Assistant Appreciation

I like to keep an “attitude of gratitude,” because I’ve learned the hard way that we get more of what we focus on. When I list the many things I’m grateful for, my assistant, Tara, is way up there at the top. She’s not only cute, energetic and cheerful, she keeps me organized. Before Tara rescued me, papers to be filed were stacked on my desk until the stacks got too tall, and then I’d stuff the whole lot in a shopping bag. I’d labeled the bag so I’d feel efficient. The label was always “To File.”

I despise filing. I would rather cut a stranger’s hoofy toenails than file papers. And if I file something, it’s lost forever because I can never figure out what something should be filed under. Does a letter from your accountant about your tax return go under Correspondence? IRS? Taxes? Some people, like Tara, have logical minds that never even wonder about those things. I not only wonder, I become incapacitated by indecision and put the whole thing off until I can decide what to do about it. Which is how I ended up with a desktop filled with little shopping bags labeled “To File.”

Before I became a full-time writer, I was for twenty-five years the owner and head of a large psychological services office with several staff members. To the rest of the world, I looked as if I were an organized person, but it was really my assistant who kept things humming efficiently. That assistant’s name was Joan, and she was not only my right hand, she was my conscience and my dear friend. Joan died of breast cancer a few years after we closed my office, and after I began to accumulate those blasted shopping bags of “To File” papers, I sometimes felt as if she were standing over me shaking her head.

Joan would approve of Tara. She would like the way Tara sternly asks, “Blaize, have you paid your bills this week?” She would like the way Tara zips off and completes errands in a fraction of the time it would take me. She would like the way Tara sometimes brings her young son Jacob and has him sweep my lanai while she organizes me.

Tara only comes twice a month, and only for a couple of hours, but the change she has brought lasts all month long. I am profoundly grateful to her and for her.

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