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Your life, in weeks
June 6, 2014 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes life seems really short, and other times it seems impossibly long. But this chart helps to emphasize that it’s most certainly finite. Those are your weeks and they’re all you’ve got.
posted by gemutlichkeit (57 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think this is meant to be inspiring, but it's depressing me more than a little bit, and I say that as someone who is pretty okay with his life choices right now.
posted by gauche at 7:34 AM on June 6 [22 favorites]


That's amazing and terrifying. I feel I ought to print the weeks one at giant poster size, big enough so I can write in each week what I've done to actually make it count.

I'm tempted to actually do that. Only need to print the bottom half though. Yikes!
posted by dowcrag at 7:34 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Put me down in the same camp as Gauche- this is less inspiring and more "oh my god death is hurtling towards me at light speed"
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:36 AM on June 6 [15 favorites]


Reminds me a bit of zefrank's time you have left in Jelly beans.

Wonderfully simple visualization.
posted by Twain Device at 7:42 AM on June 6


Well, thanks for calling out that I'm fucked. (Adding mortality and life accomplishments to things I can be stressed about)
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:43 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


This just tells me I've made shit of several hundred weeks and am about to hopefully make shit of several hundred more.
posted by Swandive at 7:44 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I'd prefer a life in weekends.
posted by jonmc at 7:44 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


A sobering reminder that we all need to get up and go do what really matters in life: watching as much television as humanly possible.
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 AM on June 6 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I have a birthday coming up soon. Thanks a bunch, gemutlichkeit!

On the plus side, visually striking. On the minus side, it's got life expectancy marked on it, and (as people often complain), that's not a super-useful statistic, since early childhood death is the main cause for low life expediencies, and, if you are reading the chart, you are probably not a very young child.

But what do I know? I'm old.

What I really need is an app that will tell me how much of my remaining boxes I've spent commenting on MetaFilter....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:45 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I've been think about this a lot lately, trying to decide what I will regret on my deathbed, and I've come to the conclusion the thing I will regret most is dying.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:45 AM on June 6 [12 favorites]


I have to pay rent how many more times? Ugh! Each of those dots represents a minimum of $250. If that's not a little depressing, I don't know what is.
posted by heyho at 7:48 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


The perfect gift for the hypochondriac in your life, provided you hate them.
posted by Kitteh at 7:49 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Beh. But I didn't like the jellybean one, either.

My life moves in circles. I'd like to see one done like the rings of a tree.
posted by mochapickle at 7:50 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Looking at this spoon of diamonds, there’s one very clear question to ask: is it safe to eat this?
posted by chavenet at 7:51 AM on June 6 [13 favorites]


well, that's fucking depressing.
posted by HuronBob at 7:54 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee diamond spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:14 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


This just had to be posted the day Season 2 of 'Orange is the New Black' was released...
posted by Fig at 8:15 AM on June 6 [5 favorites]


I actually find mementos mori to be helpful with keeping me on track and with fighting depression.

Since only death is certain, and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:23 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


But if you want something REALLY depressing, make one of those grids for your cats.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:24 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Recently I've had a daydream of life as a matter of being gently but insistently and irreversibly slid forward, every second of every day, across a large landscape. You can dig in your heels, but it makes no difference. The terrain is a slope with a very slight incline, though the surroundings change from forest to valley to city and so on. Around you, other people are being similarly slid along their own paths.

You cannot see a precipice anywhere in front of you but you know somewhere -- perhaps very near, perhaps farther off -- there is one for you, and you're going to be slid off it.
posted by shivohum at 8:25 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


For some reason, this sliding clock always fills me with the same sort of feeling, the inexorable march of time. Very unsettling. I'm genuinely tempted to put one up in my flat, as a contrast to the 100 hours of practice trackers that a friend of mine made.

Didn't xkcd have a comic based on a similar idea, a grid of months with notable ages like Mozart's death marked on it? I swear I remember seeing it, but I can't turn it up in their site search.
posted by metaBugs at 8:29 AM on June 6


But if you want something REALLY depressing, make one of those grids for your cats.

