The Star

What’s in a number?

I’ve stopped counting the days in quarantine but I’m guessing we’re nearing 100 days. I can tell you however that I’m on Day 52 of my personal NTC challenge. And that I’ve written almost a year’s worth of morning stories. I’m on Day 7 of a 21-day meditation program I got invited to by a friend I share a birthday with. Nine days since I last got paid for something I wrote. Two if you count my baking. Six: the number of hours I spent yesterday baking in the kitchen. Two: minutes it took for me to lose my cool after celebrating my successful bake day. Four: the number of books I’ve finished in isolation so far and also the number of books I’m in the middle of reading.

I was watching Alexa and Katie on Sunday night and Katie was having a panic attack in one episode. She was told by her therapist to count backwards from 100 by 3s until she’s okay again. They say counting helps you relax because it makes you focus on something other than your anxiety. Maybe that’s why keeping count these days has been my way of staying sane.

But how do you deal when you can’t do a countdown for things you can look forward to? How many days, weeks, months until we can travel again? How many days, weeks, months until we can see each other in person and walk around without our masks on? How many days, weeks, months until there’s a vaccine?

Counting down to the weekend doesn’t even really make that much of a difference anymore. All the days blend into each other and I find myself working on a Sunday only to realize it’s the weekend. I try to bring some semblance of balance by tricking myself into thinking I have the Monday off only to realize I still need to work so I can put some order into the week.

So I go back to counting. Five: the total number of baked products I sell now. Two: online groceries I’ve been getting our food from. One: online seller we get our fresh fish from. One: liter of milk I usually go through in a week. Two: cups of coffee I have on a good day. Six: hours of sleep I average these days. 30: eggs this household goes through in a week (IKR). One: earring I don’t remove because my piercing might close. One: movie a week with my FME friends. One (or two): episodes I treat myself to at the end of the day. One: good thing a day to remind me that everything will be okay.

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