Is it just me, or does it seem like this year has completely catapulted out of control? We are already days into November; ten months have come and gone without incident. I am aware I am teetering on the edge of a full year of blog entries, yet what else have I done? I have absolutely nothing on my plate that gives me reason to stand and cheer. There is nothing at all in my arsenal – not a single morsel of significance – that adds value to my lifeline. My circle of life has become a trapezoidal roller coaster and I am beginning to realize I will most likely ‘toss my cookies’ on the last turn.
As usual, these thoughts sent me down Alice’s rabbit hole, again. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a button we could push that would calculate the breakdown of our personal time efficiency? The web offers us a multitude of metrics on every aspect of living, but how many of us are really “average?” It really is a fascinating thought to me.
I read recently that drones and worker bees live on average less than 40 days. During their life, each worker bee visits at least 1,000 flowers and produces less than a teaspoon of honey. These little creatures must find, extract, and deliver pollen and nectar from at least twenty-five flowers to the hive every day. And, since they are inactive at night, they must fulfill this task during daylight hours only.
While their lives seem so insignificant in terms of time, the ecological impact of each and every bee is phenomenal. In a single year, one honeybee colony (up to 60,000 bees) can gather about 40 pounds of pollen and 265 pounds of nectar. While the pollen delivers protein, fats, and nutrients which feed the colony, the nectar is turned into honey, producing between 60-80 pounds of honey a year.
The human timeline is much more complex, but simple facts show we have much more free time than our little buzzing buddies. In contrast, while the global life expectancy for women is 75 years old and 70 years old for men, in America average life expectancy for women is now 81 and for men 77. Based on national averages, we spend 28.8% of our day working (6.9 hours), 30% sleeping (7.2 hours), and 5% preparing food and eating (1.2 hours). This leaves 36.2% of free time every day (8.7 hours). Yes, I know, considering time spent on parenting, cleaning, laundry, etc., “free time” does not mean “free,” but still, do the math. Over a lifetime that is a bunch of hours.
For me, personally, that national average is not even close to my reality. At the height of my career, I averaged a minimum of 12-14 hours a day working with less than 5-6 hours of sleep every night. It was a grueling schedule and I often wonder how I managed. I have to presume that is normal for overachievers. I wonder… do any of the worker bees become overachievers? Do they question their value as their ability to contribute diminishes?
As we grow older those average percentages take a dramatic turn. I am now an overachiever in cinematic mastery. Okay, so that simply sounds better than watching television. In my defense, that cerebral stimulation often stirs my curiosity and sends me on interesting mind-warps for my writing. But I obviously need a side gig. My lifeline needs a lifeline. If I could only find the time. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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