Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 13 - Words or Numbers?


Are you a word person or a number person? I’m a word person. I love words, reading them and writing them. Numbers, not so much. In our business we deal with both. We are constantly writing, reading, proofing and arranging words. We are also constantly measuring, adding, multiplying and calculating square footage.

         Recently, our bookkeeper of fifteen years had the nerve to retire at 75 years old. My first question when she gave notice was, “Why?”  That left me to do the bookkeeping, payroll, billing, profit and loss and of course the T word – taxes.

         I haven’t been a person who gives myself pep talks. In fact, I didn’t even notice what effect my thoughts were having on my job. At first this new position was frustrating. Everything felt like I was learning Greek. My thoughts didn’t help. I kept thinking, “I can’t do this. This is too hard. Why do we have to do things this way? This is overwhelming.” Needless to say I was frustrated and overwhelmed.

          When I came to something difficult or had to figure out where I messed up and why things weren’t balancing, I wanted to give up. I regretted not hiring an experienced bookkeeper. I thought, “What in the world made me think I could do this? This is beyond my capability and skill set.”

But as I worked at it day after day and asked questions of our previous bookkeeper and my accountant friend, I started to understand. In order to stay focused and not get up and leave my problem, I had to tell myself, “You can do this. Stick it out. You can figure it out. The solution is here somewhere.” Self-talk and of course, Google helped me stay with it.

My defeating thoughts did not help at all. It was not until I consciously started encouraging myself to stay with it, that I could finally make sense of all the numbers.

Negative thoughts never helped anybody. They pull us down, keep us from following our dreams and accomplishing our goals. Negative thoughts can lead to depression, isolation and poor decision-making. If we are what we think, then thinking negative thoughts makes us a negative person. Are we always pointing out the problems to people? Do we automatically see the reasons a plan or project won’t work? Do we naturally think of a better, more efficient way someone could have done something? Those thoughts make us negative and hinder our joy.

It’s the positive person who encourages others, cheers them on when they attempt something new, applauds someone else's plan or proposal and is quick to say, “That’s a great idea!” We all need people in our life who encourage us and point out the positive in a situation. If we don’t have encouraging people in our life, we may have to encourage ourselves. I love the verse in 1 Samuel 30:6:

David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. 
But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.  1 Samuel 30:6

If you are caught in the downward spiral of negative self-talk, let me encourage you to take your thoughts captive and give yourself a pep talk.

You can do it! You have the power of the Holy Spirit inside you. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in your situation. Start looking for the good and positive things about your life and not only will it increase your joy, but you can spread that joy to others as well.
(This is part of a 31 day writing challenge, to write on the same topic everyday in October. This series is Joy in the Journey. To read others in this series, click here.)  




  1. Good for you, Robyn, for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
    I'm a word person too, and somehow thought that being a bank teller was a good idea for a summer job a couple of years ago. It was not pretty, but I managed it (sort of), and learned something about myself in the process -- along with ruling out that avenue for a retirement job!
    Thanks for the encouraging post!

    1. That's funny Michele! I could not be a bank teller either!

  2. That spiral of self-talk is so real! I have a lengthy commute each day and a couple of weeks ago noticed how different my self-talk is going, as opposed to coming home after a tiring day. I'd not noticed that verse about David before - thanks for pointing that out! Great thoughts for today (and for my commute tomorrow). :)

    1. Thanks Carol! I love that verse about David too, and have applied it to myself many times through this situation.

  3. Love this, Robyn. I'm a word person, and had to learn to be a numbers person by beating by head against a math book until the pages fell out.

    Ended up with a PhD in engineering (the school changed the rules so no one with that low a GPA could repeat my performance), and every year i do out the discomfort and veiled relief of my wife, the accountant.

    Just livin' the dream. or I would be, except for the pancreatic cancer.

    Nah. Still livin' the dream.

    Your neighbour at Inspire Me Monday.

    1. That's funny Andrew - I thought all engineers were math people! When my son did his engineering internship he was so relieved that none of the other engineers could spell, nor did they like to read. He came home and said "I've found my people!" LOL

      I'm sorry to hear about the cancer. I will hop over to your blog and read some.