I would like to introduce a new article series. My friend Miranda “Mandy” is a legal wizard with a unique perspective on love, life, and the law. I enjoy reading her articles and I hope you do as well. Amee You can see more at Gavel Babble.
Morality vs. Mortality Table
90 minutes a day! Really? That’s it. Just 90 minutes a day I thought to myself as the radio announcer stated emphatically, that was the amount of time the average [working] mom has to herself every week. (Side bar: when they say the “average working mother” I am also including all of the true Stay at Home working mothers as well!) The announcer stated that the two things those moms wanted most of all was to first spend more time with their children and second READ. To most people, this was probably a quick fact that was probably dismissed or glossed over, however; The Counselor quickly concluded that more investigation and research needed to be done.
How many hours does 90 minutes actually equate to each week, month and year? Well, 90 minutes a day equals approximately 10.5 hours a week, 10.5 hours a week for 52 weeks that are in a year, equals to 546 hours per year. Divide 546 by 24 hours per day and guess what? The grand total of “quality of life” that each “working” mother is allowed each year is 22.75 days. (Side Bar: If my math is correct, my father—a former math teacher would be so proud. If not, that’s what lawyers hire fancy experts for this stuff. Any lawyer that is good at math, be afraid… be very afraid. I am sure there are mutants out that can do both—I just haven’t met one yet.)
At the end of any civil trial, a Plaintiff’s lawyer will present something called a “mortality table” which is basically a chart that “on average” will determine when you are expected to die. Nice, right!!! That really gives you the warm and fuzzies. The lawyer uses mortality chart to determine the amount of damages (money) his client should receive, based upon the number of years he/she can expect or is expected to live. What if we apply this same concept to the working mom vs. quality of life? I will use myself as a test case. It will take approximately 22 years combined to raise both of my children to college age before my husband and I become “empty nesters.” When you do the math, I will only have 1.37 years of the 22 years (or 6% of your life) to engage in activities that fall under the “me time” category.
According to the latest 2010 Social Security mortality table, the average life span for a female 35 years old is 81.46 years. The average life span for a 35 year old male is 77.23. Assuming those numbers are correct, I could potentially have 46.46 years left to live. For the sake of this analysis, if I continue on the “90 minute” path AFTER my children venture out into the world, regardless of what I do to fill those 90 glorious minutes with, that still means that I will only have a mere 3.84 years of my life for ME! Certainly these numbers could change, because studies have shown that for the most part as people get older they do work less. However, when put in perspective even 46.46 years isn’t a significant period of time.
The bigger, more poignant question still remains … what are you doing to savor and cherish every second of that 90 golden minutes you are allotted each day? How can we turn “me time” into “we time” to make the most out of the time we have left? Is there a way, maybe through better time management, to avoid the costly price that has taken a toll on our quality of life? We all know that “do overs” do not exist when we are standing at the pearly gates. However, maybe the key is to mitigate the damages already incurred from that with which we have taken advantage of and live life abundantly in time and quality of life.
The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.