Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Are You Balanced?

I have gotten into the habit of stopping by the lobby in the morning on my way to work to pick up and packages and mail that arrived the previous day. It is a system that seems to be working so far at least as a means to keep our mailbox from overflowing but it also has its shortcomings. In addition to sometimes not having enough time or simply forgetting to stop by in the morning, there are weeks when the mail enters the black hole that is my work bag and doesn’t resurface until the end of the week when I try to clean it out. Sometimes the stockpile goes a little longer and doesn’t get addressed until the excess weight is substantial enough.

Today was one of those days. While it had only been a week since I last went through all of the mail, the stuff that could wait (items that did not require a check) had begun to put a noticeable bulge in my bag. So, not wanting to lug around the extra weight or bulk, I began sifting through the correspondences, solicitations, and promotions. It was a process that took place throughout the day whenever I had a minute here and there to tear open an envelope or two (usually when I needed to come up for air for a very brief time).

One thing I noticed was the number of items that I had missed, or entire days that had slipped by, that required the assistance of my check book. Nothing major and all well within a reasonable time of the deadline/due dates but an annoyance nevertheless. This added an extra step to the process as the occasional item that required a response and/or a check was put aside to be dealt with later in the day. This was the second round of sifting and sorting.

Again, when a minute or two was discovered during the late afternoon, the forms were filled out, replies were filled in, and surveys were taken. Lastly, the checkbook was pulled from its safe place where it lay cowering in the corner like and insecure puppy. As to not frighten it too much, I filled out the few checks needed and put it back in its safe place to recover for the next time it needed to be out in the light.

The work day done, it was time to head to the lodge for an early and, hopefully quick, evening of office work. A tax form, multiple calls to government offices, the signing of about a dozen checks, and 90 minutes later I headed out the door and made my way home to recover. I honestly can’t remember ever having to sign that many checks at one time in my life and it really made me think about how much money I was sending out that day. Then I had to stop because it was making my head hurt. But that is all part of life and part of my new responsibilities at the lodge. Essentially, what it really means is that I now have to keep two sets of books balanced.