Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Numbers in Your Life

Last week, I took to Facebook and LinkedIn to make a small request from my friends and followers in order to get some inspiration for a writing project: What are the numbers you encounter on a regular basis? Not the numbers themselves; rather, the types of numbers they encounter regularly. I gave the example of credit score and calories, and told people a great piece of advice I learned from a friend in my dance class: There are no wrong answers in brainstorming.

I feared I'd only get a few responses and that most would consist of, "Yeah, credit score, calories." I ended up getting responses from almost 60 friends, each with great lists of numbers from their personal lives, profession, child-raising, health, and so on.

Some examples by category:
  • Finance: Credit score, account balance, interest rate, stock prices
  • Health and well-being: Weight, blood glucose, cholesterol, dosages, hours slept, number of minutes of meditation
  • Library: Dewey decimal system, number of stacks, linear feet of storage space, barcodes galore
  • Alcohol: Beverages consumed, alcohol by volume, IBUs, gravity degrees plato, blood alcohol content
  • Fitness tracking: Steps, miles, heart rate, pace, laps, reps
  • Healthcare: Number of meds passed, patient satisfaction score, Medicare diagnosis-related group
  • Childcare: Number of minutes on iPad, hours slept, diapers, formula measurements
The descriptions ranged from numbers that count things, numbers that categorize things, and numbers that fall on a continuum. More than one person commented that this was a fun brainstorming exercise. 

So now, readers, I look to you. What numbers do you encounter regularly? It doesn't have to be every day, just the types of numbers that are part of your life - whether at home, work, the gym, or the bar. And remember: There are no wrong answers in brain storming!

(Note: I've checked my comment settings so hopefully they should work for you to add your numbers below. You shouldn't have to have a Google login to comment. You're also welcome to provide your numbers as a reply to this post in Facebook groups.)


  1. Intelligence, developmental, and behavioral quotients.

  2. Percentiles, stanines, scaled scores, T-scores when comparing persons to specific comparison groups by age, grade, and diagnosis for psychological, academic, and diagnostic testing.

  3. Miles per hour, miles till tank is empty, miles per gallon, miles to destination, miles per trip, total miles on vehicle, exit numbers, route numbers, incline of hills, house numbers on street, geographic coordinates, time to destination by various routes and modes of travel (drive, bike, bus, walk), price per gallon of gas, price to fill tank, gallons to fill tank, octance level of gas, speed limit

  4. Tire pressure (actual, recommended, final after fill), license plates, registration, inspection sticker, insurance card policy etc., year or vehicle, height and weight of vehicle, number of passengers