Monday Notes: *23

Initially, the number 23 used to frequently appear on digital clocks, not just at home, but also abroad or at other people’s houses. Sometimes when I happened to glance at the time, it would read 5:23. The number urged me to pay attention. To what, I was never sure. The purpose wasn’t readily clear. It’s not like a bag of money would fall from the sky or a genie would appear asking for my three wishes. There was just an overwhelming sense that I should be mindful.

So, when I moved from Middle Georgia back to Florida, with little confidence in that decision, I looked for a sign. One day, while driving on the major street adjacent to our townhome, I noticed the bus was number 23. And that did it for me. The same way people find solace in praying to an all-knowing presence that they believe exists, is the way I learned to find comfort when seeing the number 23. Recognizing the number 23 bus right outside of my home helped me to feel as if I had made the proper decision. I was in the “right” place.

Similarly, when I began my job at a community college, I was unsure the institution was right for me, that this was the “right” place for my skillset. Once again on my way to work, I noticed the bus that dropped students off right in front of the college was bus 23. When I noticed the number this time, it wasn’t comforting. It was confirming. At that moment, I had to trust, have faith, and believe I was where I was supposed to be. The reason would be revealed later.

And so, I came to rely on these two numbers as guidance.

On January 20th, I had surgery on my rotator cuff and bicep tendon. The weeks before were filled with nausea and heart palpitations; otherwise known as panic attacks. I’d never had surgery before. The days before were filled with rumination of the unknown; otherwise known as anxiety. I’d never had surgery before. Was I making the right decision? How would I know? The night before, I asked for a sign that everything would be okay, that this was the right decision. I’ve learned to trust that if I ask for a sign, then I will be given a sign, and that my job is to believe that it really is a sign.

The morning of my surgery, Dwight and I sat side-by-side on a hard hospital loveseat. We waited for my eight-digit patient number to appear on the monitor, signaling it was my turn. One-by-one, we watched as nurses called each patient to their fate. Name, the nurse would say, confirming that what the person said matched what was listed on the wristband. What are you here for? the nurse asked, validating that the patient could adequately describe their procedure. Then, the two would walk away toward an unknown place, beyond two double doors, making my stomach twist into knots. I’d never had surgery before. I sat in the crook of Dwight’s arm, trying to hide the tears that crept down my cheek, betraying any sense of internal strength.

Then, it was my turn.

I told her my name and described why I was there. I followed her toward the double doors.

“Do you need to use the bathroom?” she asked.

I hadn’t eaten anything since nine o’clock the night before, so there was no need.

“We’re going right over there to that room,” she said. “Number 23.”

I wanted to wrap my arms around her taut, stocky body. But I knew I couldn’t. I knew this nurse who had just met me two minutes prior wouldn’t understand how much seeing those two digits meant to me. But still I tried.

“That’s my birth day,” I said, with as much nonchalance as I could muster.

The nurse looked at my file, as if to verify, that my birthdate did, indeed, include the numbers two and three, and then she said, “Hmmmph.”

That’s when I knew I was in the right place, and that no matter what happened, everything was going to be okay.

~ February 3, 2023

*Post-script: I started to title this “Why I don’t feel the need to name the unknown,” but I didn’t want to get into a religious debate 😉


56 thoughts on “Monday Notes: *23

  1. I often look for signs or feelings that I am going the right way or it is meant to be. Sometimes you don’t know. I do know that I am using this time to edit my book which has been accepted by a publisher. It is slow going but I am excited. From my full time job, I did take a leave of absence for several reasons including the cane I used this past year to hobble on.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. It is a mystery/thriller set in Florida. I will tell more on my blog as I continue. Right now, the editor (Barringer Publishing), we are on the second editing. They are very thorough.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi KE,
    I love this! I believe in angels and divine messages. I keep seeing repeated numbers such as 111 or 555, I firmly believe it is a sign.
    How wonderful that you had those messages and they put you in the right frame of mind. I hope you are recovering well from your surgery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ana! Sometimes, I see 1111 or 1234. I was so happy when she said the room was 23, I can’t even fully describe it.

      Thank you for the well wishes, too. I’m recovering quite nicely 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such an interesting post. I think there is a part of human nature that seeks out signs and meaning, and this is a very cool and very personal manifestation of that here. I can’t speak for other people, but know that I wouldn’t have started a religious debate in the comments, no matter how you titled this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right! I think it’s natural for all of us to look around and try and figure out if there’s someone out there in the great beyond looking out for us.