Especially if you divide it into "sleep time" and "wake time."
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:31 AM on June 6


I have a hereditary illness and the average life expectancy for people like me is 56. It was more than a little rough to take down 34 rows, more than a third of them, just to be someone who manages to break even.
posted by mochapickle at 8:44 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Alternatively: you.regettingold.com
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:45 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I am not even going to click on the link or read anything about it--no no--not going to any calculating. rmhsinc age two when D day occurred. And I was just feeling hopeful and celebrating the feelings generated from the subsequent post on how critically important collective bargaining is for low/middle income workers. I was the "boss" in a union setting--we sometimes fought/sparred and litigated but I was always committed to paying the highest wage we could afford and not the least we could negotiate. Well, I am still not going to count the weeks.
posted by rmhsinc at 8:52 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Looking at this spoon of diamonds, there’s one very clear question to ask: is it safe to eat this?

It sounds like you're asking about diamonds in the roughage. Would you like some help with that?
posted by mikurski at 8:53 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Most of the time I'd look at this and be like many other people here, feeling that it's depressing, showing how little time I really have left, and all that other stuff.

But right now, that's not how it makes me feel. Perhaps it's the fact that I, just this week, have kicked off a new 101 Goals in 1001 Days challenge that's leaving me feeling more inspired. Or maybe it's just that I got a great night's sleep last night after <2 hours the night before, so I'm enjoying how refreshed and awake I feel that's doing it.

Either way, I'm really glad to have seen this, and feeling like I'm probably going to order the $15 large poster version of this, and annotate the hell out of it. Mark what I've done and when, and use it to get a perspective on the future.
posted by evilangela at 9:09 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I'm at the tail end of three months spent almost entirely in bed with morning sickness and this might be the saddest thing I have ever seen. I better get off Metafilter and try to make it to the park.
posted by gerstle at 9:14 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I'm going to complain about this chart for an entirely different reason:

It's put out by the site "Wait But Why", which has always struck me as a less-witty xkcd wannabe so it just rubs me the wrong way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM on June 6


What is more difficult is a sense of long-time, history beyond a single lifetime. Anything pre-television is just 'ancient' for many people. Having a sense of a century is hard enough much less 10s of centuries. I'd like to see this graph done with each square equal to 80 years, or the lifetime of a single person. Put in those terms time seems more manageable eg. only 26 consecutive lives separate us from the year 0.
posted by stbalbach at 9:17 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]



At first, like others I found this pretty disconcerting, but in the end looking at it confirmed that I've made to right choice to just through caution to the wind and really go for what I want to do for the rest of my life. It's basically half over already if I make it to an average lifespan. In my case it's spending however long it takes to get my income earning ability to be as online as possible so I can combine work, travelling and short term living wherever in the world I feel like as long as there is online access.

I've already had a few people tell me that they think I'm nuts, but I've been an adult long enough now and had enough crap I've had to deal with to know what situations I'm happiest and thrive in.

Life chucked some big lemons in my direction the past couple of years that changed pretty much any future planning I had made so why the hell not switch it all up and give another way of living a shot.
posted by Jalliah at 9:20 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


I like that diamond thing. If we took this diamond that fits in a spoon and broke it down into all the weeks of your life, it would only fit in a spoon.

My life isn't a diamond. My life is Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter, largest moon in the solar system. Fit that in a spoon. Where would you even find a spoon that big?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:23 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Your life was once seduced by Jupiter, king of the Gods, in the form of a mighty hawk!
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


This is why I use the lunar calendar.
posted by ChuckRamone at 9:32 AM on June 6


90 years is optimistic. According to the social security life expectancy table I am going to make it only to 81.24.
posted by bukvich at 9:33 AM on June 6


Trying to find this inspirational, but damn. Next time I feel the need to wallow in a really good funk all I will need is to cue up 100 years (which makes me cry every time), and stare at this poster... and I just want to go back to bed. And this is from someone whose weeks are mostly really good. Mundane and ordinary, a lot of them, but good. I think I don't want to think about how much time I have spent and how much I have left; I think I'll find other ways to remind myself that every day is precious. (My family will get extra hugs today, though.)
posted by evilmomlady at 9:35 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


bukvich: "90 years is optimistic. According to the social security life expectancy table I am going to make it only to 81.24."

