Just One Day

Contemplate the analogy that each of us live for just one day, or 24 hours.

Given the fact that our body runs for about sixteen hours before needing to recharge, this leaves us with 16 hours, plus a little more if we push it, caffeinate it or just don’t let the sub-conscious brain slide behind the steering wheel allowing our conscious brain to jump into the back seat for a little slumber.

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So let’s say we just have 16 hours to live. We will need air, water and food to stay alert and awake, so that we can do something fun.

Now consider what you will be doing with those 16 hours. There will be the basic and mundane maintenance things that need to be done. Waking up, visiting the water closet, and reaching for water and fuel. You will also need to make your bed, get dressed, or do any number of things that are needed to enter the new day.  So let’s factor them all in, even if you are wanting to argue that we don’t have to make our bed, because we only live for a day.

So for all the mundane things we do, let’s just say all of them take 2 hours, which also includes our daily biological practices like texting on your phone while you are sitting on a porcelain chair.


And unless you are one of those “I only eat one meal a day” creatures, you are spending about 3 hours eating food. Let’s total our life time spent thus far.

24 (total) – 8 (sleep) – 2 (mundane) – 3 (food) = 11 hours.

Hmmm … now we have just 11 hours to do fun stuff, or looked at in another way, we have less than 50% of our life left to live, and what have we actually done? Hopefully we had some friends or family to dine with and perhaps some of our mundane chores included chatting with family or tending to your pet or pets as the case may be, feeding fish, chatting with a bird.

So let’s take those 11 hours and live them to the fullest. If our life is consumed with work, we will need to step into it, drive to a building or a place.  But let’s say we can just show up to our work place.


And you might be saying, well we only live for a day, so why work? A good question, but my answer is that what every you choose to do, work or play, there will be a block of time spent doing that thing you like to do. So be sure you like what you do. Assuming you spend 8 hours doing this thing, which is actually an artificial bounding. It is based on what is physically possible on an average for the human body to be productive without returning to a restful state.

So now we have just 3 hours left to live.

Recall, we just showed up to work, but if we had to commute, we would have eaten into those 3 hours. Many of us do have to commute to a place so let’s just take an hour off that time, to be real.

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So now we have just 2 hours left.

These 2 hours are yours to do what you want. This is your personal time, the time you may use to take a walk, or sit on a park bench and feed the pigeons, or  Strike Up a Chat with a stranger. If you are commuting, you might stop to help someone in need.  You may get a call from a friend or loved one and they will want to talk to you for an hour. There could be a variety of things that would consume your last 2 hours of life.

So let’s say, you managed to wriggle and wrangle through those 2 hours and are now left with 30 minutes to yourself. How do you want to spend that time? What will make your day complete, give you joy, and make your life worth while?

You could turn on the television and watch your favorite show, have  glass of wine with a friend, walk your dog for the last time, make love with your mate, or just sit quietly, contemplating, the day, the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, or just feeling totally grateful that you had the chance to be here on earth, under blue skies, with all you needed to be and do and to live for, during your … just one day.

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This is all very silly is it not?

We have lots of days, but at the end of each one, we can reflect on what we did, what we accomplished, with whom we spent our time, and if we were kind, and helpful, and loving, showed compassion in our relationships.

So that when our last minute ticks around the clock, we find our life, made a difference in some way, for ourselves and our calling and to those we met and spent time with, and that we were kind and loved … and that we lived.

Feature Image from Ken Kitano

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