memo to my co-workers re: Game of Thrones…

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MEMO: To My Co-Workers

RE: Game of Thrones (GOT)

In our accounting department of about forty people, you need to look up from your spreadsheets once in a while and take a break. I relish the water cooler banter as much as the next person.  I look forward to swapping stories about our college aged kids, discussions about the latest sale at Lord & Taylor and jokes about our industry.  I smile politely when you over-share about marital issues and medical ailments.  I enjoy debating who is the bomb on The Voice and how American Idol can be saved. We’ve guessed at what is to come on Homeland and broken down Breaking Bad’s epic finale. I’ve even dabbled in Downton Abbey based on your recommendation.

But I won’t discuss GOT.  Ever. I know if you bring up that particularly nasty beheading or maddening family betrayal, we’ll both blush at what happened five minutes before or five minutes after that scene: brothers & sisters engaged in anal sex.

So I’m going to pretend I’ve never watched GOT.  I hate medieval stuff.  Seems boring. Who could even follow all those endless backstories?  When is Homeland gearing up again? How’s the quarterly management forecast coming along?

I better get back to work before I admit I’m addicted to GOT and we both have to look awkwardly at the floor.

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a lesson from Homeland…

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There’s an episode from Homeland where Carrie tells Brody there’s little to be “heightened” about anymore.  At 34 and with a mind blowing job in the CIA, it’s a bit of a stretch for Claire Danes’ character but the line has stuck with me.  It pretty much sums up the feeling or more the numbness, at least for me, of being 48.  Nothing heightens my day either Carrie, unless it’s finding an old Starbuck’s gift card at the bottom of my pocketbook promising a quick caffeine rush.  Excuse me while I yawn at my lame life.

Without anything to heighten the day, the classic mid life crisis becomes dangerously tempting.   I realize how easy it is to succumb to the search for NEW.  Even if we avoid the slippery slope, life becomes about our kids’ accomplishments or our favorite detergent on sale which we celebrate with yet another latte.  I’m haunted by Carrie’s words and feeling hyper-underachieved at 48.  If someone could achieve at underachieving for the last 20 years, that award would belong to me.

So I got a new job.  A. Real. Job.  According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a real job is defined as:

real job \ˈrē(-ə)l\ˈjäb\ – duty/task/function involving sitting at a desk from 830 – 5pm; putting my lunch in a refrigerator next to someone else’s lunch, access to medical/dental benefits and not dressing in something that could be worn to yoga.

And I’m EFFING PUMPED about it.  The prospect of NEW people in a NEW office doing NEW work while once in a while popping down to the company cafe (it’s actually called a cafe!) with my potential new bff’s has blown me away – no dangerous CIA job necessary.  I start tomorrow so we’ll see if the cafe lives up to the food network experience I’ve created in my mind, and I’m hoping to save the country from a terrorist threat before lunch.  Not likely in the accounting profession, but I’m all about the glass half full here people.

Yes, I’m nervous.  Yes, I’m scared to death.  But if there can be a good scared to death, Carrie, this is it.

number whisperer…

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I have spent the last 25 years running away from the accounting profession.  I should have listened to my best friend two weeks into freshman year of college when she learned we needed to pass the CPA exam after graduation.  “Another test after graduation?” she whined.  “No way.”  She promptly switched her major to marketing and is one of the most successful people I know.  There is no boring stereotype associated with marketing types.  She works for a major network, attends cool events like the Golden Globes and never gets asked charitable deduction questions.

Between reality tv, docu-dramas and even the tried and true one hour drama series, every profession is edgy and sexy lately.  Risk your life hunting crab on the Bering Sea – slap a Bon Jovi theme song and a rugged voice over on your show and you’re an instant celebrity.  Chefs, interior designers, construction workers, dog whisperers, dog groomers, anything dog related and real estate brokers are in high demand.  Guaranteed increased viewership if you and your hot twin brother run a successful partnership doing anything, except accounting, of course.  There isn’t a Certified Public Accountant to be found.  Lawyers and doctors get the most coveted career shows.  I long for a trip to the ER or a lawsuit to up the possibility of running into a brainy, buff bad boy to stare into the depths of my soul and offer advice before lining me up with twenty others to see if I qualify as date material.

