Permanently young and healthy body........how long before "life fatigue" sets in?

Suppose you had a permanently young body (you get to pick an age; maybe somewhere between 25 and 35) and also permanently fit and healthy body - you never die or get a terminal illness, and major injuries always eventually recover so you never become blind or paralyzed (although you do still suffer a lot of pain, so it’s not like you’ve been gifted Superman-like invincibility.)

You still have to work for your income. You still have to do all the things normal people have to do to get by.

Under such circumstances, how long do you think you could live before “life fatigue” starts to kick in and you think, “All right, I’ve had it, don’t want to live anymore?” A thousand years, ten thousand, a million years?

Maybe when you have seen the same face in the mirror a million mornings in a row? Or when you have outlived twenty spouses’ lifetimes and had a hundred children?

Well, It will probably take me another life time just to earn the money so I don’t have to worry about money. Once the work problem is solved I can think of several hobbies that will keep me entertained for 30 odd years or so to master each them. So without trying too hard it would take me 200-300 years just with my current interests and hobbies. From there I could see adding hobbies and I could get to 1,000 just exploring things that aren’t on my radar right now.

I don’t think spouses and children’s death will be a big deal at a certain point you enjoy the time you have with someone and even if you need to take a hundred years to grieve without starting a new family or forming new connections who cares. I could see taking a mountain man century after my wife and kids die and learning how to live off the land and then rejoining society afterwards fresh without knowing anyone or really what’s going on in the world. That would make everything relatively fresh. I could do that century on century off thing on at least 6 continents and get to 1,200 years and I’m sure enough geography would have changed that going back to the first continent would be new and different at that point.

All that being said I think 10K years would be tough. Unless we developed interstellar travel in the next 2,500 years I can see things starting to get repetitive. Of course, once the stars are the limit my answer goes up a bunch. I think we won’t discover interstellar travel in the next 2,500 years so that’s what I’m going with for when I’d be ready to shuffle off.

For me to master all the hobbies I am or may eventually be interested in, to travel to all the places I’ve wanted to visit, to finish all the sexual conquests I’ve been too busy to get around to, and to work long enough to pay for all of that, I estimated it will take ~5,000 years.

After that, it’ll get pretty boring, but one of my burning unanswered questions is when exactly humanity will end up destroying itself completely, or reverting to a 18th century level of civilization after using up the easily accessible natural resources (I have no hopes that humans will ever develop interstellar travel), so I’ll at least stick around for that long before offing myself.

Knowing how selfish and violence-inclined the vast majority (ok, a bit of hyperbole there) of humans besides me are, it’ll likely happen before my 5,000 year timeframe is up.

Boredom is for teenagers. The older I get, the more interesting the world gets.

Suppose you set out to visit every tourist destination in the world, starting at the North Pole, and working your way southward. By the time you get to Capetown, Stockholm will have some new stuff in it. You will never be able to move fast enough to see everything.

There will always be one more place to visit, one more person to meet, one more book to read.

I did every item but one on my “bucket list” by the age of 40.

So I got another bucket.

I’ve gotten pretty far on that one, too. I might need a third bucket.

I’m pretty sure hundreds of years would be no problem. A thousand or two probably. After that - check back in with me.

That’s a topic covered often in SF, with different views. One that comes to mind is in Neil Asher’s Polity universe. There, people tend to hit an “ennui barrier” around the age 200–those who make it through that tend to be suited for centuries more (the books are set in the near enough future that nobody knows what happens thousands of years out.) In other books, on the other hand, people are shown to be fine with huge stretches of time. In Robert Reed’s Marrow (which is one of a series of books taking place on a Big Dumb Object) some of the ship’s crew get trapped in a situation that will take 5,000 years to escape. So they pretty much shrug their shoulders and wait it out. (IIRC, the ship had at the time had the same human as captain for 100,000 years).

But the real question about life, IMHO, is “Do I want to die today?” You don’t think of hundreds or thousands of years before or ahead of you, it is right now that counts. If you never decide to die today, then the todays can stack up indefinitely.

For Elrond, about 6500 years.

Also at the end of a recent excellent television series. The Good Place.

Actual Good Place was eventually torture for it residents. The solution was eventually to have a choice of actually ending as an individual consciousness and becoming part of the consciousness ocean. Which they all eventually chose.

That’s a Deal-Breaker. Fuck it! I quit.

I was going to mention him, as well as Galadriel, who was at least 7000 years old, and probably a lot older.

My luck I’d get framed for murder, and get life with no chance of parole.

I assume this is some magical gift bestowed upon me and not a global societal advancement? Because there is a big difference living in a society of immortals vs living like a loner vampire or Highlander.

Call me cynical, but most people don’t do shit with the time they currently have. What would suddenly be different given a thousand years?

And we aren’t talking about living thousands of years with Tom Brady’s life. It’s still YOURs. So you still have your same talents and limitations. i.e I could never be a professional football player if I practiced for a MILLION years.

Since you still need to work, you’re probably going to have to do that off and on forever (depending on what future economies may look like). I assume some mechanism can be set up so you don’t appear to be an immortal when job hunting. On the plus side, you can choose various careers over the centuries. And there’s no time pressure to complete any degrees or “make partner by the time I’m 30”. But you will definitely outlive any retirement funds unless you somehow come into a great windfall.

Just because you physically look 25-35 doesn’t mean you ARE 25-35. Although I suppose with no time pressures, I might be inclined to party it up for a few more centuries. But I imagine it would start to get difficult to relate to other people who don’t have a century of experience.

