You Can Count on This

Hmmmm, that's 42, 43, ...

Hmmmm, that’s 42, 43, …

Ready, Set, Bite!

Ready, Set, Bite!

Maybe it’s the Math Teacher in me, maybe it’s just being a bit neurotic, but I can’t stop counting when doing repetitive things. For example, the first sentence contains 23 words. When an activity should be restful, relaxing or enjoyed for its own sake, I often complicate things by keeping count in my head.

Do you know how many bites it takes to eat a slice of pizza? I do, but only for the thin-crusted small sectors that come from my favorite pizza place. And it doesn’t vary by more than 2 bites each time (unless the person who did the cutting was having a bad day.) Did you ever see a small pizza of 6 slices come out where one slice looked like a sliver and another had a central angle of about 80 degrees? Throws my count way off!

I swim for fun and exercise, enjoyment and relaxation. But the only way Iswimming can do my laps is to count them. It always takes me the same time to do ½ mile, but rather than simply glance at the clock and stop at the appropriate time, I always count laps (by 2’s). Of course, while I’m swimming, I’m reciting to myself the number of completed laps: “8, 8, 8, 8” until I reach the wall and say, “10, 10, 10, 10….” That doesn’t leave much brain space for contemplation, working out problems, or wondering what to have for dinner.

I also count steps while walking up and down a stairway. Sometimes I count continually all the way to my destination, sometimes I stop at landings and start again. Depends on my mood. Sometimes I really freak myself out when the number of steps going up is different from those going down!

And, finally, biking provides numerous countable opportunities: number of pushes on the pedal during my ride; houses with “For Sale” signs, deer on the side of the road, cars where people are on cell phones, discarded soda cans, etc.

That's 4 deer and 3 pigeons."

That’s 4 deer and 3 pigeons.”

Crazy? Or just quirky? I don’t know but I do know it’s part of my makeup and most people don’t even know that I am doing it. Now, however, that my readership knows this odd trait of mine, will they still love me?

There are 404 words in the above Post, including the title.

5 Comments

  1. I’ve heard there are people who count everything. I’m not one of them. Maybe steps sometimes.

    Counting bites of a slice of pizza made me smile! Is it possible there is a self-fulfilling thing going on, though. You know what you expect the count to be… how can you be sure you’re not sub-consciously “helping” it work out right?

    • Helping the count….yes, I thought of that. Certainly possible!

      • You need some way to perform a double-blind experiment!

      • Too scientific! 🙂

  2. I, too, count when I am doing repetitive activities, but I don’t count things. I just count. How weird is that? I am the furthest thing from a Math teacher. I stink at Math! But I did get my degree in Education…My counting is more like OCD. Interesting post.

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