by the numbers

Today is the first day of fall, which means 2009 is nearly three-fourths over.

For some reason, I often think about life and it's milestones in terms of ratios. I think it helps me to organize and conceptualize the past and make the future less chaotic and more manageable. Either that or it's some type of neurosis that I'm not quite ready to come to terms with. I'm not sure when I started doing this, but I think marking time this way stems from measuring life in context-specific intervals (terms/semesters in school, transfers on a mission, etc.).

So here it is, my life by the numbers:
  • I am 27; I have lived about one-third of my expected life span.
  • I have known Clark for one-third of my lifetime. We have been married for half of that time.
  • We've lived in Idaho over half of our married life.
  • Five years ago today, I came home from my mission . . . and that doesn't divide evenly into 27.
  • In December, I'll be three-fourths done with my degree.
  • I have finished one-fourth of this semester. Even though the work/school pace has been rigorous, I can definitely do this three more times. (This same logic works with exercise - one mile magically turns into two. Three, if you're lucky and optimistic. Try it; you'll like it).
  • There is still one-eighth of my farm share still to enjoy this harvest season (upcoming post - analysis of our first year of CSA membership).
Sometimes it's hard to quiet these numbers in my head (1/4th of my work day left, the week is half over, etc!). In the last months of my mission, I got a letter from Haley, who had then been home from her mission for a several months. In it, she said she had been home for 3 transfers (6 weeks each) and that she felt basically back to normal. I knew then that 'normal' is a relative term and that I would never really be the same.

Reader, how do you mark time? Do you just let life happen and not worry about quantifying it or are you mildly neurotic, too?


a brief lesson in ettiquette

Dear hungry classmates,

The point at which your meal requires a fork is also the point at which you probably shouldn't eat it during class.




to be, or what to be?

When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know.
"Oh, sure you know," the photographer said.
"She wants," said Jay Cee wittily, "to be everything."
-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I'm coming up on graduation next summer. The process has been extraordinarily short compared with the undergrad experience (5 years! not to mention the two year break for a mission); I feel like I just got started. When it comes up in conversation that I am in school, most people ask what I want to be. I usually just say "educated," in order to avoid the subject.

Really, I want to be everything.