Working Backwards

I have been doing a lot of math the last few years. I started a business and suddenly, I leaped into a world where basic accounting and math are a defined part of my job.  I have always been nervous about math.  I still wake up with a start some mornings fresh from a dream where I am convinced I have unfinished math business to clear up back in high school, until it dawns on me that somehow I closed that chapter already.

I am very conscious of not letting it rub off on my daughter.  I realize that basic math and its more complicated aunts and uncles are just part of the world, a language like any other, that we use to explain our world in a particular way.  No more, no less.  However, some part of me still holds onto anxiety about math. I've never viewed myself as a "number person" and yet, even before I started this work, I did several calculations a  day.

As the demand on my math skills has increased in recent years, I have begun to realize that actually I am quite capable of it, and can be perfectly rational about it but I do approach it differently than the way I was instructed.  I work backwards.  Just like the way I like to read comic books, I start at the end and work my way back.  Even though I suspect working backwards takes longer, I come up with the same result.  Now that I have begun to acknowledge that I work backwards, I am hoping to finally let go of my hangups about math.

Do you work backwards or forwards?