Morning Coffee: It’s All In The Numbers

003It’s just a number. That’s what people like to say when you get upset about your weight or a dress size. Numbers are unreliable, changing, they’ll tell you. Everyone’s weight fluctuates. Dress sizes change depending on the manufacturer or designer.

But if you ask an athlete or sports enthusiast if numbers are important, they’ll tell you numbers are the most important. A team’s stats determine whether or not they go to the top of their league. A player’s stats are what determine if they play again next year and how much they’re paid to do so. The higher the number the better. Unless you play golf, then the lower the better.

To a mathematician or scientist, numbers are what define the universe and everything in it.

I have been obsessed with a few numbers, myself, the last few months. You see, today is my 60th birthday. There…I said it. 60! The down-side of the hill, so to speak. No other “big” birthday has bothered me the way this one has. Not 40 or 50.

60!

I can’t stop that roll down the hill, but I can at least try to slow it down. So I rejoined WW (the new branding for Weight Watchers) in January. So far I’ve lost 26lbs and I’d love to lose at least 10lbs more. Not only does carrying less weight make me feel better physically and emotionally, it’s helping me to drop some other rather important numbers…my cholesterol. Nothing guarantees how fast you reach the bottom of your personal hill, but being healthy is the best way to try and control your descent, and control just how beat up you are when you do reach bottom. I know when I saw my doctor in February she was pleased to see my numbers had already begun to improve. Yet another case where the lower the number the better.

Then there’s another big number coming up fast. Next month we’ll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. (Yes, I was a mere child bride.) Not many people can say they made it that far without throwing their spouse out the door, walking out themselves, or attempting to dispose of a body.

As a writer, it’s about word counts and number of pages. I hope to soon have to obsess over some new numbers…sales and fans. Stay tuned and that will be a topic for future day.

In the meantime, it’s off to Canada to fish with family and friends. A great way to celebrate a birthday. After all, it’s “just a number”, right?

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Morning Coffee: Caribbean Vacation

Carnival Magic 2019I just returned from the first of three vacations that just happen to fall within a six week time period. The second two are annual plans, a girls’ trip with my sister and a couple’s fishing trip to Canada with friends and family. This first one, though, was more last minute when my daughter needed someone to take over a cruise ticket when traveler number four fell ill and couldn’t go.

I’ve never been on a cruise before so this was a great chance to get away and try new things (something I’m not terribly good at, being somewhat of a worry wart). So, on Easter Sunday I boarded the Carnival Magic in Miami with my daughter, her boyfriend, and his daughter, for a fun week in the Caribbean.

11a Katy and Jane zipline at Amber Cove Dominican RepublicOur first port was Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, where I tried the zip line…twice. Even though my harness fell off as I approached the cable for the first time!! Yes, I did have a moment of rethinking my position, but decided it was no doubt a fluke or someone would have shut them down by then. Good thing I was right because I had enough fun to do it a second time.

 

17b Jane and Katy Coki Beach St ThomasOur second port was Coki Beach on St Thomas. There I tried snorkeling with my daughter’s help. That did not go as well. I’ve never felt as claustrophobic as I did when I strapped on that full face mask. I was warned that it would feel like I had no air to breathe when, in reality, I did, and they were right. But I just couldn’t let go of the feeling the mask was smothering me. I did manage to put my face in the water long enough to watch the fish come to eat the bits of bread my daughter dropped in the water for them and that was pretty cool, but that was it. The soft sand slid under my feet and every wave then lifted and pushed me away from my daughter’s grasp. Then, somehow, a little salt water found its way inside the mask and into my eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever removed something as fast as I removed that mask. I don’t know if I’ll be able to try that again, but I’m keeping an open mind.

Our third port was San Juan. My daughter and I went on a five hour bus tour of the rain forest and old fort. If you get a chance to go to Puerto Rico, do. Despite the damage they suffered under Hurricane Maria, they are open for business. The tour guide told how the entire island was brown after the storm. Not a single leaf or blade of green. But the island is once again a brilliant green. Their plants regenerate faster than any others and the result is beautiful! The Puerto Ricans count on tourism and there is so much to see and do you will not be disappointed.

55a Grand TurkOur fourth and final port was Grand Turk, another beautiful beach with amazing clear blue water. This time I stayed on shore and watched my daughter and her boyfriend snorkel. It was too soon to try that again.

Vacations are meant to be a getaway from our every day work. Think of it like a computer re-boot. I spent my time reading or soaking in the sunshine and all the beautiful tropical life around me. The only writing I did was in the airport. Next week I leave for a week on South Beach and then Key West with my sister. I suspect it will be much of the same. By the time June rolls around I’ll be chomping at the bit to get back to my work in progress while enjoying nothing more than the quiet beauty of my own backyard.

69 mother and daughter fun on board