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> How Much Time?
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How Much Time?

The following is probably the single most depressing thought I know of. If you'd rather not be depressed, now's your chance to go read something else instead.

How much time do I have? I'm in good health, and come from a long-lived family; I could easily be alive and well until I'm 80 or more. That's not a lot of years, at least in absolute terms, but that doesn't bother me, because a year is a long time.

A day, on the other hand, is a short time. On a good day, when I'm inspired, I can look back at the end of it and be surprised at how much I've done, but most days I don't really accomplish very much. Still, that doesn't bother me, because I have a lot of days.

At some point, though, I discovered the unhappy medium: if I measure my time in months, I can grasp both the size and the number. The number is about a thousand, which is a lot, but not incomprehensibly many, and the size is defined by how much I can do. (In a normal month, for example, I can produce a solid batch of essays.) And, that does bother me it makes me sad, and makes me understand that there's not enough time.

 

  See Also

  Free Time
  Secret Origin, The

@ September (2004)