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5.19.2011

AVERAGES

Remember the mathematical rule; if a number is 5 or over you round up to the next full digit.  How about averages?  Take however many numbers, stats you want, add them together and then divide by the number of single numbers or stats you added together to create a mathematical average.  I thought about averages today sitting with Big D, my dear friend who brings out the junior high girl in me when I am in her presence.  She, from earlier posts if you recall, is not the health nor exercise nut that I am.  Big D takes, as I like to put it, a more laissez faire approach to both eating well and exercise.  I am on the fast track and she, well, she is more likely to stop at the concession stand for popcorn, then sit in the bleachers while yelling at you to move your ass a bit faster.  She was though today, eating a salad and has been working her way down the scale (I am very proud of her!).  She offered me a petit four (a fancy name for small decorated individually iced pieces of cake) from her soon to be married daughter's shower.  I declined.  She ate one (to her defense they are very, very small).  After eating it she asked about the validity of eating a salad and then a piece of cake.  I replied, "Well, the salad was much bigger than the cake.  If we can trick our bodies into seeing the majority of what we eat then we are fine.  I'm sure that small piece of cake was mixed in with those greens and your thighs didn't even see that cake!  The average was higher of salad consumed than of cake consumed!"  We both laughed wishing that the law of averages worked in the area of eating.  There are things in life that we want a higher average, like a baseball batting average.  Did you know that Yuma, Arizona averages 242 sunny days a year?  Did you also know though that Portland, Oregon averages a mere 68 sunny days a year?  How about sleep - we are supposed to average 7-8 hours of sleep nightly.  I never ever get 7 hours of sleep a night, ever.  If they use my hours of sleep in that equation the average recommendation would be far less than that.  How about standardized testing for students?  The average ranges are figured from a splattering of kids scores and then averages are declared.  That's actually frightening!  The average life span (men & women combined) is 78.7 years of age.   Sometimes the word average has a sort of mediocre connotation to it.  We think middle of the road, not stellar, not top of the line.  That's not what it means totally.  It really means the sum of a mathematical calculation designed to tell us the summary of all things into one statement, number or indicator.  It tells us what the norm is for that period of time, that group of people, that test, that season of the year, the performance base for that person.  I average about 5 hours of sleep a night.  I can say that my average number of times that I now eat oatmeal for supper in a week has decreased greatly over the past few months.  On average I floss my teeth 3 times a week but brush them an average of 3-4 times a day.  I swear using one of my trifecta words on average several times a week (maybe a bit higher than that!), but greatly exceed the national average for number of times a married couple engages in sex a week.  I recommend you google that stat average:)

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