Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And To All a Good Night

As I sat preparing for yet another accounting test last week, my mind wandered (par for the course while reading a text book), and in its wandering it started accounting for the past year. If you haven't heard from me in a while, this might explain why.

In the past 14, almost 15 months, these are the classes or equivalency tests that I have studied for and taken: macro economics, micro economics, GMAT (graduate school entrance exam), principles of accounting (2 semesters), intermediate accounting (2 semesters), cost accounting, advanced accounting, accounting theory, auditing, survey of the practices of tax, audit and financial accounting, 1 tax class, 1 stats class, 2 finance classes, marketing, and a partridge in a pear tree. And last but not least, my girl Star and I passed the Canine Good Citizen Test and started taking agility lessons. That nets out to about 3 weeks for each class that is usually taught over a 15 week semester, with no breaks, except for a cross-country move, if you call that a break! And Christmas 2009 in Mexico at the amazing Luna Blue Hotel - now that was a break!

Because that wasn't quite enough, I also wrote (almost) monthly newsletters for my two favorite organizations, Safe Harbor Lab Rescue and Canine Angels Service Teams. I continued to serve on the board of CAST, but was frustrated that I could not be there to help out and take pictures at the events, and now I realize why!

Before leaving Colorado in May, I logged a lot of hours and miles doing transports and adoptions for Safe Harbor, and after I got away, they roped me back in to remotely perform the daily duties of Medical Co-coordinator. That means that I am one of an amazing team of volunteers who helps process more than 3/4 of a dog into the program every day, and I am thrilled because I get to track the medical status of all those dogs in 3 dimensional multi-colored spreadsheets. With 9 days to go in the year, we are striving to set a new record of 300 dogs rescued this year!

For fun, I do some after hours work for a former colleague, and as a bonus, he lets me attend the huge Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and "herd cats", managing a growing team of bloggers and podcasters. (Watch us on the first week of the new year.) This gives me a project management fix, more practice in logistics coordination, and a little winter thaw.

And in other news:

I have enjoyed keeping in touch with many friends and family members on Facebook, although they may have all hidden me by now after all the posts about what my dogs did today, Sunny's latest operation, and what test I was taking now. I also enjoyed writing this blog, and another where I tracked my agility training, until the graduate classes at Gonzaga sucked the remaining life out of me.

I guess I must have moved again in there somewhere, if I started in CO and ended up somewhere else (Washington state, 100 miles from my parents again after 20 years of distances of up to 6000 miles). The move is a blur, the fifth in as many years I think, but I'm too tired to count them up. Actually, if we can count "by proxy", I actually moved twice this year, because I sold the house in CA and was reunited with the other half of my stuff that was still stored there. These two moves were made possible by my clone, Karr. Couldn't have done it without you, Big Sis.

This is an accounting of 15 months, instead of just 12, because it was on October 1, 2009, that I adopted my new boy, Sunny, and also when I started on this education track. Star joined us on March 1, 2010, completing my little family.

Never content to sit in the present, I am already itching to get started on 2011, because the grand-daddy of all tests, the CPA Exam, is calling out to me (has been for 20+ years). After the intensity of the above, I will allow myself a leisurely (ha!) year. Because I will be studying at home for the 4 parts of the CPA exam, I will have time to get back into the agility with Star, and (gasp!) start competing. I'll try to drum up some little internship opportunities and develop some relationships with the intention of (double gasp) real employment again in 2012. I plan to keep up the routines with Canine Angels and Safe Harbor, two very deserving organizations. And who knows, I might even move again. (locally ;')

I believe I am truly making the most of my first retirement, the one that followed my first career. Or sometimes I just say that I'm taking my retirement out of the middle of my working years. After two years of working as a retirement planner, well, let's just say I have a lot of thoughts on that matter.

The 2010 move separated me from the overwhelming number of people in Colorado that I call friends, but reunited me with some of my very best friends from way back, Paul and Julie in Montana (heck, 200 miles up here is practically neighbors) and this Agility stuff is all their fault. I really am grateful to the technology that keeps me close to you all despite the miles. Know that I think of you often.

Happy Holidays, my friends,
and Best Wishes for 2011!

And to all a Good Night!