Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Counting, Measuring, and Weighing…Are We Counting the Wrong Things?

We live  in a number obsessed culture.  We worry about age, height, weight, shoe size, dress size, calories, fat, carbohydrates, blood pressure, glucose levels, test scores, electoral votes, nuclear arsenals, Richter scales, and the list goes on and on.  If things didn’t have a number attached to it I don’t know what we’d do except figure out a way to attach a number to it.  We set ourselves up to be crazed, upset, anxious, and a host of other negative emotions.  Are we counting the wrong things?

We had a customer last night who is getting a furniture delivery today.  He spoke to my associate when he said, “I’m getting a delivery tomorrow and on my sales receipt it doesn’t mention the pillows on the couch, I counted 9 pillows; there better be 9 pillows on the couch.”  My associate assured him that the couch will be delivered as he saw it in the showroom.  He was fixated on the number 9, for those of you who know numerology maybe you can share the meaning of the number 9 so I can calm this man down.  He was fixated on a number because any other number had significance to him; that he was being cheated.  What would happen if the couch showed up with 10 pillows?

So what do I think you should be counting?  How many times did you smile at someone or did they smile at you?  How many times today did you receive a complement?  How many times did you laugh today?  How many texts did you receive with someone saying, “Just thinking about you?”  These numbers have significant impact on your health.  Reaffirming who is in your heart is soothing, comforting, and reminds you that you’re not alone as you go through your journey to health and healing.  Laughing releases endorphins reducing pain and igniting the immune system.  A complement acknowledges your efforts whether it’s related to work or pleasure.  Your efforts are recognized and appreciated….who doesn’t want to be recognized and appreciated.

What are you counting in your day and is it making you feel any better?   I realize some numbers we can’t get away from like the glucometer reading for a diabetic or the blood pressure reading for someone with hypertension.  However, if you reserved your numbers and counting for those things that are vital to your health and wellness and left the counting off the non-essential things don’t you think your quality of life would be better?  Leave a comment and let me know what you’re counting that is or isn’t working for you.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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