Numbers and the Enjoyment of Things
New year again.
New years keep happening and while celebrating the thirtieth one of my life I decided I was tired of them. Historically I’ve been a nEw yEaR NeW Me!!!1!1!!11!1!111 kind of a person, even though I’ve tried to suppress it a bit over the past few years as it became more trendy to accept who you already are, even if who you already are is a cynical, awkward, overweight bedbug.
Despite being a typical new years resolution maker, I still always managed to finish the year MORE cynical, MORE awkward and inevitably MORE overweight. I suppose that is pretty typical, actually.
The growing number of resolutions (aka Self Improvement Goals or Ways To Improve Myself or Bollocks Stuff To Validate My Existence) would usually take the form of lists and numbers. They’d always be measurable. In fact they’d be straight up SMART goals because unfortunately for me corporate wankery has seeped into who I am as a person.
My first post of 2019 went on for longer that it had any business to about setting goals for yourself. Bit lofty of me seeing as I fulfilled precisely ZERO of my own goals. I suppose that’s what you get if you take advice from some random 28 year old woman on the internet.
Numbers tend to appear heavily in the goals I set for myself. Things such as:
- Read 50 books this year
- Lose 100lbs this year
- Hit 25k pageviews this month
- Do yoga 10 times this month
- Take a shit twice today
I only ever hit one of those targets and it’s the one I made up.
What I’ve achieved by setting these goals is the opposite of what I set out to. By constantly bench-marking myself against some impossible numbers I’ve actually made my life look like one big casserole of failures. But then would I really have Improved Myself or Existed More Validly if I had managed to read 50 books in a year or done yoga ten times in the June of 2019? I might have been marginally more bendy for a few days but that’s…. it. Yet still I’ve spent so much of my life beating myself up for NOT hitting the numbers. The numbers that mean NOTHING.
So I’m not doing it anymore. If I want to read a book I’m going to read it because I want to, not to count it towards some stupid list. I’ll do yoga because I like to stretch good. I’ll blog because I like to share my brain words on the internet for some reason.
Some things still need numbers, and sometimes it’s still super satisfying to hit a count, but I’m not going to measure my own enjoyment as if it exists on some linear scale. It is possible to enjoy something for the sake of enjoyment.
Having said all that… you’ll undoubtedly still be prying my endless to-do lists out of my cold, dead hands someday….