The Number 6

When I was thirteen I stopped using the number 6, or at least avoided it as much as possible. At the time, if you had asked me why, I would have said it was a slippery number, untrustworthy, and if you had three of them you had the Mark of the Beast—whatever that was.

Now I can see my avoidance of 6 was an attempt to exercise control in a life where I felt much was beyond my control. I may not have been able to stop bad things from happening within the walls of the house where I lived, but I could stop the number 6—and I did.

If you have any emails from me and you check their time stamps, you will be hard-pressed to find one where the last digit is 6. I knew my ongoing avoidance of the number wasn’t logical but it was mine.

When I renovated my condo, I got a new stove. Gas wasn’t an option and I don’t like electric’s heat-retentive dirty coils or hidden filaments, so I got induction. I had never cooked on an induction range but I discovered that I liked it. Water boiled quickly. When the heat was turned down, the contents of the pot calmed quickly. I didn’t need to worry about a flame touching a cotton towel. But the induction range brought me face-to-face with my slippery non-friend, the number 6.

The stove has digital controls. When cooking on medium high-heat, I often found that 7.0 was too hot and 5.5 was too cool. I was Goldilocks, looking for just right, but just right came with a number I avoided.

After a few months of working around my work around, I held my breath and put the setting at 6.5. The walls of my kitchen did not fall down. I tried 6.0. That was fine, too.

It was time to let go of my limiting belief. Now, it’s easy for me to cook at 6.0 and 6.5. But when 6 is the last digit of the time stamp on my email? If I wait 59 seconds, it turns to 7.

Chewing the Cud of Good

I’m glad that I get to decide which of the memories of my life get reinforced.

Foundation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry

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