the whole is more than the sum of its parts
realistically, i know life is about numbers. we each have been given a finite inventory, but we often go about our days giving them little thought. from the moment the alarm goes off in the morning, we're in the midst, pulled out of the seven or eight hours we used to refresh ourselves.
they are there.
the television remote upon which you punch up the channel for your favorite program.
the money you pull from your wallet to pay the girl at starbuck's for your frappaccino, in which she has added two extra squirts of chocolate syrup because you've been coming in for months now and she knows what you like.
the calendars pulled out to set a date and time for a meeting.
the day that lies a few months ahead in that very calendar, a numbered square circled in red sharpie, that helps you tick by the minutes until you can take a vacation.
that barely scratches the surface, nor touches on the fact that numbers are also quite personal.
they are how we connect with others. the exchange of telephone numbers or addresses. celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries and milestone moments in life.
obviously, numbers are vital ingredients in our lives. that touch of something that, though we don't know it, we'd know it was missing right away were they not just ingrained in us. but sometimes, i'm quite taken with the interest (power, perhaps?) some numbers carry over others.
because i'm not a medical professional, nor do i work for the department of transportation, i have never asked someone what they weigh.
never in my life.
and yet, i'm surprised how often that very question is asked of women. maybe i'm more saddened than surprised, really. why? because whatever the number may be, there is usually a judgement attached to it. it has the potential (and please forgive the pun) to carry a lot of weight for some people, depending on whatever reason the question was raised.
before i go any further, let me answer the question that may now be in your head. i'm a healthy weight. a healthy person. i work out regularly. i sin occasionally. i grew up with and still today battle body image and food issues. a part of me is secretly glad i'm raising boys because i'm less inclined to pass these habits (sad quirks) onto them.
i've been better. i've been worse. i've been better again.
but i try very hard not to dwell on whatever my numbers are. i have no numbers in part because of what i wrote above. i also don't play the "let's guess that person's weight" game when it comes up (and believe me, it comes up in some company). i don't harp on appearances. sure, i'm going to compliment you when you look nice and i'll celebrate your successes if you're attempting to lose weight. but i tend not to speak up if the focus of the conversation becomes a paint by number dissection of your perceived flaws.
i also try really hard to simply like myself. because, honestly, for the most part, i do. i do have a kick ass rack (if you look deep enough in this blog, you'd discover my bra size, among other interesting numbers attributed to my quirks). i love my hands with scarlet painted nails at the tips. i think growing my hair longer was a smashing idea. my smile is a smirk when i give it to you, and i give it a lot. countless times. especially when i find you fascinating.
but those are outward physical traits and i don't want that to be the focus of what makes me happy about myself. so i also remind myself of the amazing things my body, in whatever its number, has done for me. i've experienced three pregnancies and given birth to two children through a gift i can still be amazed by. i can give and receive (and give some more) pleasure. i can roll around on the floor with my sons. i can roll around in bed. hell, i can even roller blade.
and i can get a bit dejected when the topic of weight and bodies and perfect numbers comes up in conversation (honestly, there's a part of me that's dejected just writing this, for some reason). i'm much more fascinated with who you are, how we interact and if we have a good time together than i am in what size pants you wear. i would hope you'd simply be the same with me.
i'm not unrealistic enough to not realize that many people, men and women, have their "ideal number," but the spotlight on the weight issue shines most blindingly on women. even "health" magazines are steeped with weight loss plans and diet tips, sometimes at the sacrifice of sharing ideas on how to "just be happy as you are." it would be nice if neither of those matters were truly important, but it seems certain the days for such thing are not numbered.
i don't hide myself from those of you who visit me here on purpose. you've had a glimpse (some of you have seen more and lived to tell) and have learned things about me that some people in my "real world" existence haven't a clue about. while drafting this entire entry, i debated putting a photo up as a means of "standing behind" what i'm writing. but i have a love affair with close ups and many of my photos are mere head shots, so i don't know if that counts.
but i might. at some point. the days seem numbered for such a thing, at any rate.
Labels: my "lifetime for women" entry