Whatís your number?
Life is basically a math equation. There are additions and subtractions as you journey along your lifeís arc; some are not by choice, some are a pleasant surprise, some are not so welcome. In general, Iím in favor of making additions as much as possible, because odds are they will bring a positive in life.
Having figured out my additions and subtractions, good, bad and in between since birth, Iíve come up with the number 3623. It took about 50 pages of notebook paper, a little algebra thrown in, and a fair amount of caffeine, but thatís what I got Ė 3623. For example, we just adopted two adorable kittens, Buster and Posey. I feel that is an addition of 8 to my life number. But my beloved Giants arenít so great this year, and that brings with it a minus 3. But think about all the free hours I now have the rest of the summer by not watching or listening to the Giants every day Ė a plus 1.75. Seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert at Winterland in 1978 was a plus 21. My car getting stripped of most of its moving parts in 1991, a definite minus 12.
You get the picture. And when you start the calculation from birth, you can see how challenging this undertaking can be. Itís up to you to determine the value of certain life events, so youíre not constrained by rigid numerical equivalents. Maybe kittens for you is a plus 254! Seems high to me, and to our two older cats who hissed at those new additions to the family, they rank a minus 634.
What does 3623 really mean to me? I canít play it on the roulette wheel, thatís for sure. I guess the number itself is really insignificant; itís the adding and subtracting thatís the interesting part of life. All I know is that I still have a ways to go before I turn my final number in, so Iíll keep punching that calculator every day.
Remember, participating in this yearís Pictures with the Press photo contest (see page 23 for details) will definitely earn you some life points, at least a plus 100! The deadline is Aug. 25 so donít delay; get creative.
Editor & Publisher