# Re-Calculating Depressing Birthday Math

Tomorrow is my birthday. On Facebook I mentioned that I was beginning to fret over it. A friend asked if this was good fretting. And I thought, What is it, exactly, that has me crying in the bathtub each year around this time?

And the answer is that I start comparing, counting, tallying. I told her “I judge myself numerically.” I guess having a number, a new number that I suddenly “am,” gets me looking at other numbers, something this English major’s brain doesn’t do very often. And the math is never good:

New age: 36

Number of husbands or life partners: 0

Number of kids: 0

Number of books published: 0

Number of years left in which to change most the above if I or the universe so chooses: Possibly 40, 50?

Numbers of years left in which to have kids, assuming I actually have (and want) that choice: 5?

Number of years left in which I will still be hot to people I think are hot: 5? 10?

Number of years left to waste procrastinating or watching Friends on DVD or loading and leaving online shopping carts or complaining about the weather: 0

Now you can maybe see why the crying into my lavender-scented tub. This is not a good road, but it is nearly inevitable. Not being good at math or positive thinking (apparently), I add up the wrong things. So, if I improve at least how I lie with statistics, maybe I can turn this around:

New Age: 36

Number of friends who love me: More than 50

Number of friends who were there for me when the shite hit the blades? About the same

Number of men I have been in love with and loved by in return: About 9

Number of Grateful Dead shows I attended while Jerry was alive: 6

Number of years I lived in Maui, Hawaii: 3.5

Number of fresh lychees, just-fallen avocados, newly hacked open young coconuts, and recently picked guava I’ve eaten: Countless

Number of articles published in major national magazines: About 30

Number of icy lakes, rushing rivers, and salty oceans I have jumped in: At least 100

Number of dark chocolate squares I eat daily: About 3

Number of Quaker silent meetings in which I have felt overcome by the holy perfection of silence: Around 5

Number of moments spent dancing to live drumming in which I felt like I was flying to the pounding, sexy heart of the earth: 5-ish

Number of non-consecutive years I’ve lived in the greatest city on earth: 27

Number of times I’ve had my photo taken with the Butterscotch Stallion: 1

That’s better, yes?

How do you tally (or not!) your life?

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