Ironic, really, that I’ve just posted about “thirteen”, which happens to be one of my favourite numbers, and not a number that fills me with dread and worry about terrible things going wrong.
I don’t generally like to do posts like this, because it’s not really what this blog is about. I don’t blog for bloggers, and this blog is not a blog about running a business. It is a personal blog, about raising boys and being busy, and life, and other stuff and things.
Being about all manner of life and stuff and things, sometimes the business and blogging aspect comes into it, and there are things that bug me. So, really, I’m just getting this out of my mind, off my chest, and providing some insight into the harsher side of blogging and business and being all busy, and life, and stuff. And things.
You see, every now and again, I need to provide some numbers to someone. People who ask for them, for various reasons. Numbers is also a big thing, especially on social media, and especially when it comes to business, blogs, or even just friends, followers and fans.
Apparently, the more you have the “better” you are.
Admittedly, big numbers to amazing things for your self esteem.
I have spent a lot of time not focussing on my numbers because a) I am far too thin skinned when it comes to numbers, and b) it wasn’t so long ago that an unsubscribe from Real Mums’ newsletter, or an unlike on Facebook could send me into tears.
There are lots more things I’ve come to understand about these numbers; some of which I’ve written about previously, and where I know that numbers are as much a facade as the nice meals, and happy days that fill some feeds on Facebook and Pinterest.
In some aspects, like my ‘friends’, followers, likers and the like, I can see exactly what these figures are. I don’t dwell on them or focus on them, because numbers are not important to me. Yes, yes, I know they should be, especially with a business and all that. I need to know my numbers.
Etc etc blah blah.
And I do know the essentials.
I just don’t get caught up in the stats too much, because it just leads to comparison, and plummeting self confidence. Because I find myself comparing to those who not only obsess about numbers, but who know exactly their numbers because they bought them.
Yes, you can buy Facebook likers and Twitter followers and such like.
It is a blow to the self esteem when you do this sort of comparison.
Besides, words are my thing.
I love words; they flow and float round my mouth and mind, I love the feel as they do this. I love how they can create clarity when needed, cause a smile or a laugh. I love how they can touch a person’s heart, and heal a hurting soul.
Words …words fulfil me. They put me at ease, they relax me, and I am at home with words.
Yes, words can hurt, but they can be manipulated and moulded, they can be reconstructed, and they can do marvellously wonderful things.
I love words.
Numbers … well, numbers are so matter of fact, so straight forward and, dare I say it, boring. They are black and white. Words are grey … multiple shades of grey. In fact, words are a veritable rainbow, a Dulux paint chart, the biggest box of foot path chalk you can find. All mixed into one.
They are multiple textures, have multiple tones and are just amazing.
If I focussed all my energy on my numbers, I would have far less time with words. Whilst the numbers can make me sad, not having words would devastate me.
Besides, when those who are asking about my numbers, PR companies and advertisers for example, what they don’t get are the effect my words have had.
They see number of visitors.
They don’t see “Thank you for saving my life today. I was going to kill myself, but I read your post and realise I’m not the only one experiencing this.”
They see the number of times a click has been visited.
They don’t see “I thought there was something very wrong with my child. I thought I was a bad mother and doing it all wrong. I realise he is just ‘normal’. Thank you for sharing your experiences.”
They see how many page views this blog has had.
They don’t see “If it weren’t for you, I would never have had the courage to start my own business” and they don’t see “Thank you for the best laugh I’ve had in a long time” and the all important “Thank you for giving me a different perspective on life”.
They don’t see how a stressed out, depressed mum is beating herself up for all her ‘inadequacies’ and how, through reading a post, a month’s worth of posts, or whatever, has been given an opportunity to see things from a different view, has been given more insight, and is less stressed, less depressed, laughing and feeling a lot more ‘normal’.
They just see how many comments there were, overseeing the fact that, sometimes, people like to thank me more privately.
Not everyone likes to put their life out there.
I know the numbers that count, that are most important (do I have more money in my account than I have upcoming expenses?) but I don’t dwell on the others, because they are not what is important.
Although, yes, on the other hand, ‘good’ numbers means advertisers – whether or not those numbers are legitimate, organic, or real is, apparently, irrelevant.
If only I could turn those words I get into some sort of statistic.
For they mean so much more. At least, to me they do.
There are other numbers I don’t know, either.
Other numbers that are, apparently, extremely important.
I don’t know how much I weigh.
I don’t know exactly what size clothes I wear, although I have a vague idea.
I don’t know how many millilitres, grams, milligrams or kilograms of food I put on my plate.
I don’t know calories or kilojoules. I just eat what I like – by which I mean, food I really really like, not “I’ll eat what I like so fuck you!” and I eat until I am not hungry. I don’t know the numbers, though.
I do know time. Time I am a little anal about.
I know the numbers that matter; like the fact I have three children, and when I go out with three I pretty much make sure I come home with three (although some days I wonder why ….)
I know the numbers that count.
But for me … words are more powerful, more important and have more of the impact I like.
I love words.