I don’t know what’s magic about the number 33, but that’s the number of radiation treatments I’m scheduled to have. According to Earl, I’ve finished 23. But according to my calculations, I have ten to go.
I wondered if there is some psychological advantaged to counting one way over the other; so I went to that virtual encyclopedia, Google®, to check it out. I didn’t find any recent research, but it was a hot topic several years back.
According to Davey Wavey Fitness (Yes, this is a site.), counting up is better. It makes you want to work harder when you exercise. Davey Wavey says counting down is anti-climactic. However, Edith Shalev and Vicki Morwitz make a case that counting down makes the experience seem shorter.
Quarters in football count down; so do the quarters in basketball. The light that shows the seconds to cross an intersection counts down. So does the run-up to New Year’s Eve or the Super Bowl or the Boston Marathon. Or launching an astronaut into space.
On the flip side, halves in soccer count up. Innings in baseball do too. Then there’s calorie counting, stair stepping equipment, and holding-your-breath contests. They count up. The stock market counts both ways, but we all know which is better.
As for radiation treatments, I personally don’t care how they’re counted as long as we get to zero. And soon.