Today I am thinking about numbers. Numbers mark important events. We can analyze numbers and discover patterns, formulas and answers to questions. Numbers are significant. But there is also a mystery behind numbers, an abstract quality that encourages us to look closer. I remember taking an inferential statistics class in graduate school. We reviewed definitions of mean, standard deviation and sample size. Summarizing data numerically or quantitatively was expected. We tracked numbers, graphed numbers, interpreted numbers. It was a nightmare. I struggle with numbers. I transpose numbers in our family checkbook, throwing off our balance with errors. I scramble at calculating percentages, moving decimal points and rounding. I often say, “I am not good with numbers, but I can write you an essay.” Computation is not one of my strengths.
As I head toward celebrating a half century, I find myself reflecting on some symbolic numbers in my life.
- Today, March 29th, is my 48th birthday
- I have been teaching for 22 years at College of DuPage
- I got married when I was 25 years old
- I gave birth to our first daughter when I was 30 years old and to our second daughter at 32 years old
- 3 cars are parked in our garage
- I have 0 siblings
- 2 dogs greet me when I walk through our doorway
- 15 hours make up a full-time faculty contractual workload at College of DuPage
- Full-time faculty are required to serve 10 office hours per week
- I have had 1 shoulder surgery when I was 11 years old
- We have moved 6 times
- My phone number has two sets of two numbers in it
- I have skied in Colorado 14 times
- My mother died when I was 21 years old
- I was a Girl Scout leader for 7 years
- I run approximately 3 miles every other day
- I started working when I was 14 years old with an Illinois permit
- My lucky number is 25
- I ate rutabaga 1 time (I didn’t like it)
Recording these numbers raises my level awareness regarding a concrete value. I strive to be more present in the moment and enjoy the routine and surprises in life because there are only so many hours, days and years.
What does this 48th birthday represent? What will this year bring? As I blow out the candles, I am thankful and look forward to another 365 days.