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How Long Will You Live?

Updated on August 11, 2014
The Hour Glass (Slippery Slope of Time)
The Hour Glass (Slippery Slope of Time) | Source

The Number of Breaths We Take

There is an old-timey Cajun way of contemplating sunsets, by measuring and knowing the number of sunsets you've been given. It changes the way you'll look at your personal sunsets. If you were to live one hundred years, you'll only have 36,500 sunsets in your personal century. Doesn't sound like a lot of sunsets for one hundred years of wisdom, does it?

Looking back on my own 21,535 sunsets, I've had ample time to marvel at the breathtaking red, orange, pink and purple sunsets, that I've personally viewed. From a spectacular sunset in an ancient desert adobe mission, to the sky view on a junket boat on South China Sea, or to liquid glow from an Italian beach side by the Adriatic Sea - these are just few that I cherish, all personally holding particular meaning and insight.

So, why count your sunsets? What purpose will it serve? What insights will you find?

The Human Life Span and Expectancy

  • Science accepts that some humans can live to be age 122.
  • Anyone born after 2006 can expect to live to 77.5 years.
  • The average 65 year old today can expect to live another 18.4 years.
  • The average 75 year old today can expect to live another 9.3 years.
  • The average woman can expect to live to 84.8 to 87.6 years.
  • The average man can expect to live to 75.2 years to 85.5 years.


Top Favorite Ways to Live Longer

  1. Drinking red wine in moderation weekly
  2. Eating dark chocolate everyday
  3. Smiling everyday
  4. Having more sex more often
  5. Eliminating unnecessary stress and manage unavoidable stress
  6. Making exercise a priority
  7. Getting some extra sleep
  8. Spending time with those you love
  9. Expanding your mind
  10. Having a positive attitude


Lots to Learn!

Sunset at New Symrna Beach
Sunset at New Symrna Beach | Source

Sunsets Measured By Age 10

Well, if you are ten years old, you've only had 3,600 sunsets to get to know the ropes of living life. While you hopefully have a lifetime of sunsets still before you, it's not easy to be ten years old in 2008. If you are lucky, you've only got a tiny notion of what your life purpose might hold.

You still have lots to learn, as you race towards those remaining 32,900 sunsets. Sit on the porch in the evenings with someone older and wiser, watch the sunset, and listen to them talk about the mysteries of life. It's also a way to cleverly postpone your dreaded bedtime.

No Time for Counting!

Samurai Beach - "Age is a high price to pay for maturity." ~ Tom Stoppard
Samurai Beach - "Age is a high price to pay for maturity." ~ Tom Stoppard | Source

Sunsets Measured By Age 16

When you hit that first magical milestone of sixteen, you begin to think with 5,840 sunsets under your belt, you know it all, or at least more than your parents. You could be wrong, but might not fully know it for another 30,660 sunrises.

At sixteen, you probably don't have time for reflecting on sunsets. The wise young person will try to occasionally slip away from the distractions of young love and having fun to find themselves, and attempt to determine what their true strengths and talents are.

The World is Your Oyster

Sunet, from Zebulun beach in Herzliya, Israel -- "No one is so old as to think he cannot live one more year." ~ Cicero
Sunet, from Zebulun beach in Herzliya, Israel -- "No one is so old as to think he cannot live one more year." ~ Cicero | Source

Sunsets Measured by 18

At that bigger milestone of eighteen, with a mere 730 sunsets passing since you turned sixteen, you've only amassed 6,570 sunsets. Wow! You still know it all.

However, now that you are an adult, you might wonder why there are so many times, as the sun sets on another day, that you don't feel as confident or together as some of your peers. Life is exciting though, with 29,930 sunsets remaining on your calendar. It's time to start planning your future sunsets, if you haven't already.

You Have Arrived!

Blackbird Sunset - "Age is a sorry travelling companion." ~ Danish proverb
Blackbird Sunset - "Age is a sorry travelling companion." ~ Danish proverb | Source

Sunsets Measured by 21

The ultimate milestone, of course is turning twenty-one. You now have 7,665 sunsets behind you. You'd think you'd understand by now, that's not really a lot of time on this planet.

Here you are, at an age when most of us are so full of ourselves, thinking we can conquer the world. The joke is that anyone who is more than a decade past your milestone, most likely is amused by your enthusiasm and a little jealous of your remaining 28,835 passages. Start living your sunsets, before too many responsibilities dictate your level of tiredness and the outcome of your successes.

