“For my 70th birthday I would like to invite you to join me for a nude beach party,” my friend announced, dressed in a hijab and in her early 30s.

“Sure!” I laughed, imagining my group of friends from university, of every colour, shape, gender and culture, imagining us in our 60s and 70s, running bare and free at a nude beach.

“I might have lost my sight by then,” one of the boys sighed.

“You need to give me more notice,” another one joked.

It got me thinking, what would a 100-year calendar look like? How would it affect my life if I started mapping out the next 60-70 years? Career, family, travel, birthday parties, and even my own death…

Of course there’s no way to know when you are going to die, nor any way to know in what ways the world is going to change next year or in 60 years time. The state of technology, of war, population, poverty, peace, of values, culture, and life styles… all are constantly change.

However there are some things that can be mapped out:























What is this world I’m in?

Study, try jobs, have fun!

Career: publish, work, specialise


Back to career. Pay off mortgage.

Have I lived a good life?

Grand kids. The nude beach party.

Leave a mark on the world

Any final remarks?

Legacy & genes live on

In 2072 will I have experienced 59 more NYE’s, 59 more Christmas Days, and 59 more birthdays. If I live to 90-years old (as I plan), 2072 will be the year I pass away. If I live to 2082 I will have been on the planet for an entire century. Maybe I’ll make it, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll live on through babies I make, books I create, policies, businesses, and teaching, or maybe I won’t.

Then I catch myself: Is it morbid to be thinking about this?

When something is unknown I get anxious. When I have certainty, anxiety disappears. If there is one thing certain in life, it is death. So what is behind our resistance to articulate, discuss and come to terms with it?

Facing up to death need not be a source of anxiety. In fact it may make you less anxious than acting as if it will “never happen to you”.

Owning your death, truly accepting it, and living your life in the certainty of it, can be source of empowerment.

Thinking about death helps me appreciate every moment I’m in. It helps motivate me to plan my future, knowing that these plans are always changing. And most of all it helps point out the humour that comes from the fickleness of it all. One day there will be nothing once more.

Life is like a game: you play it. It’s not an endpoint to arrive at but is a process to be enjoyed. You can struggle with it, and narrate a story of suffering. Or you can dance your way through it, narrate a story of laughter and care. At my end, when my body starts to croak, I hope I can look back and say—“wasn’t it good.” And I hope that others can remember me, and the legacy I leave behind, and say the same.