Which is to say, I’m always counting something. Steps, for example. I’ve worn a step-counter for so long my little girl thinks it’s like a pacemaker, or a prosthetic device. She is convinced that I will die if I leave the house and it is not clipped to my waistband.
When I’m pumping gas, I count the rhythmic sounds the pump makes. I calculate the beats per litre. At my Petro-Can, the pump beats at approximately 4/bpl.
I used to play drums in the military. I can still tap my fingers at 120 beats per minute. That is the standard pace for marching. That is the pace of a heartbeat in wartime. When I run, my pace is 180 footfalls per minute. That is the pace of someone running toward a finish line, not away from gunfire.
I count the kilometers I ride, the miles I run, the lengths I swim, the pushups I press out, the ball crunches.
I count calories. Calories in. Calories out. I try to make the former a lesser number than the latter. I fail constantly. That is why, despite my best efforts, I weigh 128 lb and my bodyfat is still over 20%.
My novel has a word count. It is 53,684. I think I need 10,000 more words to make it work. I don’t try to count them as I write because that would be far too confusing.
Yesterday I did 120 pushups. The day before that I was supposed to ride 100 kilometers, but I stopped at 94.6. There was hail...too much to count.
Today I swam 100 lengths of the pool. I did three loads of laundry and bought three magazines.
Despite all my counting, I know that the things that I count don’t make me “count”.
We talk about the miles we log, but we truly count when we cross a finish line holding the hand of someone we love. We count when we write the words that make a reader laugh, or cry, or throw down the story down in disgust. We count when we inspire someone else to write words that count, or take steps that count.
I count. You should count too.
(according to the Mac, this is 382 words)