Saturday, June 30, 2012
There are days I feel like numbers run my life. Numbers on the scale, numbers on the clock, the numbers on a clothing label. The numbers of minutes I am running late, or how many minutes I can allow to get somewhere without being tempted to up the number on the speedometer which would then result in being way more minutes late and require a number of dollars to be paid, thus making it an idiotic strategy overall. The numbers in my bank account, the numbers of minutes I have exercised, the number of minutes I have squandered looking for lost items, or watching silly tv, or eating food I don't need, which robs me of energy. Numbers of calories consumed, numbers on a tape measure, the number of good, bad, or in-between choices I make that determine the course of any given day. Facing my birthday, I am aware of the number of years I have been alive (53 as of this Tuesday) and calmly aware that I am certainly well beyond the half-way point of my life (and even more aware that I really have no idea where I am on the spectrum because there is no guarantee of a certain number of years we are allowed to live, despite what the insurance actuary tables say). There are the numbers I use to count my blessings (4 children, 3 grandchildren, 1 husband for over 20 years, among other precious blessings) and the numbers I use to make myself feel that I am falling short (20 lbs away from a healthy weight, 1 year at essentially the same place weight-wise). Sometimes, when I let the numbers fall away, I can focus on what I am feeling (stronger, more comfortable in my body, grateful that, despite some chronic health challenges, I am overall fundamentally healthy). I can focus on what I hear (less tortured breathing when I am climbing hills or running, praise and encouragement from unexpected people at unexpected times). I can focus on what I see (a home that is tended to by me that, while it will never be perfect, it is mostly warm and welcoming; the beautiful outdoors where I spend time part of every day). I can check in, anytime, day or night and find words of honest struggle, heartfelt encouragement, and hard-won wisdom here on SP. I may never, ever have all the numbers line up neatly - healthy weight, comfortable measurements, anxiety-proof bank balance, etc. What I CAN do is not allow these numbers to have utter power over me, not allow them to rule me for more than a few anxious moments out of any given day. I can make my way, despite what I weigh, making the choice at any given moment to count my blessings. When I count my blessings, you are among them, believe me.