The Beginning of the Slippery Slope

Love is being stupid together --  It's not the number of sunsets you are given, it's what you had to be glad about at the end of each day.
Love is being stupid together -- It's not the number of sunsets you are given, it's what you had to be glad about at the end of each day. | Source

Sunsets Measured Age 30

Freaking out about turning age 30 seems a little silly, when it's a mere 10,950 days, yet that's what many of us do, especially women. Suddenly it seems, you are middle aged and getting older by the minute.

Your suspicions about time slipping by too fast, makes you wonder, why certain goals you had in your twenties never happened? Far worse, you worry that those benchmarks might never happen. With 25,550 sunsets gone, it might be time to stop and have another look at the quality of your future sunsets.

Time to Get Busy

Sonoran desert sunset
Sonoran desert sunset | Source

Sunsets Measured at 40

Turning 40, with the chapters of 14,600 sunsets closed, you suddenly have a real sense that you might be running out of time and energy. You are all too aware of this milestone in the life cycle, as it creates much anxiety and self-doubt. With only 21,900 sunsets ahead on the trail, it's time to get busy while you still can.

Half Way There

Sunset Starberger - "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?" ~ Satchel Paige
Sunset Starberger - "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?" ~ Satchel Paige | Source

Measuring Sunsets at 50

That half-century mark of 50 years, can make 18,250 sunsets panic time. After all, you are at the half way mark in terms of sunsets, with as many remaining as you've been blessed with. You've earned the right to stop and think about the other half of your hour glass, the sunsets remaining in your life. You'd be wise to do this, because surely, you've figured it out - sunsets are a gift, not a promise. It's time to make the best use of what sunsets you have left.

Share Your Sunsets

"In youth the days are short and the years are long; in old age the years are short and the days are long." ~ Nikita Panin
"In youth the days are short and the years are long; in old age the years are short and the days are long." ~ Nikita Panin | Source

Sunsets Measured by 60

Turning 60, you'll find that 21,900 sunsets are quite an accomplishment. Not everyone made it this far. By now, you're painfully aware that the one thing you can't count on is how many of the remaining 14,600 sunsets, you'll be able to share with your peers. Some of them are already gone. Share your sunsets with those you love, whenever you can.

Nothing But Time

Silverdale sunset --  "To be seventy years yong is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old." ~ Oliver Whendell Holmes
Silverdale sunset -- "To be seventy years yong is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old." ~ Oliver Whendell Holmes | Source

Sunsets Measured by 70

By the time, you are seventy, 25,550 sunsets have rested. You're wise enough to know that sunsets are more brightly colored than the sunrises. You've got exactly as many sunsets (10,950) left, as you witnessed when you were thirty. However, the difference is, you no longer have to make the time to enjoy your sunsets. You certainly have a whole lot more time for this vital activity. Use them wisely!

Now How Many Sunsets Was That?

Bali Sunset - "Few people know how to be old." -- La Rochefourcauld
Bali Sunset - "Few people know how to be old." -- La Rochefourcauld | Source

Measuring Sunsets by 80

At age 80, 29,200 sunsets are a little tiring. Not only are the people around you thinking you're getting pretty old, but your aches and pains are telling you the same. Some of you might be forgetting, just how many sunsets you've been blessed with in your lifetime. If you are lucky, 7,300 sunsets still await you. By now, maybe you should consider making a note to remember to count your daily sunsets, it wouldn't hurt.

All You've Got Left to Share

Sunset over San Diego Graveyard --  "It is time to be old. To take in sail." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sunset over San Diego Graveyard -- "It is time to be old. To take in sail." Ralph Waldo Emerson | Source

Measuring Sunsets by 90

If you make it to age 90, 32,850 sunsets have passed and you've probably stopped counting. Nobody wants to be reminded, especially you, that you have the same number of sunsets left as that ten year old had amassed in the beginning.

With the hour glass of time running out, now is the last hour to make peace with yourself. Don't forget to express you love for your family and friends. Share what kernels of wisdom you might have left, with anyone who is willing to listen.

What Are the Colors of Your Personal Sunset

Bare Tree Sunset
Bare Tree Sunset | Source

Measuring Sunset Number 36,500

Back when my Grandpere Emile taught me to count my sunsets the Cajun way, I was just a child who thought he was being quite silly. He didn't get to see the 36,500 sunsets, even though he lived through a few more than 36,500. On that 36,500th sunset, blind for the last eight years of his life, he celebrated with cake and candles.

