Who decided that we need to quantify everything? I realize that in some circumstances, measurement is absolutely essential. These circumstances can include building a house, baking, and all that mathematical crap they teach us in high school that we’re supposedly going to HAVE to know to function efficiently in today’s world. We have an obsession with sticking a number on literally EVERYTHING.
And I guess there’s nothing wrong with quantification. But then we apply that quantity to certain contexts and our interpretations of them are entirely skewed, and we shape our entire lives over these measurements. Allow me to further explain with examples:
1. TIME: Y’know, before the invention of the ever-constantly ticking clock, people got along just fine by using the sunrise and sunset as their method of time measurement. I’ll bet times were a lot less stressful, urgent, and structured back then. But now, we have the clock. The dictator that tells us how much time we have left. The circle on the wall or on our wrist which we constantly watch, making sure we don’t linger in one place too long, or counting down the seconds until we can move on to our day’s next appointment. Imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have such a definite measurement of time, or at least didn’t make it such a central, definite, and authoritative factor in our lives. I feel like I’m always wishing my time away so that I can move on to the next mundane activity I have penciled in to my stupid, little planner. I wish I knew how to enjoy where I am. The “right here, right now.”
2. THE BATHROOM SCALE: I hate that thing. Hate it with all of my guts. And yet, I am a daily user of that dreaded thief of happiness. By standing on that stupid glass square, I am giving it power to dictate how much I like myself that day. Those stupid LED numbers have the power to change my entire mood. Again, too much value is placed on numbers. I get that measuring one’s weight is important if her weight is causing her health issues, whether she be too light or too heavy. But for your average young adult with a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle habits like me, there is no need for a daily weigh-in. I know, I do it to myself. But I blame society and it’s emphasis on numbers and “ideal weight” for making me this way. So thanks , society, for screwing me up.
3. CALORIES AND SERVING SIZES: BOO. I hate calorie-counters. I have this theory that if we all just ate when we were hungry and stopped when we were satisfied, we’d all be happy, healthy-weighted individuals. Unfortunately, we don’t know how to listen to our own bodily signals. So then we become food addicts and eat an entire box of Oreo’s and wash them down with a big glass of self-loathing. Hence the need for serious attention to our dietary intake. I, too, participate in this nonsense. I use this dreaded app called MyFitnessPal, and it tells me I can only eat 1200 calories a day. That thing doesn’t know me. I always end up exceeding my “limit” by the time 4:00 PM rolls around, anyway.
4. DRESS SIZES: I’m talking small, medium, large, extra large, XXL, XXXXXXL, etc. Nothing says “you’re a human cow” like sticking a tag in the back with multiple “X’s” on it. What’s wrong with the numeral sizing method? I don’t even know what those numbers indicate, anyway. Centimeters? Inches? Doesn’t matter. All I know is that buying a size 4 feels much better than buying a size “Medium.” Medium is relative, anyway. This might be the single instance that I prefer the use of numbers for measurement.
I recognize the significance of measuring stuff. It’s a good idea, really, and a lot of our daily situations depend on our ability to measure stuff. All I’m saying is I wish measurement didn’t have such significance or rank so high on our priority lists and we just learned to let go and live a little.