Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Days Old Are You?

We have a different kind of exercise for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music), is:

(1) Do you know how many days you have lived?  How many hours?  How many minutes?  How many seconds?  

(2) For this challenge, do some calculating.  Figure out how many days you've lived, how many hours, how many minutes, how many seconds (you can round off to account for the time you were born on your birth date; do you know it?).   Tell us your birth date and birth time (if you know it), then calculate your time alive up until your birth time today.

NOTE:  If math befuddles you, use the Age Calculator at

(3) What does all of this mean to you?  Think about that marvelous "machine" inside your chest beating in rhythm.  Share your thoughts!  

(4) Share with us your results in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

1.  Do I know already?  Beyond number of years, nope.  Not a clue.

2.  I was born Monday, April 9, 1962 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.

• Math does not befuddle me, but I believe in using handy tools when they exist, so I went to the Age Calculator.  It says I am 59 years and 6.7 months, which I instead think of as 59 years, 6 months, and 3 weeks.

• The site tells me that apparently equals 21,754 days.  I don't know if it takes into account leap days, but I don't care.  The site is hosted at Cornell, though, so it probably does.

• At 24 hours per day, that equals 522,096 hours, minus one hour because the site probably rounded up the day and it's currently 3:30 p.m., so 522,095 hours.

• At 60 minutes per hour, that equals 31,331,700 minutes.

• And at 60 seconds per minute, the total is 1,879,902,000 seconds.

(And I did all those computations by hand, thank you.)

3.  What does this mean to me?  I don't really know.  Numbers that large mostly lose any meaning, because I can't effectively compare them to something that I can conceptualize.  But I can riff off of Randy's ideas.

• That is roughly 174,031 hours sleeping and more than 21,754 times waking up (I also take naps, sometimes more than one during the day), with my body doing all the things it needs to during downtime.

• If about two thirds of my hours were spent awake, that's around 348,063 hours.   An inordinate number of them were spent watching television and pursuing other entertainment, but a very reasonable number I'm sure I spent eating, eith family, with pets, and doing other enjoyable things.

• How many hours were devoted to work?  I can estimate 8 hours/day, 5 day/week, and 50 weeks/year, but only 31 years so far, which makes 7,750 days and 62,000 hours.  That only takes into account my regular salaried or hourly work for others, though.  I can't figure out a good way to estimate the time I've spent doing freelance work outside of that.

• How many hours have I worked on family history and genealogy?  I started researching my own family in 1975, when I was 13 years old.  Since then I've expanded what I do to include volunteer work, presentations, attending meetings, and more, while continuing to research my family.  Maybe 15 hours per week now on average is lowballing it, but I hesitate to say it's more.  I didn't spend that much time at the beginning, anyway.  So if I take into account it's been 46 years and make it 10 hours per week, that's still 23,920 hours focused on family history.

• I don't spend as much time thinking about mortality as I used to.  My mother died less than two monhs after her 54th birthday, and even though I knew I was unlikely to die that young, because I didn't smoke for 35 years, the number still hung over my head until I passed it.  After that I could focus on my father, 83; paternal grandfather, 82; and grandmother, 83; and maternal grandfather, 77, and grandmother, 87.  That said, I ran my numbers through WolframAlpha's algorithm, and it said my current life expectancy is 86.2 years and that I have a 4% chance of living to be 100.


  1. I am impressed at all the detail you covered in this post and like the 23,920 hours you've spent on genealogy. A person after my own heart.

    1. After all, there is no such thing as too much time spent on genealogy, is there? )

  2. You do have a nice history of longevity. My mother died at 59 and I too waited out til I passed it. My grandmother lived 99.9 yrs.

    1. I hadn't realized how long my other immediate ancestors had lived until I put them together for this post. And my father living to 83 is even more impressive when you consider that he smoked for 45 years. So I feel good about my chances for a long life.


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