Honestly, I’m 48 and “life fatigue” is already starting to set in. Dealing with the daily grind of kids, wife, career bullshit, plus the pandemic. So I don’t know. I think I’d need to figure out some larger purpose than merely “existing” or millenia, living a life of debauchery, travel, and/or pursuing eclectic hobbies.

An interesting thought, and one that sci-fi has considered. And Kurt Vonnegut, with a short story about a society in which some cheap medication prolongs life so that you are 25 for a century or two.

Being of an age where the aches and pains accummulate, I just wonder how one could live for centuries without accumulated damage, mainly to the joints, because that is one part of the body that is not renewed. I just wonder how even a friendly genie could overcome that problem when you get your wish. The other problem is the accumulation of grief. Relatives and loved ones come and go, and there comes a point when enough is enough. It would be very, very painful to see your children grow up and die, over and over again. And, having seen elderly relatives outlive their friends and enemies, I can confirm that it’s a lonely life at the far end of the human lifespan.

OK, I get my wish and I am 25 for as long as I want. Being young and fit, I can keep on working, but my guess is that I would have to. Having unlimited time and an independent income would be great, I could do all the things I have wanted to and I could travel to my heart’s content. But it would be nice to have a partner t share this prolonged life with. If everybody got to live so long - then look for the Vonnegut story. The world gets very, very crowded if nobody dies.

How long? I suspect that “life fatigue” or “life ennui” would hit from time to time, so maybe two to four centuries would suffice. The big problem is, what happens when terminal ennui sets in and you want out. Having a long life is great, but not if the only way to end it is suicide.

I’m with msmith537. I’ve thought about this many times and I also think life fatigue would set in by the time I’m 150. I pick 150 only because I’d like to see how big those oak trees I planted in 2020 got or if the next owner of my place added an outdoor patio.

After that, time to go. I can’t imagine mowing my lawns for the next 500 years. (And I’m not really joking.)

To some extent. But people don’t save for a future that they aren’t sure they will be around to experience. They’d rather have a good time now, and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here.

If your life is an endless tomorrow, then it makes more sense to prepare for it. 30-40 years of hard work and spartan living should make you comfortable forever.

I don’t see why. Two to four centuries isn’t nearly long enough to experience everything that exists now, and I can’t imagine how much more there will be by then.

If you did nothing but read books, you could never catch up, as books are being written many times faster than can be read.

I suppose I wouldn’t want to outlive civilization, that could get boring.

Doesn’t have to be suicide exactly. When an adrenaline junky smears themself against the side of a cliff in a wing suit, that’s not really suicide.

If you start getting bored, just start doing more excising things.

It would probably take me at least several thousand years before I got bored. The books to read, video games to play, places to visit, etc. would take me at least that long.

There are so many things to do and see and read and hear and learn, I should be able to keep busy for centuries. The question I have is, how long before you start to feel not a part of the world? How long before you have trouble relating to the world when your formative years were so different?

Ever notice old people having trouble with modern culture, technology, societal norms, etc? Ever find yourself thinking about how things have changed since you were young, and not all for the better? What would it be like when a few hundred years have passed? Hell, I still listen to classic rock, I probably won’t be loving music made in 2300, not unless they bring back the guitar solo :smiley: . Think about how movies have changed. Look at movies from the 40’s and 50’s, even the 70’s, and compare them to movies in the past 20 years. What changes will come to entertainment, and will you be accepting, or will you find yourself uninterested or unable to relate to them?

After a couple hundred years, I think I’d start to feel like an alien among my own people.

I don’t know if “life fatigue” as we mortals know it would ever set in… getting tired of the stresses of life as your body gradually fails but your desires largely remain. If you never physically degenerate and your education/kids/career/etc that normally suck the life from you come then go and you get to keep going at 50 as though you’re still 25 and you don’t have to worry about doing things before you get old?

I think you’d run into different “Groundhog Day” type of boredom though that nobody living has really experienced. I think a lot of the drive and incentive for people to learn and accomplish things today comes from the knowledge that they only have a few decades available.

If your life is an endless tomorrow, then it makes more sense to prepare for it. 30-40 years of hard work and spartan living should make you comfortable forever.

The problem is that things could change and you no longer have enough money. Savings plans depend on reasonably good interest rates, and we don’t have them now. And, as the current situation shows, it can be very hard to save.

don’t see why. Two to four centuries isn’t nearly long enough to experience everything that exists now, and I can’t imagine how much more there will be by then.

If you did nothing but read books, you could never catch up, as books are being written many times faster than can be read.

Both are very true, but I think the biggest problem is the accumulation of grief.

Doesn’t have to be suicide exactly. When an adrenaline junky smears themself against the side of a cliff in a wing suit, that’s not really suicide.

That is not my idea of the best way to go. And adrenaline junkies tend to be youngish, and not merely because of the risks they take.

If you start getting bored, just start doing more excising things.

You mean exciting things? Well, yes, but there could be a point where you feel you have seen it all and done it all. Obviously, you cannot, but it is a question of a mental state that develops over time.

Maybe the hardest part of a Methuselan lifespan is seeing people make the same mistakes over and over, and seeing the politicians come and go, but always with the same big promises that are always broken. Can you die of cynicism?

After a couple hundred years, I think I’d start to feel like an alien among my own people.

A very valid point. Speaking as one who is not the youngest, there comes a point when you want a quieter and more retiring lifestyle, and where you no longer care about being up to date. With a greatly extended lifespan you would find that time has essentially become irrelevant. That also means that you have no sense of urgency to do anything much, there is always tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. Especially if you can be certain of reaching whether age you desire. “Only another 439 years to go, 'll wait until next year before I start leaning Mandarin.” Perhaps you can call back the genie and ask him to reset your expiry date, either bringing it forward or pushing it further back?