advent journal: doing the math


I’m seventy minutes away from the end of my sixtieth year, as I sit down to write, and I have a confession to make: I am not a mathematician. I did, however, just stumble upon something as I was trying to figure out what words to use to close out this decade and begin the next. One of the songs that has shown up more than once on this blog is “Seasons of Love” from the musical RENT. We all know it well enough to sing along for at least a couple of lines:

five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
how do you measure, measure a year?

That math is pretty easy: 365 x 24 x 60 = 525,600 minutes.

But here’s my where my end-of-decade foray with figures surprised me. I decided to see just how many hours I’ve been alive and so I did my calculation: 60 x 365 x24 = 525, 600 hours, which begs the question, how do I measure my life?

in hugs
in hope
in sorrows
in laughter
in late-night discussions
in friendships
in cookies
in stories
in houses
in schnauzers
in books
in words
in songs
in meals
in surprises
in failures
in faces
in grace
in gratitude
and yes, in love

The list is by no means exhaustive. I’ve spent nearly half of my life with Ginger, which is enough to have made my life worth living all on its own. I feel overwhelmingly fortunate to be me: to feel so loved and so cared for, to have so many stories to tell of all the ways love has found me. I’m going to borrow and bend some of Guy Clark’s words to finish up my fifties andimg_4875 see what is to come:

I’m sixty years old with a flour sack cape
tied all around my head
still climbing up on the garage
and will be till I’m dead
all these years the people said
I was acting like a kid
I did not know that I could not fly
and so I did

I’m one of those who knows that life
is just a leap of faith
spread your arms hold your breath
and always trust your cape

I think that equation will keep working for me.



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