Day 643, Number Our Days

 
“ So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
 

What is your total number of days so far?

 
I have lived 21,418 days.  It is not an eon, but it is a long time.  We know all our days are numbered to God.  We may as well keep track of them ourselves.
 

Days on my Blog

 
I have been numbering my days since September 5, 2018, exactly three weeks after my husband and I married, when I started this journey to lose 15 pounds without sacrificing mood and energy.  So far, I have not lost 15 pounds, and sometimes my mood and energy have dipped dangerously anyway.  So why continue?  I want to go on because I have increased in wisdom and understanding through these 643 days.  If I press on, I believe I will continue to gain more.  I gained expertise for myself and also expressed myself as I never have before in all my 21,418 days.
 

Calendar

 
The calendar is a fascinating work of history.  Twelve is an oft used number to us, because of Biblical tradition and because it is so readily divisible, so we have twelve months instead of thirteen, even though thirteen would work out almost evenly for a four-week month.  The names of the month are a bit off.  ‘Sept’ means seven but is the ninth month; ‘Oct’ means eight, but it is the tenth month.  ‘Nov’ means new but is the eleventh month, and ‘Dec’ means ten for the twelfth month.
 

Getting Help

 
Just a few weeks ago, I was dangerously close to suicide, but now I would not think of trading in my remaining days for nothing.  I want to live through every one.  As I said, while in the hospital, “My life is too good to miss out on any of it.”  What has happened in those few days?  I got some help.  Sometimes, it takes that.  If you or a loved one are afraid of treatment, think again about the number of days you could live if you only chose to.  Think of the joy and wisdom you can gain from every one.
 

Prefrontal Cortex

 
Life is a ‘b’ sometimes.  I agree.  It is far more challenging and rewarding than I could have ever realized from my crib.  Though I have a mental illness, it has not diminished my I.Q.  Some people may suppose that it would, but it does not.  However, bipolar disorder can keep the prefrontal cortex, our forebrain just behind the forehead, from working correctly.  This part of our brain is responsible for our attention, planning, emotional control, executive functions, and temporal organization of action.  I believe every effort should be made to protect it.  Medication can do that, at least while it is being used.  If you go off your meds, you may suffer the loss of those functions again, possibly with disastrous consequences, and maybe even death.
 

Temporal Organization

 
1) temporal organization of action;  2) numbering our days.  Could those two things be related?  I believe they are.  There is a lot to be said for living in “the moment.”  However, as humans, we have a gift.  We have time.  Try teaching the concept of tomorrow to your dog.  It will not happen.  Young children do not fully comprehend the future, either.  As adults, we begin to understand schedules, etc.   Our brains have parts for dealing with time.  During a bipolar episode, we lose or scramble our concepts of time.  Try programming a computer when your sense of time is trashed.  I have tried that.  Maybe it is time to get better and put those abstractions back in place.
 
I realize medication may not work for everybody.  I believe Dad was unable to comprehend time the last two years or so of his life.  He had to be taken care of because of this.  No medication could bring that back to him.  However, in the case of bipolar disorder, there are treatments available that work.  I admit; the side effects are not fun, but I have finally determined that the disease is worse than the treatment.  Yes, it took decades for me to arrive firmly at that conclusion.  When I started studying the prefrontal cortex and its functions pertaining to time, however, this started to make sense to me.
 

Consistency

 
To number my days and increase my consistency (one of my top 10 values), I decided to keep a cumulative percentage of my Top 5 activities in my Progress category of The Journal application with the following table.  (My first two days are 100%, so I am off to a perfect start.  My final day will be September 14, 2020.)  Allow me to show the long table for you to appreciate how much time 100 days is.
 
 
Date
B%
C%
J%
M%
A%
1
06/07/20
100
100
100
100
100
2
06/08/20
100
100
100
100
100
3
           
4
           
5
           
6
           
7
           
8
           
9
           
10
           
11
           
12
           
13
           
14
           
15
           
16
           
17
           
18
           
19
           
20
           
21
           
22
           
23
           
24
           
25
           
26
           
27
           
28
           
29
           
30
           
31
           
32
           
33
           
34
           
35
           
36
           
37
           
38
           
39
           
40
           
41
           
42
           
43
           
44
           
45
           
46
           
47
           
48
           
49
           
50
           
51
           
52
           
53
           
54
           
55
           
56
           
57
           
58
           
59
           
60
           
61
           
62
           
63
           
64
           
65
           
66
           
67
           
68
           
69
           
70
           
71
           
72
           
73
           
74
           
75
           
76
           
77
           
78
           
79
           
80
           
81
           
82
           
83
           
84
           
85
           
86
           
87
           
88
           
89
           
90
           
91
           
92
           
93
           
94
           
95
           
96
           
97
           
98
           
99
           
100
           
 
That’s right.  Ninety-eight days are all in the future!
 

