Hump Day Gets Hostile

When I worked in an office most of the time, I loved Wednesdays. There was something magic about knowing you were half-way through the week, and the weekends always mean something wonderful. Even if it is lacrosse games, swim lessons and collapsing into bed at 10pm after a cheesy movie.

But in a job where travel is regular, but schedule is inconsistent, it’s a fine balance. This week, hump day has been hell!  Continue reading “Hump Day Gets Hostile”

The Expense Report Blues

We all have those little things in our job that we absolutely abhor!!! You know what I’m talking about – those random tasks that truly bring out the absolute worst in us and remind us how flawed we really are. These aren’t big, scary things. Just those teeny, administrative, organizational hiccups that just seem like impossible obstacles to attack. I tend to avoid, avoid, avoid, which is highly ironic because I’m a doer-by-default.

For me, one of those horrible tasks that I put off, and put off, and put off, until my husband AND our company CFO are breathing down my neck is EXPENSE REPORTS. I just don’t have it in me to stay organized in the way that works well for my company’s expense reporting system.

Saving receipts never works out well for me. Remembering random Starbucks charges in Timbuktu (or technically rural Minnesota or Indiana when they are within 20 miles) never works. I can remember to complete 30 different things for work, school volunteering, and writing this blog, BUT connecting the dots on when I last paid my corporate card tends to fall onto my husband’s shoulders with embarrassing frequency.  It’s a good thing that I fell in love with and married an accountant all those years ago. High-five to my teen-age self!!!

So, what happens when you procrastinate and forget to submit your expenses for two full months?

Well, in my typical bi-monthly trend, I wake up at 5am and start printing receipts from my corporate card statement. Literally, I wake up at 5am because I start to stress over how long it has been since I have been reimbursed.  Then, I calmly start taping (YES, I SAID TAPING) loose receipts on a piece of paper to track and send to my Boston office.

After a good three hours of time “organizing,” I realize that I’ve forgotten at least half of my expenses and convince myself that I won’t tell my husband. Remember, you NEVER tell an accountant that you can’t remember every line item in a spreadsheet… This means that I will ultimately not be reimbursed for some of my expenses, but on the bright side, I have minimal commuting expenses since I work at home, so it sort of evens out, right?

So today, around noon, I will submit my expenses for October, November and December, which include 5 business trips! Woo hoo!  That’s an accomplishment.

Please tell me I’m not alone! What is your work-place procrastination?

 

 

Balance doesn’t exist

I have never been very balanced in my approach to things. I’ve been all or nothing for everything. Sports. Work. School. Love….  You get the idea!

Balance

I jump into what I’m doing head first because it is the only way that I know how to do things. When I’m working, I’ve been an 80-hour-a-week girl or I’m not successful. I told my husband that I loved him after three weeks of dating. Granted, my hubby isn’t the most balanced individual either, but I love him for it. This approach has worked well for me throughout the first 28 years of my life, and then, it just didn’t.

My oldest son was born with a bang! He was a month early via emergency c-section as I was in the midst of severe pre-eclampsia. I had worked 70-hours trying to finish up some major projects while also trying to prep for my in-laws holiday celebration. Probably not my wisest moment. My little man spent two weeks in the hospital, and I spent 10 days there.  My husband was terrified, my mom had to fly in three weeks early after the doctors finally realized my horrible headache was a brain hemorrhage. To say the least, it was an adventure.

Since that crazy day, I’ve continued to struggle to find that perfect balance. Less work, more work. Less TV, more TV. Less wine, more wine. For eight years, no matter what I try, I constantly feel unbalanced. Is it me? Is it everyone? What can I do better?

My hypothesis – BALANCE IS AN ILLUSION. Single or married. Kids or no kids. We all constantly struggle with finding balance. It’s why there are is a booming business in self-help books and programs. I am fairly confident that 90% of personal bloggers touch on it at some point in time.

We all want balance. The perfect balance. But life changes on us. It evolves from week to week and day-to-day. Today, we live our lives from meeting to meeting and event to event. Half of us rely on our digital calendars, others use their day planners, and most of the rest have a calendar hung up somewhere in the home.

How do you find true balance when the structure that helps you navigate your life is rigid and inflexible? I am not convinced you can. Instead, I think you have to look at yourself and understand where you can adapt and evolve. Drop something that you are comfortable with – either short-term or long-term. Recognize that true balance is fluid. One week, work might need more, and one week,our family may need more. Hell, one week you need to focus on you more. Allow yourself to be flexible and you might find that real balance is actually coming from embracing an evenly unbalanced life.