How a Grid of Squares Can Make You Stop and Think

This post has two objectives. The first is to point you to Wait But Why which is, simply put, one of the most wonderful sources of great thought-provoking and interesting articles I’ve found in a long long while. Item one.. check! The second point of this post is related directly to one of those articles. Specifically, the Your Life in Weeks post.

Like many, I grapple with the day-to-day rollercoaster that is life. And you know as well as I do, that the very act of living that day-to-day challenge rarely leaves time to step back and really consider it. I won’t pretend to give you sage advice or extract some over-arching meaning to it all. It just struck me that this simple image – your life in a grid of weeks – 52 per row, each row representing a year – made me stop and think:


There is a finite amount of squares – your own personal allotment. As in, you ain’t getting any more. You can see how far you’ve gone and surely with a little fuzziness, how much you’ve got left. It’s not exactly depressing. But it can give you that sharp kick in the pants to realize that those little squares are precious. Look at this Life of a Typical American version of it:


I can’t really make sense of what it makes me feel. I look at the first part and smile, but that smile turns into sort of a mouth-open stare when you realize how far you are down the page in your life. The squares don’t go on forever. It makes you think about priorities. It can fill you with questions. How important was that argument with your daughter about cleaning up her room? How urgent are those work deadlines? How important is your own personal happiness and satisfaction?

No definitive answers to any of those here. Believe me. But it definitely has a way of grabbing both your shoulders and holding you still for a moment to think about it.

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