      That hospital scene was crazy! It’s like if I didn’t believe in ‘something’ before then, well, I do now lol

      And thanks for that last part. WP bloggers tend to be a bit more caring and compassionate, I think 💕


  4. I hope you have a smooth and full recovery. I’ve had some shoulder (not rotator cuff) and bicep injuries and it’s not easy. I wasn’t a candidate for surgery but have had several other surgeries in my life. Amazing you hadn’t ever had one until now. Wishing you healing ❤️‍🩹 energy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura! Yeah, this has been a major situation, even more than what I or my family anticipated.

      Apparently, it is a wonder I’ve not had a surgery, because the nurses and doctor were surprised, too lol

      I’m over here convalescing nicely! Thanks for the well wishes 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I also believe that if we look for sign, we’ll see one. I’m so glad that you found yours just as your were going into a dreaded surgery. (And surgery is scary!) Those are the kinds of things that reassure us when we need it most. I hope your healing is quick and your recovery complete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s pretty true, too, Ann. They say that if you look for fill in the blank thing, then you’ll always find it.

      Thanks also for the well wishes 💕 Everything is going according to schedule.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the magic and serendipitous moments! Yes, truly, the universe arranges these things, gives us personal signs that speak to each of us, to show is we’re loved and being taken care of! Blessings to you, and happy birthday!


  7. Katherin, I’m glad you were able to find comfort with the number 23. It’s interesting that with it being 2023, that signifies it’s a very important year in your life!
    For fun, I went on Google and looked up. Any significance to your favorite number. Here’s what came up:
    I wish you a swift recovery and lots of healing from your surgery. That’s a big breakthrough to experience your first one this late in life. You sure dodged them and I’m sure you’re a rarity!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, first and foremost, thank you for being such a great blogging friend. Even though I did not contact you, just knowing that you were willing to be there for me was super helpful.

      Thank you also for sending this image as what’s to come in this 2023 year for me lol and receiving it and expecting nothing but good things moving forward.

      Finally, the doctor and nurses kept commenting on how great that was that I hadn’t had any illnesses or surgeries in my life. They really couldn’t believe it, so I guess unfortunate in that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so welcome, Katherin. And in the future, please know you can reach out to me anytime! I was honored that you thought of me. Glad 23 brought you luck and comfort!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Afternoon, Kathy. The digits 1 and 3 play a part in my life. I grew up in a house whose street address was 131. Those digits got switched around years later when i moved in with my wife-to-be. The street address of that house was 113. Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You can have tears rolling down and it doesn’t mean you lack internal strength (I know you know that) but I feel for you, Kathy. Thanks for admitting you were panicked before having surgery. I’ve never had surgery before, either, and my husband has had two hip replacements — I have wondered how frightened I’d be going into that, or any surgery, and I think I’d be really scared if and when it happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for saying that, Fran. The both/and is an important reminder ❤️

      Yes! Surgery is no joke, and I’m not sure how people who have to endure multiple ones do it.


      1. Well, we all need a fallow period so we can bloom again. I think of you as centered, positive and proactive. Often when I’m working out a physical malady, there is a corresponding spiritual one as well. That was true for my foot surgery 20 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I can totally relate to this Kathy & so happy you shared it. Of course, I know better now, but this is a perfect example of an experience where I kept quiet about when I was younger or wasn’t sure how to express w/o thinking I was crazy.
    Thankfully, I learned better 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I enjoy fooling around with numbers, too. Not for anything like ‘numerology’ but the way life intersects with numbers in ways that are always out there for us to discover! As a huge category example: fractals. But I wanted to mention your b-day numbers this year were one of those nice moments I got to write 2/3/23 in my journal with a smile realizing the easy-to-see 23 – 23 rhythm of the date.
    Glad for your 23 comfort during a first time surgery experience! Hope it went well and that you’re recovering safely.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Whoa – not something I could soundbite. Fractals are basically fractions/designs divided or multiplied in nature and denoted in math as a type of geometry. Some use ‘repeated numbers’ but that is merely a subset of the whole of the catagory of fractal geometry.
        Great artistic visuals are Mandalas. If that intrigues you, then let the Google Searches Begin!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. How cool that 23 kept showing up in your life and giving you reassurance. The number 9 seems to be a repetitive presence in my life – I was born at 9:09 am, weighing 9 pounds, 9 ounces. And I met my partner on the 9th day of the month. I don’t know if that means anything though, other than coincidences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That part, Brad! That’s why I learned to stop arguing with folks about what is or isn’t. If you believe whatever, then okay, as long as you don’t try to dissuade me from whatever I’m doing with my 23 lol

      Thanks for the future well wishes ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This was such a great post! I loved how this number/the Universe has brought you peace, validated your decisions, and shown you to be in the right place at the right time.

    Liked by 1 person

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