community. Life is best when we set goals and strive for them. This is true in sports, work and life. The first step begins with the end in mind.

So back to the number 29,147 and what it means for you. Assuming a lifespan of 79.8 years, you can look forward to living 29,147 days. If you have graduated high school, you are down to 22,500-23,000. By your early 30s, you’ve got about 16,000 days left. At 60, about 7,000. Wherever you are, with the start of a new year before us, it is a good time to reflect on that which you have accomplished and decide what goals you expect of yourself during the remainder of your life. Asking yourself each morning, how are you going to move forward this day?

Being aware of how finite our lives are can be depressing, but inspiring. Inspiring and prodding one to accept every day as a blessing and daily to ensure that we spend our lives doing those things that make life better for those around us, be they family, friends or the community in which we live.

With the end in mind, are we letting go of fear, are we acting boldly, are we radiating love and realizing the profound grandeur and the goodness of the moment? Are we living in such a manner that both reflects gratitude for what we already have and our passion to realize even bigger things going forward?

Why wait for the specter of COVID-19 to depart to start celebrating the day? Why wait for the perfect time to begin a hobby, start a project, or tell others you’re sorry for the sins you have committed against them in thought, word or deed? Now is a good time for you to forgive those who have transgressed against you. Likewise, it is a good time to express your love for those around you. Why wait for everything to line up perfectly to live better professionally, relationally, personally?

You were born with whatever number of days to fully live. The meter is running, life is fragile, every single day matters. Live your gift of life. Today is your day. Live it inspired.

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Charlotte in the state Senate. His email address is