The Farm on Oak Creek

Lack of Balance

If there was anything in my life I’d like to change it would be my lack of balance. No, I don’t mean my physical balance, which I do admittedly lack as evidenced by my klutziness. Actually, I attribute my physical klutziness to my narrow feet. Because it’s almost impossible to find AA shoes inexpensive enough to wear in a pasture, my off-the-rack shoes are always too loose. Holding them onto my feet requires me to shuffle, instead of step.

It’s my ability to focus that keeps me out of balance. I’m an all-or-nothing girl.  What I’m doing at this moment has 100% of my attention. If the task requires learning a new skill, I set aside everything else and stay in that foxhole until I master it.  Give me a new piece of software, and I don’t leave the computer until I understand how it works, how to break it and how to fix what I’ve broken.

The only thing that jolts me out of my concentration is the need to feed something, and that doesn’t include me. Me I can ignore, but I won’t ignore my critters. This may be my subconscious reason for keeping animals. They prevent me from morphing into a complete geek.

So, with July promising to be hot and humid, offering a legitimate reason to stay indoors, I finally admitted I needed to learn how  to market my own books. It was either that or get a “real” job. Gritting me teeth, I opened up the on-line course I purchased in June and started consuming the how-to videos. If a course left my eyes spinning in my head, I forced myself to watch it again and again and again–however many times it took to stop the spinning. I studied every “things that work” image and did my best to replicate it.

I downloaded the example spreadsheets…. NO-O-O! Not spreadsheets!

Spreadsheets are my worse nightmare.  This is because I have dyscalculi.  What dyslexia does to letters, dyscalculi does to numbers for me. For example, when I look at a 4, I see an ‘h.”

As you can imagine this made basic math a challenge for me as a child and is why I didn’t become an engineer like my siblings. Over the years I managed to come up with my own workarounds and tricks, but looking at someone else’s spreadsheet is like getting a glimpse into the brain of a person for whom numbers aren’t the enemy. Sure, I could just plug in the numbers the way the course’s author promised. But all that would accomplish is filling the page full of numbers, half of which turn into letters. Instead, I have to reorganize columns and rows until my afflicted brain, which resists with all its might, finally has an “Ah-hah!” moment and understands what it sees.

This weekend, after four weeks of living in detail overdrive, I climbed out of the foxhole long enough to discover my gardens are completely overgrown and all my fruit trees need water. While my animals are fine, my distraction meant I missed the moment the pigs and June the Cow decided they need to graze together, the pigs moving back and forth under the cow. Not necessarily a good choice. This morning, one of the little gilts was wearing a bit of cow manure on her back.

See you next week. I’m dropping back into that hole of mine as I reorganize my favorite spreadsheet one more time.



© Denise Domning, 2023