As most of you who follow my blog know, I am an avid data tracker. So NOT counting days is a very foreign concept to me overall. However, when I heard this quote from Mohammad Ali yesterday, it stuck with me. So much so, I had to look it up once I got home a few hours later.
I think what stuck out to me the most was the thought of how do I make my days count? To the data tracker side of my brain, that means tracking all the things! Making sure I have all my steps in, all my water in, I have hit all the tick marks I have set for the day. After all that is said and done, it is hard for me to imagine how the day might NOT count.
But even with all that data, the creative side of my brain still wonders, how have I made the day count. Did I do something worthwhile? Was I creative, did I do something inspiring, was I kind, was I the best person I could be today?
***I would like to point out that while I wrote that last paragraph the analytical voice in my head kept trying to interject data points that offer support for reasons as to why I was all those things and more valid…because…NUMBERS!!!***
My point is, sometimes its hard to break out of the numbers game and realize that what you are doing, day in and day out, is much more important as a whole, than any specific given number. And you can apply that analogy to almost everything in life.
The past 18 days I have been trying to follow the Whole Life Challenge, under the kickstart nutrition level. Basically, I try and give up sugar and bread during the 6 weeks of the program. For me, sugar is not nearly as hard as bread. I turn into a cranky, wicked witch without bread but I have been fighting the same 25 pounds for almost a year now so I needed a kick in the pants.
However, when I was following the program to a tee, not having ANYTHING I wasn’t supposed to, besides having raging cravings, I was also not losing anything at all. I was running, biking, swimming and NOT having anything I wasn’t supposed to, and yet still no movement on the scale.
Now, I know all about the replacement of fat with muscle, that it takes time to convert and show on the scale, etc. But I also know my body, and it wasn’t feeling where it should. So, for now, I am LIMITING my bread & sugar intake and that seems to be doing better. This Saturday is my halfway point, 3 weeks. So we will see how I am doing at that point as to whether I continue to cut everything to nill, which is the plan.
As you can tell, I’m not the most patient woman on the planet, thus instant gratification of numbers helps me continue on the path of what I want to do, however, I also get bored very easily. Thus the power struggle between the analytical and creative sides of my brain are in constant turmoil.
Balancing my need for freedom and wild abandon with my innate desire to have structure creates havoc at times. I like to think of it as well-planned chaos. I want my life to be full of amazing experiences and social excursions exploring this big, beautiful world, but I need it to be planned & scheduled so that I can fit everything in.
Some days, its as if Felix Unger & Oscar Madison (The Odd Couple) share my brain lol. (Hopefully that’s not too obscure a reference for you young folks out there lol).
I fight boring, monotonous and normal, yet embrace scheduled, planned and efficient! Perhaps it is similar to the fact that I can clean/organize anyone’s house with precise, efficient, and cutthroat decisions, yet my own house looks like a tornado hit it on the best of days.
I know each and every one of us has the same 24 hours in a day, and I know so many folks who use every single moment of that time with laser focus. But do they see it as ‘counting days, or making the days count’? I want my days to mean more than checking off boxes and figuring out how many miles I have run, yet that is also what drives me to do more with my life.
I can say with 100% accuracy, I would not be where I am right this very moment, without having tracked, counted and check-marked my way to being driven. But again, is me being so goal-oriented what drives me to track everything?
So, am I counting days or making the days count?
I think there has to be an ‘Odd-Couple’ kind of compromise to both. Otherwise, folks like me can’t find peace. I need both the anal retentive analytics and the wild-hearted untamed creativity that just sort of comes out when I let go of everything, just to see what happens. What I have to find peace with, is balancing both sides and realizing when I get too far over into one side or the other.
Figuring out what matters most, in the end, is the great mystery of life and I know I will figure it all out eventually.
But so far, I’m simply convinced she who dies with the most stationery supplies wins…but that could just be me, counting my traveler’s notebooks instead of days 🙂