“Lets get the girl to check the numbers” – John Glenn (Hidden Figures)
Today is my birthday. Five days into the new year and I am already another year older. A great date to be born if you are a thoroughbred racehorse, and one I have come to appreciate. It is also the time of year when mankind ponders the expectations of the next 365 days, plots their aspirations and has an unlimited capacity of hope of new beginnings. Being a huge fan of a good list of goals, I am no exception. I took a few minutes before composing this stimulating body of work to review my mindset over the past five years.
True to form, I strategically tried to come up with a fresh approach to the concept of New Years’ Resolutions annually, yet keeping with my underlying notion of learning, growing and improving my general condition. My favorite two posts with regards to this subject matter were in 2015 (https://alittlebitaboutalotofthings.com/2015/01/03/begin-again-please-dont-see-just-a-girl-caught-up-in-dreams-and-fantasies/) and 2018 (https://alittlebitaboutalotofthings.com/2018/02/04/creating-new-habits-one-day-at-a-time/). One was more of a prescription to cut myself some slack and the other expanded my tasks over the 12-month period. The later even went so far to offer a metric and timeline. The measurement element got me thinking, my standard, go to tool for problem solving is breaking down the numbers.
I love math. It doesn’t lie. There is one right answer. It essentially allows one to place things in a series of checks and balances. (Don’t even get me started of the beauty of a good Excel spreadsheet). Living with my math minded thought process, I found at the root of all I do is the concept of averages. I break everything down to a per “this or that”. A great example is my step counting. The target is 10,000 places my feet travel daily, however a 70,000 step week is the success mark. The average allows me to spread the attempt over a week. Glancing through my catalog of blog posts, one can easily find traces of the art of the mean sprinkled through the content.
I started going to an exercise program called Orange Theory last spring. By no means am I a model student, actually I have one of the trainers believing I am a secret shopper sent to make sure he is doing his job, that is how uncoordinated my performance appears. However, I have found true success because of the ability to track numbers. The option to wear a heart monitor and calculate calories is my metric. Each class, once 500 plus calories is hit, success bells go off in my head. The also send me weekly and monthly reports, the data is music to my ears.
Not one to float through life with no form of accountability, I developed a plan for 2019, one formula at a time. Staying true to my initial mission of my blog, I have been challenging myself to look at writing from a new perspective. Increasing my chances of success, I have broken the chore down by the numbers. Here are three forms of writing that will be adding to my blog in the coming year.
1 – It occurred to me that developing a short story would be a new channel of writing. Google states a short story can be anywhere from 1,000 to 20,000 words. Seeing how this prose is already over 500 words, my goal is going to be 15,000 words. Breaking that down in a thirty-day period would be 500 words a day, or if I g myself the full year and did a weekly average, I would only have to jot down 288.46 words a week. Being a realist and building in some cushion, deadline to post the first short story is March 1, 2019. Are you wondering what will my subject matter be; love, life, adventure? Nope, I am going to the source of my knowledge, work. Experiencing 25 years in the fair industry, there is a blurred line between fact and fiction. Focusing on transcribing a single day of events, will be a twenty-four-hour escapade that will seem beyond the latest science fiction thriller.
2 – Six Degrees of Separation Cookbook. There it is folks. The title of my collection of recipes from my family and friends. I collect and connect people all the time (Kevin Bacon has nothing on me). The concept of six degrees of separation is a generalization to the average social distance being logarithmic in the size of a population. There is some math for you to all mull over. I have always wanted to preserve the traditions of our family and the meals we have shared. As I grow older my family expands exponentially by the number of friends that are adopted into our circle. This is a dream of mine to share photos, stories and recipes of my tribe. Early estimates are 36 -40 entries. Breaking it down over a nine-month period is an average of 4 -5 pages completed monthly. Goal of completion is early fall as this will be my 2019 Christmas Favorite Thing. Keep an eye on your inbox, because I am coming to collect your content.
3 – Finally, I need to travel. I miss logging into my United account and finding a reservation waiting for me. How is she going to spin this into writing? I would like to visit three new places in 2019. Planning the trip and sharing the experience, must include a writing element.
Checking goals off a list is similar to keeping score. But who decides what counts, who determines if it is out of bounds, who calls the penalties? I love the movie Hidden Figures (not to mention how much I would adore a giant black board with a ladder). Not only does it tell an amazing story, but the significance of math to the success of space travel. At the end of day, before John Glenn went up in space, he wanted the flight data confirmed by a girl over all the NASA engineers, scientists and mathematicians. Girls and math, that might be a whole other post, but as a girl who lives by the numbers I find it inspiring. Math has no emotion, it isn’t sensitive, doesn’t worry about being politically correct and can’t create a spelling error. It is an internal scoreboard that calculates the truth. Ultimately, we are our own referee, we get to call fouls on ourselves, we get to keep score and if you just calculate a little math into your life you will always get the right answer.
(By the way this post is 1,083 words)