Tuesday, August 28, 2012


To my son Tommy,

As I start my 44th blog entry in as many days, I often wonder what it would be like to have statistics for every area of my life.  I would be interested in an up to date count of how many days I have not had a cigarette.  Of course I could do the math on that one.  By your mom's recollection we quit on May 14th, so 3 months 14 days.  I would like to see how many days I have attended daily mass.  I know I only missed a handful.  Even when we went on vacation I still attended, so that stat could be broken down into mass at St. Agnes and mass away.

Then I start thinking of all the mundane things a personal statistician could track.  Showers, curse words, diet, hugs, smiles, you name it a  statistician could follow it.   Some of that would be fascinating, other stats would be scary.   That obscure stat that comes up during all baseball broadcasts where the announcer states that this guy at bat has worn the same underwear for the entire series...well imagine that but more personal.  A Leo trading card with such things as number of nose pickings and curse words and such.

If we had a personal statistician today, he could have tracked the number of times you said "I'm sleepy" and the amount of kicks to my groin you gave me as I tried to get you dressed for school.  He could have counted the seconds of anger verse frustration in your mother or the number of times we considered throwing you out the front door half naked.  All interesting stats for our daily life.

But here is the things about streaks and stats, you can easily get caught up in them.  The number can become more important than the action.  You start doing things for bragging rights rather than for the accomplishment.  "Hey I have done this and this for 123 days in a row" blah blah blah.  You forget to enjoy what you are doing and your success comes tied to some arbitrary stat or a streak that is going to end and come crashing down around you.  Remember the best runners in the world forget they are in a race and just run.  They don't focus on their time or the results, they just run.  So though it would be interesting to "stat out" our lives, perhaps we should just live and enjoy.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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