I was going to do a post about my latest Numbers Diet but then wanted to a post with pretty autumn photos to mark the beginning of the best month of the year, so I’ll do both, especially since my Numbers Diet didn’t have pretty photos.
Keep in mind that none of these photos are actually related to the Numbers Diet. They are just pretty and something to keep us amused whilst we discuss the numbers.
A few weeks ago I found I was super stressed, angry and generally undone because all the numbers I was monitoring weren’t going my way. The scale, stock, sales were all either climbing or nosediving in the wrong direction, or remaining gratingly flat. Add the media coverage of the Syrian refugees and I was weeping throughout my days.
Something had to change.
I couldn’t do anything about the refugees so I had to reel in and look at what I could alter so I could avoid constantly being on the precipice of weeping.
What I could change was my obsession with looking at the numbers. I decided I wouldn’t check any of those things I was monitoring. I would not step on it, click on it or turn the channel to it.
What ensued was an intense curiosity about everything.
And a little bit of sneaky cheats. Like when my friend Scott called and I would casually move the conversation toward what was happening in the stock market in hopes he would update me on certain stocks. Or when I was going to blog about The 500 Things project. I had to report, didn’t I? For the invisible populous waiting with bated breath… which is a weird expression because it sounds like baited breath which sounds stinky. Or when I went to the doctor and she weighed me. I kept my eyes closed but wanted to sneak a peak.
No I didn’t.
Yes I did.
But I didn’t.
And then quite suddenly the curiosity stopped eating away at me. It was then when the things on Facebook became SO FUNNY. And my walks became longer. My sleeps deeper. And my weeping stopped.
Sure I was still curious about the goings on about town.
I knew everything was still up and running. Those Syrians were still crossing borders. Those stocks were still making headlines. There was this whole world still going on but I wasn’t so tethered to it. With this break I realized something startling:
I wasn’t just addicted to the numbers, I was trapped.
After a few weeks, I checked the numbers again, promising myself I would only check once. And they were laughably the same. Up and down a smidgen here and there. Had I looked at them as often as I was before, I would have still been in the exact same place as before, minus the emotional roller coaster.
Now I still check the numbers, but I’m not as hungry about them as I was. In fact, I realized something about how this numbers game permeates into other aspects of life, like Being On Time. I’m an on-time kind of girl. When you’re late, I know you’re exactly 12 minutes late. I don’t tell you, but I assure you, I have kept track of those 12 minutes. I don’t often mention it beyond the 20 minute mark, but make no mistake… it’s noted.
I had a friend in Paris who was always 22 minutes late. I would silently seethe until I realized I could bring my journal, book and stationery along with me and meet her in a café. I’d have 22 minutes to myself and my toys. Of course, the day I did this she was exactly on time, which made me mad again because now I didn’t get my 22 minutes of play time.
So it didn’t really work out with her.
You need to be time-compatible in whatever method works for you.
Though I’d love to blame my late friends as being wrong and rude, my reaction to it is based on my high-and-mighty time keeping. Another sign of being addicted to the numbers.
Which brings us to The 500 Things Project.
Another way the numbers addiction plays out in my life. My goal for the end of September was to get my shop up to 300 items, and it’s at 303 (including the autumn photos of Paris you see here). High five to self. Another 100 are going up this month, God willing. And another 100 in November to reach the 500 mark.
More isn’t necessarily moving the needle.
The colouring book was a grand success, but sales were down in other categories. So I’m not sure about this winning formula. It’s a tricky art to get the numbers to go in the direction you want them to go. But, thanks to my two week Numbers Diet, I don’t care as much as I did before.