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The Magic of Ten

Americans like to mark life’s high points in multiples of ten’s, and I’ve often wondered why. In July, my husband and I will celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, and we’re getting more ooh’s and ah’s than we did with our fortieth. 2021 marks my tenth year as a published author, a time in which I’ve penned eleven novels.

Multi-published authors have told me I’ll start making money as an author with my 20th published book. According to them, I have nine more stories to go and likely, a decade to accomplish such a goal.

When I was a beginning teacher, I was told by veteran educators I’d know if I was in the right profession by year ten. Meditation experts suggest counting ten breaths before we start counting from one again. We tell children to ‘count to ten,’ when they are injured or frustrated. The top of a basketball hoop is ten feet from the ground. In bowling, we have ten pins and ten frames (for scoring).

Of all the numbers, why ten? (Note: the Chinese are with us in honoring ten for its ‘perfection.’ Hordes of Chinese couples chose to marry on 10.10.2010. In Great Britain, Number 10 Downing Street is hallowed government housing. Religions and numerology speak highly of the power of ten).

The fact we have ten fingers and ten toes may have something to do with the number’s popularity. Maybe that’s why ten is the base of the decimal numeral system, by far the most common system of denoting numbers in both spoken and written language. Ten is also the first double-digit number in our numerical system.

So I will celebrate my tenth year as a published author, knowing the public understands why I’ve waited until number ten to bring out the fireworks. And for my fiftieth anniversary, my husband and I will pull out all the stops to properly mark our milestone. We definitely have the tens on our side!


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