Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Long Division for the Frazzled

There are times in my life when I swear I can't make heads or tails of what my life lessons are supposed to be.

Every time I think I've got it figured out, someone changes the game plan. (Hear that universe.. I'm onto you).

I try to work out what I need to extract from the experiences I'm having, then try to incorporate that into my life so I can be a better person but before you know it there's another crisis in front of me with a whole new set of things to work out.

I think screaming "THATS NOT FAIR" at the top of my lungs (justified as it may be) is not going to further my progress down life's path.

At that point the universe is sure to dish up the lesson that I need to drink less caffeine. Nobody wants to have to learn THAT lesson. It's what fuels my ability to get from point A (bed in the morning) to point B (my bed in the evening).

If daily lessons were written out, today mine would have said "Be more patient with children.. especially when they are learning long division."

Thats a lot to etch onto a stone tablet, but what are you going to do? You gotta learn what ya gotta learn.

I'm afraid I will have to repeat today's offering of character betterment because patience was in short supply.

Somehow my fourth grade prodigy managed to come up with the answer of 18 remainder 6 when dividing 4 into 42.

 I really did start out with the best intentions.

At first it went well. "OK you got the first part right...4 goes into 4 one time.

Good... now place the 1 above the 4, write 4 under the 4 and subtract and what do you get?

0.. good.

Now bring down the 2. How many times does 4 go into 2."

Long blank stare.

"4 into 2? How many times? Come on, you know this.. it's easy...."

Oh that was the WRONG thing to say. As soon as I assured her it was easy her eyes started watering and the random number generator turned on.

"4 times?"

"4 goes into 2 four times?" (my voice starting to rise) "Try again."

"3 times.. no wait 8 times.. yes with 6 left over."

"NO! Where on earth did you get THAT?" (My voice hitting a peak).

(Settle down Mel.... you're failing YOUR lesson for the day)

"Think about it.. 4... how many times can it go into 2?" (Trying to bring my voice back to normal).

"One time?" sniffle sniffle

"You are NOT thinking!!!"

No but now she IS crying. Somebody shoot me please.

I stepped away for moment, took a deep breath and came back.

"Maybe we should put this aside for a few minutes and come back to it after we both relax."

"OK" sniff sniff.

Maybe if the rest of my life were under control I wouldn't feel the need to blow a gasket now and again... or every other day.. I'm not sure which.

Hopefully I can go back now and get through today's life lesson and put that one behind me. So I can be ready for the next one that's sure to be equally as challenging tomorrow.

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