Exploring the varied significance of “100,” I discover meaning for myself, at least, in having written 100 blogs.
One hundred. In paper money, we call it a C-note (from the Roman numeral), or a Benjamin (it’s an American thing), or a bill (for those who have so many on their hands that they need a short name, perhaps). In cents, it’s a whole loonie; in percent it’s the whole shebang.
One hundred. In kilometres per hour it’s a decent speed for a city freeway; in metres it’s a showcase for the fastest human. In metres squared it’s the archaic are; put it with another 99 and you have a hect-are. In links, it’s a chain, which bears a relationship to acres (not ares) too obscure to be worth remembering.
One hundred. In kilograms of anything, it’s a quintal. In pounds of livestock, it’s a cental or a short hundredweight, the long one being 112 pounds (it’s a British thing). In numbers of dead stocks (as in dead-cat bounce, these days), it’s a round lot.
One hundred. In years, it’s a century; in geezers, a centenarian; in anniversaries, a centennial or a centenary. In 2012, it’s the anniversary of one Titanic shut-down and numerous start-ups, large and small—Alan Turing, Timmins, Arizona, Fenway Park, Chevrolet, the Grey Cup, the Calgary Stampede, the DC Cherry Blossom Festival, the Oreo cookie and the Girl Scouts of America (suspicious, that last coincidence, no?).
One hundred. In radiation rem, it’s a sievert and a 5.5% chance of developing cancer. In fractions of seconds, it’s a jiffy, which is, perhaps, even longer than you want to be in the presence of radiation. In millions of maxwells of magnetic flux, it’s a weber. Whence the famous barbecue got its name, I guess, although it was news to me that they cook with magnetic energy—I always thought it was something thermal. Live and learn.
One hundred. In calories, it’s a barely noticeable wee nibble; in daily caloric intake above output, it’s a ten-pound-a-year habit. And it is this meaning, perhaps, that resonates most deeply for today’s purposes. Because 100 is the blog you are reading right here, right now.
Like the calories, little by little, week by week, a blog adds up. Throw in a series on movies here, an homage to the 12 days of Christmas there, an occasional canonical blogger rant, and voilà! One hundred it is.
In January 2011, if someone had told me to sit down and write 100 articles, I would have deferred. Whence would cometh 100 topics? And if 100 topics cameth forth, whence would cometh the time for them, forsooth?
If encouraged, I would have demurred. If pressed, I would have declined, damn it. Too hard; too much like work.
And yet, here we are. Well, here I am, and there you are, but you take my point. And that point is this: Little by little, week by week, it adds up, whatever It is. To a blog or a new skill, or a career, or a life, forsooth.
In younger days, I heard of a woman who, at 50, decided to learn Russian. What a great mid-life challenge! What an accomplishment! It gave her goose bumps just thinking about it.
When she learned that it would take her 10 years to become fluent in such a difficult language, she deferred, demurred, declined, damn it.
Why, by the time I learned it, she explained to a friend, I’d be 60!
Umm, said her friend, you’re gonna be 60 anyway.
And so it is. I myself can attest to that—if you live long enough, you will indeed be 60. Or 30, or 40, or 50 or 75 or even 90: whatever strikes you now as impossibly old. The only question is, will you also speak Russian? Or run a marathon, finish a degree, teach a bunch of kids to read, or learn to paint, sing, or do a cartwheel?
Or write a blog.
Because, little by little, week by week, it adds up, whatever It is. Maybe even to one hundred.
Revisit last year’s Canada Day post: Downhill Headfirst.