Sunday, June 4, 2017

Life Lessons from Quickbooks.

Last year,  I was let go from a job I felt was the perfect fit for my skill set and my passions. I'm not going to lie, it's still a bit of a gut punch at times to be "downsized". The truth is, I miss a great deal about the work and the ability to do some of the things I love most more often. I've been fortunate to have a new job that although it's way outside of my scope of knowledge and education, it's interesting and engaging and it doesn't hurt to work with a brilliant woman whose vision is contagious.

It hasn't changed much about my passion for those who are vulnerable. It hasn't been a deterrent to continuing to stay connected to the communities I care most about. It just has hindered, financially and time wise, my ability to go and be on the ground in those communities.

I'm just having to re-prioritize finances and timing to get myself back to where I can sit with those I love and be part of the day to day conversations and happenings in the homes and communities that regardless of distance, stay at the centre of my heart. 

Finances have never been a strong point for me. I guess I've fostered a bit of a hippie approach when it comes to money in the sense that it's "just" currency. And yet, in the past year, I'm beginning to see the need to prioritize some thoughts about it so that it's available when I want to use it to do what I feel I'm most passionate about. 

Interestingly, I had a stellar week at my new job this week. Stellar, not because I invented anything or brought anyone to tears with my words or abilities...but stellar because, well, I conquered a very frustrating part of my day to day role. Quickbooks Online. I feel like I finally turned a corner with what I have long thought of as my nemesis. Math. Accounting. Finances. 

Thanks to my long suffering accounting teacher, Mr. Skerlak, I felt I was doomed to be incarcerated for fraud and embezzlement with my creative accounting practices. I didn't understand why everything had to be so damn neat and tidy and add up and balance. It was all just so....uptight. 

And yet, last Friday, I was driven nearly to tears by accounting. I had been taking a course to fully comprehend the bugs and seemingly deliberate glitches in the program and I was finally beginning to feel confident that I knew what I was doing. (This only after 9 months? Oh, Jan...who have you hired?)   And, so, as I opened the program on that fateful Friday morning, I was completely undone by the fact that the program had been "updated". What the heck QB? Are you trying to kill me? Are you purposely keeping me in the dark so that I have to use your superbly under-helpful online chat? Is it that you wish to keep those who are actually providing support to your problematic issues in the dark and unable to keep up with the bugs and glitches on their youTube channels that I have now subscribed to?

Whatever the reason, it was what I will now refer to as a "Black Friday" in the office and no one got any bargains on electronics this day, friends.  I left for the weekend. Feeling inadequate. Despondent. Dejected. Exactly as QB seemingly intended to make me feel.  Well played, QB update. Mission accomplished. 

Thankfully, on Monday morning, I worked through the "new" QB (isn't all this accounting talk sexy, by the way? I know!) and I was feeling decently prepared again. By Friday, QB was back under my thumb and I had caught up on months of work and left at the end of the day feeling utterly jubilant.  I was elated by the fact that I had mastered a skill I never wanted to have. I was celebrating (literally) in my car by singing and hand surfing out the window on the way home. I was completely at peace with my QB relationship. And then it hit me....

I am completely and utterly insane. 

I've hit a new low when the highs come from conquering the mundane. 

Saturday was a low. I woke up feeling defeated. Is this the "I can do hard things" kind of stuff that memes are made of? Is this the "accomplishment" and "rise to the challenge" kind of marker for the rest of my life? Am I going to remember that on Friday, June 2 - I beat my accounting nemesis into submission?  Oh Lord, I hope not. 

And yet, the funk. Post celebratory let down? Maybe. More so, it was the realization that I really did jump a hurdle that's been mostly mind over matter (or math-er as the case may be...groan) and I accomplished something that makes my life easier and makes my boss' life happier. (And that's the goal right now, Jan....)

I did. 

But, I also felt a little nagging thought that grew and grew over the day. If I can conquer something that's stood looming in front of me for so many years....something I didn't even WANT to be good at or ever THOUGHT I could take on....

why, dear Shelly, oh I not taking on the challenges of that which I want to spend my life doing? 

If I can conquer computerized accounting...what can stop me?  There are always going to be unscheduled and surprising and not always welcome updates to our lives. Why have I let the past few derail me from doing what I really want to do?

Vocationally, I'm stuck at this job. No, truly. My boss has threatened me with using me as a cadaver for teaching if I fail to give her less than three years notice for any changes to my employment. (She knows how to make you feel valued...) But, I have time and energy for more than just vocation. I have a desire to live with intention to fulfill dreams of writing and travelling and supporting that I push to the bottom of the agenda all the time.  And in the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy all the perks that this job entails....

Mandatory after lunch naps with the kids.

My coworkers laugh at all my jokes!

I can take my dog to work because you know...she's great company. 

Severed arm in the lunchroom? No big deal. 

Where else do you get two butts shipped to you at work with removable glutes?