Look around you. It seems that no matter where you look, life has the potential to be ruled by numbers. Sometimes these numbers can be seen in a positive way, pushing us to be the best we can; while others, simply can take over one’s life and ruin it. Life can be a constant struggle of keeping the numbers in check and not letting them define your worth.
I am at a stage in my life where I am noticing how much numbers can dictate my happiness if I allow it; whether it be in my own life or the lives around me. I am amazed at how much a single number can be the predictor of one’s worth. Here are a few areas where numbers have reared their head lately in my life.
The scale…..the biggest mental torture device in my home. I have talked about this in the past, yet it is still something that I struggle with. Coming out of the winter and having to shed layers of clothes is not always the best thing for my self-esteem. Yes I know that a number should not dictate my self worth, but emotionally it is so hard to just accept myself as I am. What I am embracing is the notion that even though I may be hard on myself, those in my life will not love me or respect me less for what I weigh or how I look.
My oldest daughter is heading to college in the fall. She exemplifies the Type A personality to a T. She is self-motivated, smart, determined, and has a strong urge to succeed. Wonderful qualities, yes. We have watched her push herself throughout school to earn a GPA that is truly remarkable, while trying to remind her that grades are not everything. She has taken multiple AP exams and received the highest score on each one. She has skipped a year of French 2, gone immediately to French 3 and aced the exam. She is taking an Intro to Ancient Greek class at Hamilton College because she has a love of languages. I don’t tell you this to brag; I tell you this because when she did not get into her top college choices she was devastated. In her mind, her GPA was not worthy enough. Her SAT scores were not worthy enough. Never mind the fact that the colleges she applied to were super competitive and accepted 6% of the applicants that applied. She was letting numbers set her worth. All of a sudden all of her hard work and determination were not good enough. In her eyes she had failed. Every success we had praised her for over the years was now falling short and no longer mattered in her eyes. Getting her to realign her thinking has been tough but I think she is coming around.
Money is definitely on our minds as we are staring down a college tuition. We are not ones for elaborate vacations, new cars every few years, or buying things simply because we want them. It’s just not possible. As we were discussing tuition the other night and realizing how much college is (gulp), my daughter was feeling bad for the strain that it will put on our wallets. It is easy to get down on oneself when looking at your bank account and thinking of how long you will be paying college tuitions for, but as I told her, I don’t want much out of life. If my children are happy, we have a roof over our heads, and full stomachs, life is pretty darn good. I have seen, as I am sure you have, people with fuller bank accounts that have problems in their life that no amount of money can solve. They may have financial freedom but lack happiness.
Let’s face it; as bloggers numbers do hold some allure to us. We can not honestly say that we don’t care about them. If that were the case, I firmly believe we would all be writing in our journals and diaries, and not hitting publish on posts for the world to see. We want to know that we can reach people, that people can relate to us. We want to have interactions with people that we may never get the chance to meet real life. That’s the beauty of blogging. However, there are some blogger that take the numbers game a bit farther. They are constantly checking their stats, they are in each and every giveaway out there. It is ok to want to increase your followers but be sure that in the pursuit of more numbers you are not compromising the ones you already have. Stay true to yourself and your readers, be authentic and genuine and always remember what made you start blogging in the first place.
I’m getting old. Heck…we all are. As my daughters celebrate their birthdays (they are all in April or May) I realize how old I am getting. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that they will be 12, 15, and 18. I know I am not knocking on the door of nursing homes yet but it’s amazing to look back and think that when my parents were in their 40’s I thought they were old. Now that I am there I still feel so young and wonder how that can be. I keep telling myself that age is just a number and that the years in your life don’t matter it’s the life in your years that truly matter. I know that, I do. But my gosh, if time could just slow down a bit I would be happier.
I’m linking up with Emily from Ember Grey for Grateful Heart Monday. Today I am grateful for the people in my life that keep me grounded. It is far too easy to fall prey to the numbers in life and miss out on the people and experiences. Although numbers can be good and push us to be our best, they should never be allowed to dictate our worth. As is the case with most things in life, moderation is key. Balance is everything. Surrounding yourself with people that will help you see that you are far more than a number is one of the greatest keys to happiness.