Isolating Truths

Do you ever feel a certain way and then get angry at yourself for feeling that way because you know other people have it worse than you? Like, you should be grateful for what you have, but you still feel really crappy? That’s been me the past few days.

I know isolation and quarantine has started at different moments for everyone, and a lot of people are still working. Disney announced closure about three weeks ago, and I have been lucky enough to be able to work from home. At first it was fine, but then things in the world got worse. Events I had been looking forward to, including one of my best friends’ wedding, got cancelled. We couldn’t drive to Atlanta to visit family. I couldn’t see my favorite hairdresser that I am willing to drive eight hours for. Seemingly small things when there are those who lost their jobs, their milestones, their lives. So, I am mad at myself for feeling so crappy.

This past week has been the hardest. It is one of our busy times at work, and Thursday Disney announced that furloughs are in the future for some cast members. Oh, and we won’t know for sure who is affected until next week. It was hard enough to concentrate on my duties without the uncertainty. I know it’s a necessary evil for the company as everything is shut down, but I just want to know one way or the other. Accounting is usually safe (to my knowledge. I have no source.), but cruises are cancelled, trips are cancelled, parks are closed. What is there to report on? There certainty is not enough going on for whole teams, maybe partial. Either way, nothing official has come out and I have spent the last few days stressed out and not sleeping.

Though, the not sleeping thing has helped my Camp Nano word count. Nothing like insomnia to spur the internal muse.

Working from home has it’s challenges. The cats are distracting. I miss my standing desk, and I am not moving as much. Heck, I haven’t worked out this whole week. I’ve taken a couple walks around the neighborhood, but I just haven’t had the energy to actually exercise. There is also this weird stigma that’s probably all in my head that I cannot be the first to log off. I end up working through lunch (unless I take one of those walks). During busy time, we were on until 10pm or later to get everything reviewed. When Taylor is not working, he’s a distraction because OMG I GET PEOPLE INTERACTION. There are at least three more weeks of this. I really hope this gets easier.

I’m trying really hard to stay upbeat. I try to practice daily gratitude. I try not to get angry because some coworkers have children at home and can’t always work a full day. I try to stay focused. I am one of the lucky ones who have a job and my health. But I am so tired. I am stressed. Every day is unpredictable. Taylor is still going to work as phone repair is considered essential, and I just have to hope that the store’s precautions will be enough. Even though I know that they have worked with customers that have been tested for the virus. Phones are dirty and disgusting. I am scared.

Stay inside. Wash your hands. Social distance. Do your part so things can go back to normal, or at least a new normal that allows us to go to parks and malls again.

Dreams Come True

Okay, so I know that it was been WAY too long since I have written anything, so let’s do a quick life update:

  • I survived one of the worst tax seasons ever (thank you new tax laws that no one really understands yet).
  • We went to Disney! It was a blast. I even got to experience Hollywood Studio’s 30th birthday celebration.
  • We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter while we were there. 10/10 would definitely stay there again and recommend to everyone. Everything was amazing, especially the food.
  • I got a new job, so goodbye public accounting.
  • We are in the process of moving for that new job. In fact, I’m writing this from a hotel room as part of the relocation process.

So, what is my new job you ask?

I am super excited to say that I am a financial analyst working at Team Disney for DCL!! Guys, I work right across the street from Disney Springs. Six years after the end of my Disney College Program, I am back working for the best boss ever. It still feels surreal. This past week was my first on the job, and yes, I totally almost cried at Traditions. I may not be in a role with a lot of guest interaction, but I still get to help make the magic come to life.

Earlier this year I chose the word renaissance to define my goals and path. And, just like Disney in the 90s, I feel like this is my renaissance. I got my CPA and I am back with the company I have dreamed of all of my life. Things are only just beginning. Next steps are becoming a homeowner and getting my health goals back on track (walking around Disney World should help with that one).

Things are happening. Let’s see how far they’ll go.

There’s a light…

At the end of the tax season tunnel. While Friday is business return deadline and everyone is stressed, we have just over a month until freedom.

And for me, that freedom means actual weekends and Disney World.

Things have gotten to a slightly more manageable than they were. I’m settling into this senior role with all it’s weird management like responsibilities. It’s getting easier every day, but that does not mean I am less overwhelmed by it all at times.

What has really helped has been going to the gym before work. That’s right. My husband and I are getting up at 5 and going to the gym most mornings now- except on the one day a week I see my personal trainer. My mood has been a lot better and I don’t have an excuse to not go to the gym.

Also, I rock the wet braid look at work.

This week will be a challenge thanks to deadline PLUS daylight savings time. I’m already sleep deprived so let’s take away an hour on top of long days.

Good luck fellow accountants. Five weeks until the end and we can sleep until extended deadline.

Long Time, No Write

Hello everyone! I know I haven’t said much at all this year (I’m not counting my birthday announcement. That was like five words), but it’s officially half-way through tax season. I figured it was past time to check in.

This season is kicking my butt. The new tax laws are tough to figure out, and a lot of things have changed. My work load is probably the same as last year, but the added responsibilities I have as a senior accountant have my stress levels really high. I feel over anxious about everything- especially the little things that I can’t control. I’m exhausted. Let me put it this way: Shrek the Musical made me cry when Shrek bursts from the outhouse in the opening song. I cried because of Shrek.

But, I had a fantastic birthday. My family and husband surprised me by taking me to Agatha’s dinner theater in downtown Atlanta. The 2019 winter show is Hamilton based, and it was fantastic. Best part was they threw in some Schoolhouse Rock. I could not have asked for a better celebration.

