This is another story from the way, way past, something I remembered for some reason when I was riding my bike today. (I have my most profound thoughts on my bike, too, in the very place where I'm least able to write them down.)
This one isn't profound, so don't be disappointed. You've been warned.
When Sweet Girl was a little bitty thing, I was trying to start a walking program in an attempt to lose some weight. Walking in the morning wasn't an option because I had to be at school at 7:30, and it was roughly 40 minutes away. Walking in the afternoon when I got home wasn't an option because I lived with an asshat. Sweet Girl was too young to walk with me and too big for a stroller. The only time I could find to walk was after Sweet Girl went to bed (she was always a pleasant child to put to bed, and I'm NOT being sarcastic). But after she went to bed it was also dark, and we lived on an unlit country road.
We lived on a sort-of farm (cows and chickens, but no crops or anything like that). There were three chicken houses at the end of the driveway, and I measured the driveway and the loop in front of the chicken houses. It was two tenths of a mile, so I figured if I walked 15 laps, I would have completed three miles. And I was much, MUCH more OCD about those things than I am even now, so it wasn't good enough to approximate. No such thing as walking for an hour and saying I had walked ABOUT three miles. It had to be 15 by-golly laps and nothing else.
The problem was that I often lost count of what lap I was on. That might not be a big deal, unless you happen to share some of those OCD tendencies, in which case you might understand (please, oh please say you understand) why it freaked me out if I wasn't sure which lap I was on.
So here was my solution:
I gathered 15 acorns and carried them in my hands. Not my pockets, my hands. I set a plastic cup on the front porch, and every time I passed the porch, I would drop an acorn in the cup. When the acorns were gone, my walk was finished and I could be (pretty) sure I had walked the requisite three miles.
This may be one of those posts that I look back on later and say, "Why the HELL did I write about THAT?"