Morning Ritual

 
My Top 5 activities are:
 
  1. Blog
  2. Cronometer
  3. JV Life Tracker
  4. Meditation
  5. Achieve 50 kg
 
All are part of my Morning Ritual.  You are welcome to use these tools yourself.  I can finish these activities in the morning and score a day before 8:30 AM.  If not, I have the rest of the day to get them completed.  JV Life Tracker I score for the day before.  Cronometer is for the day before also.  I want to spend more than 30 minutes daily on my blog.  However, if I get half an hour start for the day, the rest of the day will work out.
 
I pared down my Morning Ritual to concentrate on my Top 5 and remove less critical activities.  That way, I have more incentive to do my Morning Ritual, too, because I will be working on something meaningful.  Using JV Life Tracker, I analyzed my Top 5 since Day One (September 5, 2018).  I have done well and have persisted in these activities, gradually improving.  However, I want to be even more consistent.
 

Scoring and Tracking?

 
Why all this scoring and tracking? Peter Drucker says, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” meaning, “you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.”  “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”  So, success is partially in doing and partly in measurement.  It might seem like a lot of extra, pointless effort, but it is the work that helps ensure success.
 

Values

 
Time is a precious resource.  When you reach 58 years and seven months of age, as I have, you realize that life goes by quickly.  We cannot take time and hold on to it.  We cannot buy it back.  It passes whether we fill it with good things or not.  I believe each of us must determine what our personal values are.  You know what some of my values are from previous blog entries.
 
Have you listed and refined your list of values?  Fill your time with activities that support those values.  Do not waste your time living by someone else’s values.  If you live by another person or organization’s values simply to get a paycheck, you may regret the wasted time.  I believe you should receive more value from your service than only money.  Think about the other benefits to your work, such as personal growth, and see if they make it worth your time.  I had a counselor once who worked for a sometimes mismanaged operation.  He said he was biding his time until retirement, which was soon.  Maybe it was not soon enough!  I felt sorry for him for locking himself into a situation like that.  He was not a superlative counselor, either.
 
If he had really thought about it, and perhaps he did, maybe his ability to help his clients would make up for the mismanagement.  However, considering the half-hearted way he worked, that did not seem likely.  He appeared to be doing what he said, biding his time until retirement.  Fortunately for me, I found another counseling service after that, which was about 10 times better, and I was able to make serious progress.  To his credit, this therapist did find a holistic treatment for my ear injury on the Internet.  It has not entirely healed, but it is much better than it was on January 16, 2011.  At that time, I could not even stand to go to the grocery store because the clanging together of the carts gave me unbearable, lasting pain.  There is more about that in my ebook.  (You can click the book at the bottom of this entry to download a free copy.)
 

Prayer

 
 
MORNING PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
Let me number my days and know it will not be long before I go to you.  In the meantime, let me live by my values and find joy.  I am grateful for a few more days of life.  Let me trust you to take me home when you are ready for me and not sooner.
 
Let me gain further wisdom and understanding from the activities I undertake.  While achieving this, let me also attain joy and vibrancy.
 
I am undertaking to track my Top 5, using a cumulative percentage for each of five activities.  I have not done this in the past, but with my JV Life Tracker app, I already have 642 days’ worth of data.  One hundred more days of scoring gives me a fresh start, and a chance to increase my consistency.
 
Lord, give me a fresh start.  Yesterday was my deceased sister, Debbie’s, fifty-sixth birthday.  I want to start my 100 days with her day to commemorate her memory.  I think using special days to start projects is a useful tool.  It aids me when remembering the start date, and it sweetens the memories of her sweet personality.
 
Lord, please give my readers reason to number their days that they may apply their hearts to wisdom in the process.  According to King Solomon, wisdom can provide us with riches, happiness, and long life.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.
 
 
 

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