Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Giving valuable advice

March 14, 2012

I have an accountant who gives very good advice, not necessarily limited to taxes and ledgers. We had one of those discussions recently when I commented that I thought something was wrong with me. She asked why I thought that.

I am an incredibly organized person; never so much so as when I have myriad tasks to complete and jobs that need doing. I am a famous list maker and am known for working my way methodically down the weekly list. I set priorities like clockwork.

When I went through three years of cancer treatment and recovery, in spite of chemo fog and lassitude, I never missed a beat when it came to bookkeeping, recordkeeping, and documents for tax preparation. I surprised even myself.

This year, when all is well — except for a fall on my back side the one icy day we had this year — I struggled with organization. I usually go into the office on Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons to be sure I am ready for the coming week. Not so this year.

And that’s what I told my accountant. “And that’s what makes you think something is wrong with you,” she asked. I nodded. “I just think you have lost a bit of your compulsive tendencies,” she commented, then added, “of course, I am not a psychologist.” She smiled, ever so slightly.

She is a former mathematics teacher; she is also a good judge of people. I think because she was a former school teacher, I tend to listen to her, as school is where I have spent most of my years.

I was thinking about her comment about my being compulsive, which I am, and remembered another conversation we had a number of years ago. I was feeling low and happened to be driving down the street past her home, where she has an office.

I called to see if I could drop by. She met me at the door and took me down the hall to her living room. She went into the kitchen and made us tea, then sat across from me and waited. I poured the story of what had been troubling me.

I had betrayed the trust of a friend and was having a hard time coming to terms with what I had done. She listened attentively. When I finished my story, I said to her that I could find no redemption for what I had done; it troubled me deeply.

She shared a story about a dilemma she had placed herself into one time; then she said to me that redemption would come in never committing the error again. The hard part, she said, will be forgiving yourself.

I think of her advice from time to time, when I am troubled. She is a good accountant; part psychologist, part sage. She knows numbers, but she really knows people. One wise woman.

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