"....... for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" Psalm 103:14

Being an admin type


It sounds weird, but admin is one of my gifts. Give me some papers to sort, an assessment report to write, some data to deal with, a funding application to complete, and I'm a happy girl. I love databases and spreadsheets too. I'm only pretty basic with them, but I love what they promise. To be able neatly to compile raw data into rows and columns, but not only that, to be able to add a formula so that at the bottom is a cute total that changes automatically with the data - well, that is just super-satisfying. And then at the click of a mouse - voila! a graph! I know. Like I said, weird.

From chaos to order
I love ordering our home office. Admittedly, right now that's an uphill battle - we are renovating after all, and our office currently houses a whole lot of stuff that rightly belongs elsewhere in the house, but doesn't have a home at the moment. That means it will be a while before our office is schmick, but I'm learning to be patient about that, and do the best I can within the current restrictions.

Because I enjoy bringing order to chaos, our messy year (so far) of renovating has been quite a challenge for admin-y li'l ol' me. To simply be unable - no matter how much I might desire it - to do anything about the current storage crisis has almost undone me at times. But again, more on that in another post.

Loving a non-admin type
My husband is a non-admin type. He's the first to admit it. He has many, many other wonderful gifts that I'm sure I'll touch on - even wax lyrical about - in other posts. But admin? Nope, not really his cup of tea. He has a unique horizontal filing system - piles of papers on the floor, an eclectic collection of whiteboard markers around the office (he LOVES his whiteboards - yes, plural), and little bits of paper with IMPORTANT notes scattered on the desk. One of my joys is using the shredder, but I dare not throw out these little chits without first checking with him.

Where I thrive
One aspect of my job that I really enjoy is the necessary admin that comes with working for a disability service provider. Now that may not seem odd to you, until you remember that I'm a therapist, not an administrator (although I think if I could have my time over again.........). But even we therapists have key performance indicators to achieve, many of which revolve around admin - records of service delivery, forms to be completed and filed, reports to be written, statistics to be entered, emails to be written and others to be read and organised so that the inbox stays under the requisite number of megabytes. And so on. Now I do also enjoy many of the aspects of my job that are more along the "therapy" lines too, but I get a huge amount of satisfaction from getting up to date with all the admin requirements of my job, and leaving my desk neat and tidy at the end of the working week too!

But could admin possibly be a gift?
The funny thing is that while I love admin, I have a hard time accepting that it's a gift. I'm comfortable with the idea of it being a "natural talent" - something I was born with, something that fits with my inherent personality type - but something that I have been gifted with by a creative God? Well, that just seems wrong somehow. I think of gifted people as those who are effortlessly able to teach others well, or naturally wonderful cooks whose creations are enjoyed by others, or those creatively gifted types who can paint a masterpiece, or compose beautiful music, or play an instrument really well, or sculpt something stunning from rock, or turn a lump of wood into something shapely and beautiful. You know, the ones we all call "gifted". It's hard for me to think of admin as a gift.

Accepting my strengths
But the reality is, admin is a real strength for me. I do have other talents - nothing earth-shattering but I can cook delicious meals, I can sew and knit and crochet, I can play more than chopsticks on the piano, I'm pretty good at teaching others from my areas of knowledge and career expertise. But for some reason admin just floats my boat. I sometimes dream of having an admin job where I could just organise things all day. I'd be such a happy camper. And whenever I've completed a "spiritual gift" assessment (if you've ever done one of these, you'll know what I'm talking about) I never fail to come out with ADMINISTRATION firmly entrenched at the top of my list. Streets ahead of any other gift that might conceivably be mine also. I may have taken years to get to this point - and I may have come kicking and screaming for a long time, and denying vehemently, and lamenting the fact that I haven't been gifted differently (we always want what we don't have) - but there's no denying it, admin is one of my gifts.

Putting my gift to good use
So, having reluctantly accepted it, I'm trying to make the most of it and explore what it means for me, and one of those ways is blogging. I enjoy writing so much. It's so satisfying to get a germ of an idea, jot down some points, think about it for a while, flesh it out, tweak the turns of phrase until it flows nicely, check the spelling and grammar (umm, bit OCD about spelling here), add a picture or two, and then publish into the blogosphere. It just ticks so many admin-y boxes for me!

I guess I'm learning to accept my admin gift as something that God has, in His wisdom, given to me. Even though it's not particularly flashy (not sure I'd really want flashy, truth be told), I know it's probably an enviable gift for those who don't have it.

What are your gifts? I'd love you to share in the comments! (perhaps you could enter your data into the spreadsheet......... )

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