Fifteen Years

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A few weeks ago my family went out to California to pay respects to one of Maile's uncles that had passed away.  He was in his mid/late 50s and died of a massive anurism.

It was pretty sudden when it happened, and his family was of course devastated.  While at the funeral though, I kept thinking about his daughter Angelina, who's 20 years old.

It got me thinking.

My daughter Leila is 5, which means that should she lose me at the age of 20, we have 15 years left with each other. (And my son Kai is 3.)

I've written about loss before, and I do so not to be morbid, or depressing, but merely to understand and accept the reality that life is short, fleeting, and unpredictable.

We've been taught that to live our lives without a little planning, or without saving money for retirement, or without working hard to build something, can be a careless way to go through ones life.  And this is true - to an extent.  If I reach 70 or 80 or 90, I'd like to still be able to support myself financially.

But I've come to believe that living our lives in a way that assumes we'll live until old age is equally careless.

Because if we were to know our children only had 15 years left with us, we might not be quite so willing to accept that 2 hour commute every day.  We might have a little less patience for a job that didn't give us the autonomy we need. And we certainly wouldn't give up a family vacation to work on a project unless it was meaningful and rewarding beyond the bills that it paid.

So while I still want to build a company that's great, and I still want to save money for when I'm old, I also try to let the idea of what would happen if I only had 15 years left with my kids influence me.

Because I think living my life that way is likely to make me happier today, and in the future, regardless of how long I actually end up living.