Time is difficult to grasp, especially when we think about it in months or years. I couldn’t get a solid idea of how long my life has felt, so I decided to make a visual to show me just how long of a life I’ve had and how much time I have left (assuming a 75 year life expectancy).
I created a spreadsheet with 900 cells (12 months x 75 years). Each cell is labeled with a month, starting at my birthday in August of 1989. When the current month passes, the spreadsheet grays that month out.
Many find the idea disturbing, but the visualization helps me remember a few important things.
- Life is finite.
- I know when I am mostly likely to die, given the vast amount of data on mortality
- I am fortunate to have lived as long as I have.
I posted a screenshot of this spreadsheet to Facebook and I got some positive feedback so I decided to make it available and easier to use.
Download the Life by Months spreadsheet and open the file in Excel. At the top of the spreadsheet, you should see a cell with the date August 21, 1989. Click that cell and type in your own birth date (in that format or in the MM/DD/YYYY format). The sheet should fill in all the cells starting from your own birth date and gray out up to the current month.
I made the sheet “protected” in order to avoid unwanted editing to the formulas, but you can change that setting under “Tools” in Excel.
I would love any feedback or comments on this.