Do mental math like nobody’s watching

I wish I could do mental math.

Mental math is the number one cause of mental illness. For me it is. This is my truth and I’ve known it for years.

If you want to see me experience bizarre, unnecessary humiliation, watch me attempt basic mental math in front of people. It doesn’t matter how simple the mental math is, I guarantee it won’t be pretty. If I have to add a 20% tip or figure out what the date will be when you say “in five days,” I start perspiring and blushing and my nose starts whistling. Immediate acne. It’s insanity. It’s hell.

But I don’t dislike writing math. I enjoyed solving math problems on paper or in workbooks. I love the way math looks on dry erase boards. It’s aesthetically pleasing to look at long, complex math problems written out on a chalkboard.

And physicalizing math with cooking and carpentry can be a pleasure. Baking cookies is a fun way to teach “the dozen” to little children, and who doesn’t appreciate the wisdom and poetry of of “measure twice, cut once?”

Even pregnancy and labor are measured in multiple styles of numbers: heartbeats, centimeters, fingertips, percentages, weeks, seconds, millimeters, etc. Though neither pregnancy nor labor are a breeze, they’ve proven to be my favorite math “classes.” So no, I don’t dislike physical math. Physical math is fun.

For a little perspective, let’s compare numbers to letters. The alphabet is easy. Twenty-six letters and that’s it. I can work with the alphabet. But numbers? They just keep coming. Numbers don’t stop.

And neither do these prompts. I’ve reconciled 16 and still have 15 more to complete. I’m just glad I could figure out my “balance” here in the privacy of my office without anyone looking at me.

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it. I know it’s not necessarily easy or fun to read someone’s blog, but hopefully it beats mental math. -Connie

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