Maybe a show entitled Hollywood Tax Accountants could bring some much needed steaminess to my begrudgingly chosen profession but sadly forensics, law enforcement and duck calling seem to be the buzz today.  Perhaps Number Whisperer?  Keeping Up With the Kardashian Accountants?  CPA Bachelor?  America’s Next Top Accountant?  Real Housewives of Accountants?

Would anyone watch?

where did the time go?

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Tips for facing your 30 year high school reunion:

1. Be Yourself – Be your best self by booking those botox, teeth whitening, liposuction & manscaping appointments early.  Laser hair removal is your new best friend.

2. Be happy with your career choices – When someone asks you what you do, don’t say boring accountant.  You are working on an erotic novel entitled 50 Shades of a Balance Sheet.  Stuck in sales or behind a desk? Casually mention you’re the true genius behind @GSElevator on Twitter.

3. Talk about your kids – Repeat after me:  My kids are perfect.  My kids are perfect.  My kids are perfect.

4. Newly divorced?  Unemployed?  Bald? – There’s always pre-gaming.  You never looked as good as you do through your own beer goggles.

Where did the time go?

telegram vs. instagram…

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I’m a bit frustrated with smart phones lately.  Instead of making life easier, this cute little device with the pretty colors and smiley faces is costing me a fortune to be more harried than at any other point in my life.

My son’s middle school is having a seminar on Smart Phone Usage for Tweens & Teens.  I’ll tell ya what’s smart usage – not letting tweens and teens have a smart phone in the first place.

Easy going 16 year old son’s phone is not holding a charge, he announced yesterday with the same passion I’d like expressed regarding studying for the SATs.  I know how worried you are that he won’t be able to get the Tottenham HotSpurs/Manchester City soccer score in real time.  Oh, the agony.

My daughter is spending a semester in Rome.  She should have left her phone home as calls to AT&T to unlock her phone and demand I pay more fees for an international data plan had me wishing she could communicate like I did when I went to Europe in college.  Here is a step by step guide to a newfangled idea I’d like to introduce to my family:

  1. Fly to the Himalayas where they are on the cutting edge of fast growing environmentally friendly Eucalyptus trees to be made into paper.
  2. Log – pulp – paper.  You can enjoy the sites while you wait for this process to be completed something you wouldn’t be doing if you were on your smartphone/instagram/snapchat etc.
  3. Get a small device filled with ink also known as a pen.
  4. Using the pen, write down your communication on the paper using both sides to be sure you don’t need to fly back to the Himalayas for more paper.
  5. Put letter in a piece of folded/glued paper also known as an envelope.
  6. Seal the flap.
  7. Write the person’s name and address on the envelope.
  8. Buy a stamp, affix it to the envelope and put in the mailbox.

While I wait for your letter, you can enjoy the Vatican, the Colosseum and those little out of the way places most tourists never find.

Arrivederci!

 

January 2nd Resolutions…

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Lose 5 pounds.

Eat more vegetables.

Cut back on lattes.

Just a few years ago, those items would have topped my list of New Year’s Resolutions.  They probably seemed very challenging at the time.  Life was simple and attainable, and my declarations reflected things that didn’t need much determination.  Strangers tell me I need to gain weight, I actually enjoy vegetables and okay, maybe the latte one would require a bit of steadfastness, but in hindsight, I see a list that had no figurative meat and potatoes.

Yesterday came and went, and I never thought about formally making resolutions.  I’ve become the opposite of the list above, setting lofty goals for myself almost minute by minute, because a certain level of control and satisfaction with my life has become illusive.  I’m the hamster on a wheel, afraid to get off, for fear of…that list seems endless lately.  If I hop off the wheel, I’m thinking this is it and I don’t want this to be it.

Did you know the average lifespan of a hamster is three years?  I think I’ll go get a latte, order a pizza and try to get off the wheel.

no body parts…

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Recently, in the news there have been a rash of robberies involving UPS deliveries left on front porches. Yesterday, I got home from work to a plain brown box on my porch looking like it had been delivered by a garbage truck and smelled like a dead body.  Nobody would have stolen this parcel.  The box was wrapped in official United States Post Office tape with the words, “THE CONTENTS HAVE BEEN DAMAGED.”  Oh no.

