What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Friday: Green living.

16 March 2017

Calculating

I did algebra this week. Voluntarily. And the world hasn't come to an end, which admittedly is a bit of a surprise.

I do jokingly live in that dichotomy between words and numbers, the one that says you don't get to be good at both; you have to choose one. And I suppose that since I can't add or subtract with any real success that I have chosen one. But I also live in a world where I hang out with numbers every day and still have time to read a terrible opening sentence on a public-facing document to my coworker so we can both make fun of whoever wrote it. (The sentence, with some details changed, was "Acme Initiative for Quality Assurance is a quality assurance program." These must be proud members of the Tautology Club.)

All that to say, mathematics was not my favourite school subject, and if I could have hidden under my desk every day rather than look at numbers I would have. But that changed when I went to college and was determined to graduate with a 4.0 if it killed me. I did hours of algebra homework that first semester, and it worked, well enough that 12 years later I can not only still do it, but also explain it (kinda--I'm not a teacher by any stretch) to someone else. 

This is my kind of motivational poster. Direct, but
snarky. Source.
Motivation is a funny thing in the way that it comes and goes and sometimes comes again. I managed to get through 13 years of school barely learning to do basic arithmetic, a failing that still haunts me at the worst possible moments, and yet I learned to embrace numbers as an adult. All the things that nobody wants to do-- get out of bed in the morning, wash dishes, do laundry, pay bills, etc.--we still manage to get them done. And we even do things that aren't immediately necessary to sustain life, like checking up on friends when we're exhausted ourselves, or calling our elected officials, or exercising when the couch is so much nicer.

What is it that keeps humans going when we'd rather not? What's this script within us that kicks in sometimes and other times takes the day off and leaves us on our own? Is it survival? Because if the survival of the species is reliant on me having to add without the aid of a calculator, we're all screwed.

What's motivating you this week?

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