My Final Hour

- jim Young 201709/20190401

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. - Groucho Marx

I’ve been retired for just over a couple of years now so I thought it might be a good time to sit back, take inventory and see where I’m heading.

Actually, I know where I’m heading - to the graveyard just like everyone else. After that - I have no idea. 

The most recent Life Expectancy Calculator test I have taken suggests I will live to the age of 83. (This is a life expectancy test provided by a life insurance company with Canadians in mind.) They suggest I improve my dietary habits to increase my life expectancy by one more year but that’s not likely to happen. I’ll settle for 83.

Ironically - improving my exercise habits will do nothing to increase my life expectancy now, so there’s not much incentive there.

At 66, my life is 80% over. In terms of a single 24 hour day I have used up 19.2 hours of my day. This is the stage of my life where fractions of time start to become important again.

So what will I do with my remaining 4.8 hours?

If, like the average person I sleep for ⅓ of that time I will be left with 3.36 hours.

No need to exercise so that will give me some extra time for myself.

I am going to put off as many “chores” as I can but will likely spend another 8½ minutes doing household chores and tidying up a bit. Not because cleanliness really is next to godliness. I will only clean and tidy up as much as is required to make me feel comfortable.

Of course shopping is a necessity so another 10 minutes will be spent in Costco and Walmart and the Bargain Bin.

That leaves 3 hours left just for me.

We will probably quit travelling in a couple of years but I imagine we will spend another 15 minutes in Cuba before we’re done.

One of the things I have learned at this stage in my life is I don’t have to wait for special occasions to enjoy special treats, such as all the delicious goodies I like so much that I used to have only at Christmas. I can treat myself to them anytime I like. 

And I will have a beer or three - or more. Not right now, even though I can. But when I feel like I will enjoy it. 

I  think routine is important in our lives and I have settled into a routine of sorts although it is very flexible.

I get up early and will spend 35% (1.05 hours) of my remaining time on the computer, writing, selling on Kijiji, wasting time on FaceBook, reading etc.

Then I allow myself some free time. I might bake, putter around outside in the summer, relax by the fire in the winter or even have a nap.

Having a nap is not the same as sleeping. Just as a snack is often more enjoyable than eating a meal, naps are far more enjoyable than sleeping. In fact three or four naps of a very short duration and all in a row is heaven. Napping during a ballgame is the ultimate.

A buzzer will sound to signify the end of the work day for us. Yes I have a work buzzer that plays on our sound system throughout the house on weekdays to remind us of the days that the work buzzer controlled our lives.

It also lets us know that it’s time for a beer and a game of pool and another 40% of my life has passed me by.

Following our game of pool we eat in front of the TV enjoying our latest series on DVD while enjoying a glass of wine. 

Tick Tock Tick Tock there goes another ½ hour.

If my math has been right, I’m down to the last 24 minutes of my life. It’s time for another game of pool while listening to some music. My Shirley and I are not good pool players but we are equally poor which keeps the games interesting. They are always close and the winner can never be accurately predicted.

When the pool game is over, with just 10 minutes remaining we enjoy sitting at the bar sipping on our beer or a special cocktail while we talk and listen to some more music. Sometimes it will involve feeding a critter at the back door and sometimes we will just look out the window.

After all these years we still find things to talk about but sometimes we just enjoy the silence of each other’s company.

And when those 10 minutes have ticked past, that’s it.

My grandfather clock will sound it’s final toll and then remain silent.

- 30 -


  1. Thought provoking and a little bit scary. We don't often think about the end as we keep busy with now, and now and now.
    It was a little scary at first then I got it... Enjoy now and now and now

    1. I wasn't really sure what it was about myself, when I first wrote this and I worried that it might be a bit too morbid. But I think you nailed it. Thanks for helping put it into perspective.


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