The photo is $175 + $15 shipping, I emailed Claudia, so the total is $180. She was buying one of Jon’s pictures that we sold on-line just before the Open House. Claudia was good enough to email me back questioning my math. For some reason, it was this exchange that made me realize, and admit to myself for the first time, that I really suck at math. I’m not good with numbers.
For some reason I insist on balancing my checkbook without using a calculator. It’s kinda fun, I tell myself, I do the math in my head, and I’m getting really good at it, I lie to myself. The thing is, I’ve really convinced myself that I’m getting better at it. And even though, every time I check my bank balance it’s off, I mean really off, I still think I’m doing a good job. I don’t know quite what it is, but I make these weird adding and subtracting mistakes all the time, (right, we’re not talking algebra here, not even division or fractions, we’re talking adding and subtracting) and when I look back on them, I can’t figure out how or why I came up with the numbers I did.
Interestingly, I often have more money in the bank than I think I do. I can still remember trying to convince the bank teller that she must be looking at the wrong account, that I didn’t have as much money as she thought I did. This isn’t really a bad thing, better this way than the other, although that’s happened too. Ya know, less money in the account than I thought. I still haven’t bounced a check (knock on wood) but I’ve gotten pretty close.
When I told Jon about my epiphany, he looked at me like I was mad (as in crazy). Did I really not know that this went on constantly? That every week I was telling him how I had more money or less money in my bank account than I thought. That he was actually tired of hearing me say these words. The defensive part of me knew he was exaggerating, but the epiphany part of me knew he was right.
Why is it so hard for me to admit I’m not good at math? What difference does it make. Who really cares. It’s not like every device I own doesn’t have a calculator in it. It the easiest thing in the world to use. But I decided not to got there, not to try to figure out the “why”. Because, honestly, that doesn’t matter either, what matters is that I stop doing the math in my head, or even on paper, and hand it over to the expert, the calculator on my iphone or better yet, the adding machine app on my ipad (this has a “paper” scroll so I can look back at the numbers I’ve added and subtracted).
So today, as I was adding up the numbers from the Open House, I didn’t use one scrap of paper. I punched those numbers into my computer and ipad and let them do the work. And you know what. It was really easy. And the numbers all balanced out the first time. Now that I know, I just have to remember. Mantra for the day: “I suck at math, use the calculator.”