Monday, November 18, 2013


I like working with numbers. Math problems are black and white. The answers are right or wrong. There is a challenge to finding the error of your ways and balancing to zero. Numbers are a tangible commodity and there is always a solution.

I often said that the most challenging part about working at the school was that in my position as a secretary there were so many gray areas. "Use your judgement"; "We decide on a case by case basis". Every time I thought I found 'the right answer', I soon found out that it was wrong the second time around.

I wanted firm and strong answers. I wanted structure and training. I wanted to know my way around enough to make good decisions. Maybe it would have come in time, if I had not been floating around to different schools all around the city. I longed for my safe world of numbers. The world of right and wrong. Black and white. Balancing to zero.

I never found that by working at the school or the various part time jobs that I took on as I tried to support myself on my fluctuating and unstable income. That was the only thing that 'math' helped me with during that time. I knew my budget wasn't balancing and I had to keep looking for workable answers. I needed more &/or stable employment. Black and white.

I found my way back into my daycare world. Perhaps the answers aren't black and white but they are definitely a very dark shade of gray and a just little off white. My responsibilities are clear. Keep the children happy, safe, fed, clean and dry. There are (in my mind) more right ways to accomplish these goals and a myriad of wrong ways. I know what I'm aiming for. There are almost always attainable solutions.

Add my bookkeeping job to the mix and I've got a pretty balanced life. I have that tangible right, wrong, black, white and 'balancing to zero' to offset the shades of black and white in my daycare world.

This weekend was particularly gratifying because I was of great assistance to my boss who was trying to 'balance to zero'. I knew what the end goal was. I went for it and succeeded. The elation in my boss's eyes told me that this ... is where I am meant to be.

Life is a very good teacher. There are few math equations in real life. Life is complicated and messy at times. Confusing and chaotic at others. It is full of a wide variety of good, bad, happy, sad and a rainbow of colors. There may not be one big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but there are so many gold nuggets if you simply watch for them.

I left my bookkeeping job and walked back into the real world. It (almost) met me at the door.

Illness and good health. Cures and diseases. Life and death. Life is full of so very many gray areas. Sometimes we need to wait for the rain to appreciate the many colors of a rainbow.

Give me numbers any day. Sometimes balancing a bank book is the about the only thing that I feel like I can do. But I will do my best to do more than just that. Life is messy and complicated. But it is also joyful and exhilarating. We wouldn't appreciate one without the other.

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