NUMB3RS

I have a fascination with numbers and I tend to compartmentalize things in my life and will periodically give myself grades on how I think I am doing in the different areas in my life. Mom Berthina gets a 75.9%, wife Berthina gets an 80%, doctor Berthina gets a 65%, sister Berthina gets 35% and so on and so forth. I try to do this at least 4 times a year to get a a real sense of how I am doing and make adjustments accordingly. I find new years resolutions to be particularly tiresome and irksome since you only think about them for the first few months of the year. I like feedback so much that I even keep a chart on answered prayer request for family and friends. I usually say things like, the average for our answered prayers for the year is 83.6% and people usually give a funny look like what is wrong with you”. I am usually thinking what’s wrong with you? If you are going to bother to pray why not try to be efficient?

I have a constant running timer on the next major event in my life. If you have any doubt, just check out the bottom of the page. I know numbers, I understand them and appreciate that they can give me concrete information without all the subjective fluff. Not saying that the context in interpreting numbers is not vital. As a matter of fact it is critical to accurate interpretations. However it is very comforting to know that gravity is still 9.81 m/s2 . I love that little g (gravity) has not changed. As a matter of fact big G has not changed either. It is still the universal gravitational constant aka “Newton’s constant” and it is still  G \approx 6.674 \times 10^{-11} {\rm \ N \ (m/kg)^2}.

Anyway before I digressed, I was professing my undying love for numbers. I recently sparked a debate at work with a colleague about me grading myself on my wifely duties. I can understand that there is a certain “double entendre” in this statement but keeping that aside, how can you be great at anything without any feedback. Often we get both positive and negative feedback but for some reason we mostly remember the negative feedback. I keep an accurate account of how I am doing so that when I get either positive or negative feedback on my behaviour over a certain period of time, I can compare it to my own notes and if it is accurate embrace it and make the necessary changes and if not, just reject it and move on. Of course this will be completely useless if this were only based on my opinion of myself, I have a group of trusted confidantes (number 1 being my spouse) whom a surreptitiously get to give me feedback, I find that people are a little wary of passing judgement on other people’s life but if you can take the criticism then you may find this beneficial.

I have a rule of 33.33%; I say 33.33% of my time should be spent on my family, 33.33% on personal and 33.33% on my career. Obviously my spouse gets a lot of the personal time because we do a lot of things together. For me it is very obvious that I need this allocation of time to stay in balance. Invariably in life you get unexpected events that throw you out of sync but if you are not careful, you will find yourself hallowed and disheveled because personal time (the most important category) always takes the greatest hit. My advice is to make adjustments as necessary but make sure you pay yourself back that time. My husband used to laugh when I would tell him at the end of a difficult block in medical school; “I owe myself 18.6 hours of sleep, I need that time paid back to be the normal me again” and I would take a week or so to pay it back.

In conclusion this is just a nerdy way of ensuring growth and evolution. This may not be for everyone and some people may have even found it tiresome to read this post. Again you know yourself the best ( or at least you should), if you found it useful, try it out and if you found it cumbersome reject it and move on. That is the beauty of the evolution process; plagiarizing and imitation is highly encouraged because as we know it is survival of the fittest. A personal quote is; “Scavenge the earth for wisdom you never know when you might need her.” It is only fitting to conclude with a quote about balance: “Balance that’s the secret. Moderate extremism. The best of both worlds.” Edward Abbey

balance

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