Oh, that jacket I’m wearing? That was a gift from my brother. He MADE that. It is gorgeous and I am so sad the weather has not been nice enough to wear it. Here’s the back:

IT’S A BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JACKET. Y’all, my brother is super talented. He’s made himself a music themed leather jacket, and I think he’s making Mom a Marvel one. Dude has all the creativity I wish I had. I’m jealous.

Anyway, we are three weeks from business tax deadline and then the big tax deadline is only a month after that. I can see the Disney glow at the end of the tunnel (I get to book fastpasses Wednesday. The homesickness is real). It’s only going to get busier and crazier from here, so I would not be surprised if the next time I post is April 16th. I’ll try not to wait that long.

How’s your 2019 going? Any other accountants feel the crunch yet?

I’m Still Here!

We are a week and a half away from the first deadline of tax season. By January first, all W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, etc must be prepped, mailed out, and filed. As such, I have been super busy. I have averaged about 53 hours a week the past three weeks, and I am in a constant state of tired and stressed.

Even my personal trainer has noticed. He was very concerned when I came in Thursday, and I just told him that I’m going to look like a zombie until April 15. I also apologized to him in advance for any crabbiness and rudeness he does not deserve.

The most challenging part this year is learning how to be in my new senior role. I am in charge of a lot more things this year, and, as such, my stress level is a tad high for how early it is in the season. I have too many excel tracking workbooks to count, and I am more or less in charge of training the interns we have on all things tax. I also have to make sure I am keeping them busy. Managing is hard, you guys. I’m doing my best, but I know I have a lot more to learn.

Health wise I’m struggling to find a routine right now. It is very easy for me to say I am too tired to go to the gym. I am really only going once or twice outside my personal training appointment, and I want to get it back up to three (for a total of four workout days during the week). As for food… We eat out a lot in tax season. I try to stick to salads, but that is not always easy. This is an area that needs more work right now. I have goals, and I need to work towards them, no matter how tired I am.

Just as a FYI: I can’t answer most questions about the new tax law. We won’t really know what changes until we see it in action. This first year is a big one for all of us as we see how the IRS treats the different rules. It may take longer to process things this year. Please be patient with us accountants.

I hope everyone is having a great start to their 2019!

2018: A Reflection

Gosh, what a year. I passed the CPA exam, swam with sea turtles, started with a personal trainer, and did a bunch of stuff in between. As for my 2018 goals, let’s review together:

  • Pass the CPA exam- check!
  • Lose 10 pounds and be healthier- I could have done better here. I got really close to the goal, but I got really lazy this month which put me at half my weight goal. I did lose an average of 1.5 inches all around, and people keep telling me muscle weights more so maybe I can blame some of the weight on that. But I mostly stuck to a workout routine and ate healthier overall so I count that as a mostly win.
  • Increase monthly savings- check! I now put money into 2 different savings account at each paycheck. One is for our future house and the other is for vacations.
  • Focus more on mental health and self care- This one was a hit and miss during the year. I did get back into reading which is relaxing for me, but I did not do things like face masks and I still need to work on telling people no and removing myself from stressful situations even if it is just a ten minute break. Balance is another struggle that will need more work in the coming year, both in my work and personal lives.
  • Improve back/ posture- honestly no idea on this one. I never got my scoliosis checked (it’s been almost 15 years since I’ve had to wear a back brace) but I did yoga and wear a lumbar brace sometimes. Soooo 50/50 check?

The good:

  • Went on 3 vacations this year, two beach trips and a cruise.
  • Had a fairly food handle on finances even if Christmas went a little crazy
  • No more studying!
  • Got more serious about health goals

The bad:

  • Some issues at work that have been discussed and won’t be said here
  • Passing of family members
  • Did not won 1.6 billion lotto

The ugly:

  • Had to get new mouthguard that insurance didn’t cover but it was very needed
  • Rent and other expenses increased
  • Tax season is always ugly

So 2018 could have been a little better goal wise, but it was still a great year. I know what I need to work on in 2019, and I really hope it does not involve too many intense, serious conversations (I know I can’t avoid it in some situations, but I really hate it).

Certified Princess Accountant

Three years. Four sections. 15 attempts. One C.P.A.

I did it.

I finally passed all four sections you guys. I am so relieved to never have to study or take another test again (unless I want to get another certification). I get to have a life and hobbies!

My word of the year was perseverance. It turns out that it was the perfect word. After failing over and over again, I was able to pick myself up, hunker down, and pass these exams. It was a lot of work for those three extra letters after my name, but it was worth it.

Of course, now I have to do a lot of paper work that needs to be signed by certain people and notarized, but within 6-8 weeks I will have my certification. I am the Certified Princess Accountant.

These are signs that I asked my best friend to make me. They came in the mail yesterday, and they will eventually be on the walls in my home office. The first one is from a Walt Disney quote, but the design is all Meet the Robinsons (one of the more underrated Disney moves ever). The other is a line from the Josh Groban song “Granted.” Both of these quotes are very dear to me and I believe they have a clear message that really helped me this year.

If you are struggling at your goals, keep at it. One day you will get there. Hard work and perseverance will get you there.

Now, I’m going to celebrate and make my husband take me out for that steak dinner he owes me for passing!

Post-Test Reflection

I have no stinkin’ clue on how I did. There were quite a few things on the exam that were not in my review course, so I had to answer those as best as I could. Some of it was super easy. A few things could go either way. All I know is I will be praying for a 75 every day until the 11th.

Fingers Are Crossed

Tomorrow I take REG! If (when) I pass I will be able to FINALLY apply for my CPA license.

I’m taking it easy tonight. Might look over a few notes, but I don’t want to cram and tire out my brain. The test isn’t until noon, so I will sleep in a little bit and go to the gym before hand. Afterwards my awesome husband is ordering Chinese food and I will enjoy the post test coma that comes with these things.

Test scores come out December 11th, so cross your fingers and wish me luck!