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Emails to my Therapist

Keeping Books, Running Numbers

Once upon a time, I parasailed (twice!) over the bay at Puerta Vallarta.  That took no gumption at all; I was stupid at the time.  However  a current activity of mine is drawing on my reserves of daring:  I'm keeping the financial books for my husband's psychotherapy practice, since he left a large practice and went solo a year and a half ago.

Oh, mon Dieu!

I am a wordy person, not a numerical person.  Evidence:  In first grade, my friend at the next desk was roaring through workbook 2, while I was still sullenly staring at a middle page of workbook 1. (She has become composer and professor of composing, Meira Warshauer; music people are good at math, you know.) In junior high, I had to get a tutor to get through algebra II. In high school, I was remanded to unaccelerated chemistry. Once, as an older person who should have known better, I tried to learn how to sell mortgages and utterly failed.  Everyone has more sense than to buy a mortgage from me. (I did bond well with people on the phone; some of them continued to want to chat after they'd already bought their refinancing from someone else.) 

It's true that I've done the bookkeeping on my writing/critiquing business for these 39 years.  But my business and I have grown up together. 

Now I'm not only dealing with a new kind of numbers not my own,  I'm also trying to make the records look more legible, more professional, less tatty-little-notebook.  In short, I'm using a spreadsheet.  I'm giving it until the end of the year and if things don't get better, I'm getting a second little notebook. 

My husband, whose income and outgo I am recording, seems trusting except for the occasional flash of alarm when he thinks I can find a particular paper quickly.

At some point this airplane is surely going to level off in the air and it will become second nature, right? 

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Categories: enhancing creativity


  • Mary
    September 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm Reply

    I'm not a numbers person either, so this sounds extremely daring to me.  Good luck, Peggy.  And to your husband, too!

    • September 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm Reply

      I think we need to figure out how to become numbers people of a minimal sort, Mary. Life would be easier. I know Bob appreciates your good wishes too.

  • John Hilpert
    September 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Peggy, We have also taken over the books for Cedar Cross.  Took us a while but now it goes pretty easily.  I'm using Open Office (free) software which is easier than Microsoft Office (expensive) or even Excel.  I had to spend some time setting up the formats I wanted, but went OK.  Now it goes fine.  Yours will be more complicated so probably need a more sophisticated software.  Just follow the 3rd rule of family systems – maintain a non-anxious presence.

    • September 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm Reply

      I love the nonanxious presence concept, John. That applies in a number of situations. Your Cedar Cross site is wonderful, very appealing.

  • Jane
    September 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm Reply

    One word: Quicken. Make the computer do all the work.

    • September 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm Reply

      Oh, yes, thanks, Jane. I’ve heard good things about Quicken.

  • September 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm Reply

    How are u being compensated ?  Sounds like he mite not B a #s person either , so u have him over a barrel ?  Be sure to get what yr worth , & he better appreciate yr sacrifice & suffering .

    • September 23, 2011 at 8:41 am Reply

      I’m well compensate, aiki. Thanks.

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