It’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.
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?
One thought on “Morning Coffee: It’s All In The Numbers”
Love your essay. And yes, I hit the big “6-0” last June. I did a lot of re-evaluation re: my physical health and doubled my efforts in exercising and re-building strength and flexibility lost during the previous decade (I was working then and injured myself on the job). It’s paid off. Back pain is diminished, as is repetitive stress injury to my shoulders, neck, and hands. Swimming 3x a week has helped a lot with that.
Again, loved your essay.