Always 11

It’s almost the witching hour…11:11 on 11-11-11. Of course we already had a minute of this time today…this morning, but I was at work, so for me that didn’t count. I’m marking my significant moment as the evening one.

You have to admit it’s a great number. Like wonderful alliteration with words, 11-11-11 is memorable, for oh so many reasons. Easy to remember, primary, and perfect numeric poetry, symbolism and magic, all wrapped up in one. Any way you express it, all wrapped up in 1.

Years ago when our kids were early elementary school ages, Rob played a math quiz game with them at dinner. He’d give different combinations of numbers using addition and subtraction, and they would do the math to give the answer. And the answer was always 11. That became a family slogan (I think the phrase is from a movie too, but I’m sure we had it first!) and we’ve been surprised at how often 11 has been a significant number in our lives. Not that we’re superstitious or anything. I mean, we’re not picking lottery numbers with 11; 11 is not my password. But it turns up often enough that I notice – and wonder.

Today is also Veterans Day, and as the mother of a veteran, a veteran looking for a job, it holds greater significance to me than in the past. I appreciate all veterans, but viewing my son in that role brings the day and the reason for the day into sharp focus. I wonder, do I only value things that touch me somehow? And the answer comes, reassuringly, no, but like anything in life, a personal connection increases awareness and insight. So I see veterans with new gratitude, new appreciation for sacrifices. I see differently because I see through my son.

So, an important day on the calendar: a date that will be easily remembered for the births and marriages that occurred this day…easily remembered for whatever happened. Hope you made a great memory, celebrated, jumped for joy over something in your life.

As for me? I was given a great gift today. Something I thought was arranged for future work fell through. I was disappointed, deflated, dejected. And then I realized: this loss will push me more toward the kind of work I really want to do. The opportunity that evaporated was a safety net, a little bit of a sure thing (so I thought) for my finances as I step away from a “regular” job. But the reality is that I need the push to be out there, to make my own way. So, though it wasn’t what I expected when I got up this morning, 11-11-11 delivered. And it will be memorable for me. The best part? A husband who has my back, who took me to dinner, and toasted with me to our connection, and to 11-11-11.