Growing up, my mom played the numbers. She would play pick 3 and do a combination draw. Whatever that meant. I have never actually done any of those lottery games despite my mother’s grand belief in them. She actually did have some luck. She often played her set of numbers which were 914. We had lived in building 419, our area code at one point had been 914, we lived near 149th street (a major set of NYC subway stops) and so on. Those three numbers had grand meaning to our lives, for better or worse. All this to say that numbers were important early on in my life and then as I went onto a career numbers were again important as one of my many hats was that of evaluator where I determined how well a program had performed based on its numbers. As I like to remind teammates, data doesn’t lie, people lie. Even my superstitious beliefs in numbers were based on there being some underlying meaning and truth to them. Numbers mean something and they should.
Everywhere I go, numbers pop out at me. In Los Angeles where I now live, people constantly refer to the 110, the 405 and the 10. These numbers mean a lot to the locals who spend quite a large amount of time in their cars to and from work. The local morning news is all about what has stalled on which of these numbers and which one is moving slightly faster.
Every two seconds while we are riding in the cars, trains or walking we are entering a series of numbers as we are constantly having to prove who we are via our passwords. What’s my code again?
Am I going up? Going down? Where Am I? Again, I am on a constant search for where I am.
Now while I have to remember, enter and use over 20 passwords each day, there is one number that I stopped remembering. Just the other day I had to do a double-take and ask myself what is my age. I couldn’t remember how old I was and I was ok with that. I know I feel young yet old and wise at the same time. I can be all ages at the same time as I work, play and rest. At work, I can be young and high-spirited while also learning from my years of experience. Yes, I am all ages and thus am ok with forgetting my actual age.
Another number I am unsure about: the number of shoes that I have. In my temporary location that is becoming my permanent place, I currently have 41 pairs of shoes. Or so my latest census count tells me. However, I have several more boxes coming down. Does my not knowing how many pairs of shoes that I have mean I have way too many or more than I possibly should have? No way. Just like age, there is no need to keep tally of the number of ones shoes.