Sunday, October 19, 2008


I'm 20, 143 days old.

Ever figured out exactly how many days you've been alive? Ever since my brief death, I've calculated how many post-heart-attack days I've lived. Recently, I calculated backwards to the date of my birth, and now I have a script that updates my age by one day each time the clock hits midnight.

20,143 days. I remember so very many of them--some vividly, some in fragments and mental snapshots.

And there's something about a precise count that makes you want to avoid wasting a single day. When you're more than 55 years old, as I am, a day may not seem like much. But when you're 20,143 days old, a day seems more significant.

Think of it this way. Most of us make more than $20,143 a year. But I don't think there's a single one of us who'd pass up a free dollar, or who'd be willing to throw a dollar away for absolutely no purpose. So why should a day be less valuable than a dollar?

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