Counting the Days

Today I am 20,517 days old.

From now on I am giving up on years.  I can’t relate to years.  I don’t live my life in years so why should I count by years?  I live my life in days.

I got this idea to count my life in days from Peter Russell.  I found out about him in the March edition of Ode Magazine.  And what a find! You know Ode magazine, right? If not, you really should!  It’s the magazine “For Intelligent Optimists.”

(Seriously.  That’s what it says.  I kid you not. “Intelligent Optimist” is apparently NOT an oxymoron!)

So, in the March edition of Ode ( Peter Russell says this:

“It was something I started doing 20 years ago. It just struck me that the day is the more natural cycle of our life. We’ve got 70, 80, maybe 100 years, but 20,000, 30,000, or 40, 000 days to live on the planet.  It’s a whole different perspective and makes us value each day. When you look at your life in days, time seems to expand. It helps make me more present.”

I have to tell you though, I find counting my life in days kind of unsettling.  I figured out that if I live to be 90, that gives me a total of 32,850 days on the planet.  I’ve already used up 20,517 of them, giving me only 12,333 days left.

If days were dollars, my bank balance is only $12, 333.   That’s all I’ve got left to live on!

It’s kind of scary.  (Especially in this economy.)

But Russell is right.  It does make me value each day much more.

I needed to find out more about this guy so I checked out his website: and now I am a HUGE fan!  This guy is very cool and very wise.

His website is vast; you could spend days there exploring all the neat (and disturbing) stuff he has amassed.


For one thing, you can put in your birthday and it will calculate your age in days.

You can also calculate your “Virtual Age.”  Just plug in your age (in years) and then answer some questions about lifestyle, diet, exercise and it will re-calculate your virtual age and life expectancy based on those answers.

My Virtual Age? 27  (yeah, baby!)

My life expectancy? 106 (giving me 18,173 days left rather than 12,333, which is good)

But what all this has made me think about is not just the quantity of days I may or may not have left, but what I can do with each one.

Like this one.  Today is Monday.  It’s 7 AM as I am writing this.  I’ve got 14 hours to deal with in this day.  It’s up to me how I live them, what I get done, what I prioritize, what I decide to eat, how I treat my physical body, what I feed my brain, how I relate to other people.

And you know what?  I can manage that.  I can manage the next 14 hours.  I can’t manage yesterday; that’s gone.

And I can’t do anything about tomorrow.

But today? I can make conscious choices today.

And I intend to.

Thanks Peter Russell!  You inspired me!

7 thoughts on “Counting the Days

  1. I have lived 7,701 days.
    I have a virtual age of 15.1, and a life expectancy of 79.9.
    21,500 days to own!

    Thanks for posting this!


  2. Thank you for the inspiration!

    This morning, driving to work, I was fretting about all that there is to do professionally & personally. I felt overwhelmed, so I came to your site to see what I could find. I’m happy I found this.

    Now, I will focus on just today, just the next 12 hours. Thank you!

    PS … I am 16,526 days old.
    My virtual age is 26 and my life expectancy is 94.
    I have 17,900 more days to savor. Yum.


  3. i’m 7.7 virtually, and have a life expectancy of 88.

    great post.

    one thing i noticed doing this exercise, is that when i had to recognize something i wasn’t doing optimally, it made me ask myself, “why not?”


  4. Mozart, I can’t believe your virtual age is 7! A few more healthy lifestyle choices and you’d be back in the womb! Way to go!

    Cindy, I *know* you will savor those days! You are the epicurean queen of life!

    Aleta, good thing 15 is just your *virtual* age, or else you’d be back at the HS. Quelle horrors! (heh)


  5. Wtf?!?! I’m 3 years old, and I’m going to live until I’m 94.

    I don’t think I want to be 3 years old. I like the 94 part though.


    1. Uh, yeaaahh… I remember you at 3. 3 was definitely NOT your year. Good god, no.
      94 is good though. Very good. A testament to good living!


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