tail end

mt. fuji c/o chuen seng teoh

As I pass the seventieth post mark, my thoughts are with time once more. How time flies and how our life is long if only we know how to use it rightly.. A favorite article that I like to revisit is “The Tail End” by Tim Urban. If you read one thing this weekend, make it this article.

Living and working abroad has made me reflect on the limited time I have left with my family whom I hold dear to. Before I started living abroad, they were my life in its entirety. In The Tail End, Tim manages to hit home some important points that we often take for granted, until it is too late. Here’s Tim:

I’ve been thinking about my parents, who are in their mid-60s. During my first 18 years, I spent some time with my parents during at least 90% of my days. But since heading off to college and then later moving out of Boston, I’ve probably seen them an average of only five times a year each, for an average of maybe two days each time. 10 days a year. About 3% of the days I spent with them each year of my childhood.

Being in their mid-60s, let’s continue to be super optimistic and say I’m one of the incredibly lucky people to have both parents alive into my 60s. That would give us about 30 more years of coexistence. If the ten days a year thing holds, that’s 300 days left to hang with mom and dad. Less time than I spent with them in any one of my 18 childhood years.

If you think about it, this is no joke. Time is extremely limited and is the most valuable resource that we have. And in the end, no matter what happens, relationships will always be one of the most crucial elements in our lives. To neglect them now is to finally regret later when it is too late. Here’s Tim again:

When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life. If I lay out the total days I’ll ever spend with each of my parents—assuming I’m as lucky as can be—this becomes starkly clear:

parents small

It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.

Many people could probably relate to this situation of leaving home for college but many would not realize the fact that by the time you leave for college, you’ve already used up 93% of your in-person parent time.

So read this article. Reflect on your life priorities. Don’t live with regrets. The choice is yours.


#the100dayproject 071/100

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