On the last day of my first (and I originally thought only) Year1 of Living Non-Judmentally, I wrote this, in a footnote:
* I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, regarding my feelings about numbers. I love numbers, sometimes. However, numbers are not my native language, so sometimes they challenge me. Hmmm. I don’t like the way I said that. “They challenge me” is too mild, too wimpy a statement. How about this? Sometime, I hate numbers. Nope, too strong. How about this? Sometimes, numbers make me crazy. Nope, “crazy” is not a great word for me to use. How about this? Sometimes they make me angry. Nope, people have trouble with anger. Arrrghh! What’s the right word, regarding me and numbers? Damned if I know, right now. Maybe I’ll figure that out next year.
It’s well into next year, and I have yet to figure out my feelings about — and relationship to — numbers.
Here are some things I know:
- I definitely notice numbers.
- I can have trouble holding on to them. For example, yesterday I had a 3:30 appointment with one of my doctors, and, in my mind, it was a 2 PM appointment. Another example: today I’m meeting an old friend from college, and I can’t remember how many years it’s been since the last time I saw him.
- Remembering numbers can seem critical to my survival. Therefore, when I can’t access a number quickly, my automatic response can be negative (anxiety, self-criticism, worry, etc.)
- There are lots of numbers to deal with, from the past, present, and (I assume) future.
- I can’t quite figure out how important numbers are, for me.
Some numbers I’m thinking about, right now:
- How many more days should/will I stay home from work?2
- When I go back to work, how many hours per week will be the “correct” balance, taking into account my (a) health and (b) finances?3
- What’s a good-enough weight for me, right now?4
- How many more items will there be in this list?5
- How many more words in this morning’s post, before I’m done writing?6
- How many pictures will I show here?7
Hmmm. Some of those questions have more obvious answers than others. As always, I shall do my best, figuring things out.
I’m going to conclude this post with some recent photos I’ve taken. In order of appearance:
Here are some numbers regarding that photo. The number of times I’ve walked by that sign: 100’s. The number of words — and legs — on that sign: 2. The number of days since I took that photo: I’m guessing … 5. Wait! There’s some data I can check, to find out the actual number. Aha! I was wrong (but very close) … it’s 6.
How many limbs there? 2. How many limbs was I expecting? 4.
As you can see for yourself, there are lots of numbers in that photo.
How many dandelions in that photo? 3. How many blisses? The answer depends on what — and how — you’re counting.
How many times have I been to that restaurant? 1. How many days before I expect to return? 3.
How many people in Massachusetts have a license plate with the word “Toad”? I’m assuming more than one.
How many strings on that instrument? 6. How many stripes on those cushions? Ahhhh … forget it.
How many papers is Harley sitting on? 1. What’s on that paper?
Thanks to numbers everywhere, to people who have varying reactions to numbers, and to you — of course! — for reading this today (one time, I assume).
1 The year I started blogging was 2013.
2 Most likely, I’ll return to work in 2 days. 8
3 I’ll probably start out working about 12 hours/week, increasing as I can. 8
4 Weight is such a loaded issue. I’m definitely NOT going into that now.
5 There were 6 items on that list.
6 I’m too impatient — or it’s just not important enough to me — to find out how many words I wrote after that.
7 I showed 9 photos. Or — more precisely — I showed 8 photos I had taken, plus one zoom, blow-up, close-up, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it.
8 These numbers are subject to change.