Crap. I've got a whole 29.35 years left. I'm not happy about that.
posted by octothorpe at 9:55 AM on June 6


I used to think of life in fractions. It was quite startling at 19 to think that my life was 1/4 completed, 3/4 yet to go.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:12 AM on June 6


I find this useful, thanks for posting it. It's easy to feel hopeless about a thought like "what have I done with the past year" but a week is a much more manageable unit to consider.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:15 AM on June 6


Ah, jesus. I'm turning 30 tomorrow. One-third of my weeks are already gone. Ah, jesus.

*hyperventilates into paper bag*
posted by lollymccatburglar at 10:16 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


30? Try being nearly 50. And enjoying donuts just that much too much.
posted by maxwelton at 11:00 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


As a wise man said: Enjoy every sandwich.
posted by octothorpe at 11:26 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I'm not even going to look! (Like I need reminders of how fast it all goes by ...)
posted by crazy_yeti at 12:04 PM on June 6


I can't figure out if my mid-life crisis is on time or, tragically, twenty years late.

Which is, of course, what this is all about.
posted by codswallop at 12:51 PM on June 6


Hm. I wonder how many rows of weeks I've used so far on Sid Meier's games...

Ah well. Time well spent!
posted by markkraft at 2:00 PM on June 6


If you're already in sort of a funk, devoid of mojo, and feeling the horrible, Kansasesque flatness of it all, you should probably not print out the picture of weeks and then carefully black out all the weeks that are already lost to the past, because that would produce a curious new state of panicky anxiety combined with a grinding sense of complete powerlessness.

Oh, wait—the actuarial table says I'll only make it to 78 and 1/2? Lovely.

Fortunately, I have pot, a fresh batch of snickerdoodles, and milk.

Live in the moment.
posted by sonascope at 2:17 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


This is a really great post which puts things into perspective. It is a bit scary to see it on such a small piece of paper!
posted by funnycatdotpics at 2:30 PM on June 6


Two things from this post that depressed me the most:

1.) Roger Federer and Tiger Woods won all of their championships when they were my age or younger.

2.) Hitler got to live to be 56.
posted by Asparagus at 2:33 PM on June 6


If you're already in sort of a funk, devoid of mojo, and feeling the horrible, Kansasesque flatness of it all, you should probably not print out the picture of weeks and then carefully black out all the weeks that are already lost to the past, because that would produce a curious new state of panicky anxiety combined with a grinding sense of complete powerlessness.
Ok, so just reading that stressed me out.
Misery loves company.
posted by fullerine at 2:38 PM on June 6


I've started doing this annoying thing in my head where I think about something in my past, think about how long ago that was and then think about how fucking old I'll be that same number of years in the future.

An old college friend posted a somewhat drunk picture of me from ~1986 and I couldn't help but think, "crap that was twenty eight years ago and twenty eight years from now, I'll be 78". The fact that none of my close relatives have ever lived older than 78 doesn't help my attitude.
posted by octothorpe at 3:23 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Sleep tight everybody! Guess I'll have to mark off another week of weeping and wishing I were drunk.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:56 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I want that weeks chart as a poster so bad.
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:51 PM on June 6


....oh, it is a poster. Well, I'm a man of my word. ordered.
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:01 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Your life was once seduced by Jupiter, king of the Gods, in the form of a mighty hawk!

No, Saturn rules your lifespan. You get three orbits of Saturn in your lifetime, about 89 years, and then you go into decline and prepare for the end. Nobody has ever lived to their fourth Saturn Return (about age 118).

Others say it is Uranus, you get one orbit of about 84 years. You might eke out another quarter orbit, and make it to 105 at your Uranus Square.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:23 PM on June 6


If you open this image up in MS Paint, you can fill in the squares with color. I'm guessing that works in other image editing programs too.
posted by ChuckRamone at 10:08 AM on June 7


And now you're older still.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 6:31 PM on June 7


Pink Floyd tried to warn us
posted by thelonius at 8:10 PM on June 7


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