I nervously cut the tape and opened the box.  A bright red package, probably sparkly and pretty when first sent, was wrapped in a plastic bag and looked as if it had been flushed down the toilet and rescued from the Hudson River.  As I cut the plastic, the stench of wet cardboard and dead bodies (or how I think dead bodies would smell) permeated my kitchen.  I held my nose and nervously unwrapped the bag, then the red wrapping, then the brown paper and finally reached a soaked box.  The box was filled with shattered glass wrapped in tissue paper, but thankfully no body parts.  It would have been a great gift – a bottle of Prosecco (broken) and a bottle of raspberry syrup.  No doubt I could find plenty of other alchohol to mix with the syrup.  I salvaged the card and tossed the box.  I debated about telling Friend 1 about the broken bottle, I didn’t want her to feel bad. But when I let her know about it, she asked about a bracelet.  Oh no, back to the garbage where I found it.

Johnny Carson famously said, mail your presents early so the Post Office can lose them by Christmas.  I avoid the Post Office like the plague.  It truly is like walking into the Twilight Zone, but I have to give them some props for getting me a package that looked like it deserved to be tossed in the dump.  Is it illegal to send alcohol through the mail?  More props to this government agency for saying, “What the hell, it’s the holidays.”

you can run, but you can’t hide from FOMO…

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Since my  Gen Y’er returned home from college, I’m able to see if some of the Millennial bashing attributes assigned to them are true.  I inevitably end up comparing the effortlessness of their lives to growing up in the 70s/80s.  Okay, I know I didn’t walk three miles to school or kill my supper but still…

Gen Y’ers don’t know the the stress of having to wait on the college Add/Drop line for hours just to see the last three spots in that easy A movie class slip through their fingers.  Yet they still bitch tweet about the server being agonizingly slow from their warm dorm room while ordering a pizza and watching Netflix.

Gen Y’ers never stand awkwardly alone in a bar wondering why their friends are late, never speculate about a random fact, or miss an episode of their favorite show because they’re stuck waiting in the Add/Drop line.

Even with the so-called ease provided by their smart phones, tablets and twitters, they’ve developed a serious disorder – FOMO.  If you’re wondering if it’s some mysterious blood disorder obtained through too many lattes, it’s much worse. FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out.  Oooh, the pain.

The NYT recently published this article:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/business/10ping.html?_r=0

It appears Gen Y’s can’t commit to anything as they never know when something better will come across their Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram etc.   As my daughter notes, pics or it didn’t happen.  The one who dies with the best pics wins.  Deciding which event will produce the best pics?   Oooh, the pain.

As smart phones and social media have infiltrated elementary school, I picture kids on the playground paralyzed by whether to choose the swingset or kickball.  It’s surely affecting my generation of 40 somethings quick to pick-up on millennial trends.  If you’re not sure, look at the demographics now on Facebook.  Millennials have fled and 40 somethings thrash about trying to “follow” them.

After wiping my tears for FOMO sufferers, I realized I am tormented by FOBI (Fear of Being Included).  What began as a convenience (email/texting/googling) and a way to catch up with childhood friends (Facebook), has backfired in an attempt to keep up with the deluge.   And don’t get me started on Reply all.  I spent less time in the Add/Drop line than I do deleting Reply Alls that I never read.

I’ve made some concessions like turning off my phone after dinner and ignoring funny texts sent by my extremely funny college friends while I’m at work, but I have guilt they think I’m ignoring them.  I must have FOBPO – the Fear of Blowing People Off.

Where will it end?

more than just another Christmas mug…

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unnamed

There’s something about taking out the first Christmas mug of the season.  Coffee tastes a little better, I find myself humming a Christmas carol and memories of past holidays fill my thoughts.  This particular mug was given to me by my aunt.  It came as a set of four with those cute little spoons that don’t really have a purpose yet look adorable and festive.  I blogged about my aunt, who now has Alzheimers, in this post:  https://runningawayfrom49.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/i-miss-you-although-you-are-sitting-right-across-from-me/

There is plenty of craziness at the this time of the year, and I hope you can enjoy a few moments to find meaning in a cup of coffee.