He was till counting his sunsets until the very last day of his life at age 100. "Tell me when the suns getting ready to go down and take me out on the porch to my rocking chair," he would order us in Cajun French. Then, we would have to tell him all the colors of "his personal sunset."

Finally, I hope you'll learn to count your sunsets too, should you come around to this way of thinking. It's a great way of reminding yourself how wonderful it is to be alive. The purpose of counting your sunsets is simple, it keeps you aware of how every day lived -- is both a blessing and an opportunity. The insights you will have by watching sunsets and reflecting on them, are as individual as all of humankind - don't take them for granted.

Anti-Aging, Stay Well and Look Young

Super Centenarians

Do you aspire to be a "super centenarian" or at least want to live to be one hundred years old?

Reportedly, one of the longest living humans, was a Chinese man named Li Ching Yun, credited his long life to a vegetarian diet, special herbs (Fo-ti-tieng and ginseng tea every day), and most importantly -- a habit of "inward calm." Up until the day he died, he enjoyed good health. He outlived twenty-three wives and many of his own children and grandchildren. He still had his own teeth and had not lost his hair.

Active Aging

What's Your Personal Tip for Staying Young?

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    • Jerilee Wei profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerilee Wei 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks Tammy L! We all need to be more conscious of how precious all sunsets are.

      Thanks jorja kick! I'm right there with you.

    • jorja kick profile image

      jorja kick 

      7 years ago from southeast georgia

      I love this and you are so right .."sunsets are a gift, not a promise. It's time to make the best use of what sunsets you have left."


    • Tammy L profile image

      Tammy L 

      7 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Beautifully written with lovely pictures. In my more than 15,695 sunsets, I have watched two human lives end, endured cataract surgery well before my 10,950th sunset and seen the undeveloped fetus of a feline that had been miscarried.

    • Jerilee Wei profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks! Life's too precious and too short to do otherwise.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      Lovely - I'll never take a sunset for granted again! Thanks Jerilee!

    • cindylangwho profile image


      10 years ago from Michigan

      Wow that's beautiful. Your content and your layout. I am suddenly motivated :)


    • stevenschenck profile image


      10 years ago from Sacramento California

      Thank you so much for the great hub. I am amazed at the depth of self love you must have to see the world in such a rich, positive way.

      Also impressive is the layout of your web site, I love all the interactive material.

      Luck and Love


    • Dottie1 profile image


      10 years ago from MA, USA

      I enjoyed this hub very much. It's now time for me to make the best use of what sunsets I have left. Thank you.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a very interesting way to look at life. I will be counting my sunsets!

      Thanks, Carol

    • monitor profile image


      10 years ago from The world.


      I will be sure to look at my 18625th sunset in a very different way tonight. I have always cherished sunset. As you, I have seen them all over the world.

      I love dogs and own a very lively mid size ball of energy. Couple of months back we spent a day meandering our way across Japan from Osaka to The Japan Sea coast line. We arrived at the coast line and he took off for some exercise. Then he came back and sat quielty right beside me. We sat on that cliff and watched the sun set into the Japan Sea in one of the most brilliant light shows I have seen in all my time. That sunset I shared with my dog. It was his 511th. I really enjoyed this hub. Thank you. Your fan. Mon.

    • John Chancellor profile image

      John Chancellor 

      10 years ago from Tennessee

      What a wonderful reflection. I think far too many people spend most of their lives in two time zones that rob them of life - the past and the future. Many people are deeply involved in trying to change the past while others waste the present trying to manage the futute.

      Learn to live in the present. It is the only time we have. Learn to live today ... instead of thinking that tomorrow you will start your self-development, your exercise program, you will start to express your love better ... today is all there is.

      There is a great essay by Og Mandino in the Return of the Rag Picker - For the Rest of My Life - and the core message is to live for today. Count your blessings today. Do what should be done today.

      If you make today count then all your sunsets will be beautiful.

    • The How To Hub profile image

      The How To Hub 

      10 years ago from Australia

      What a wonderful perspective this is. A couple of things jumped out at me.....

      "sunsets are more brightly colored than the sunrises" & "sunsets are a gift, not a promise" Thank you thank you thank you! I will remember this Hub for a long time to come : )

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Wow what a great hub and such beautiful pictures. I feel more relaxed already looking at those pictures alone with out all the words. Idid read them too, and very thought provoking. We should all take heed of the relax, smile, no stress, eat well. Thanks for sharing this


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