Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Week and an End 4/11/2015

Do you know any accountants?

Do you have any idea how much we despise month-end?

Between the 24th and the 6th, my life is living hell. Upper management expects reports about practically every aspect of the business around this time. Unfortunately, some of the information they want involves pulling data from every single transaction submitted, across an entire month. For a Fortune 50 company, that's a LOT  of data.

So I generally spend hours, staring at a screen, copy-pasting, editing columns, following up with deliqenquent clients...

And none of this improves our bottom line. At all.

Because month-end fell on the weekend, and Easter weekend at that, this week proved challenging. We spent days catching up on all sorts of stuff we would have normally done on the 4th or 5th, and begging our managers for extensions.

The hard part is that this ruined my entire week of home life. When I come home late and wiped out on Monday, I do not cut up my vegetables, or clean my dishes. Which leaves the work piling up for Tuesday, and then Wednesday, and then....

One of my goals in my standard Beta Life is to stop problems from ruining entire weeks. When children roll around, the Beta household will be a constant mess with rapidly evolving situations and a need to adapt, AND WORK, continuously. Any down-time available needs to be grabbed and cultivated, or else my quality of life will take a huge hit.

Same for Mrs. ADBG.

Then you start eating out more often. Which drains your bank account and makes you heavy. You become lethargic. You stop walking and exercising. Laundry piles up.

Before you know it, you're a standard American household.

No thanks, that's not the standard for the ADBG household.

Really, energy is the key problem. I know what I have to do on a day-to-day basis, and I have technology to bail me out whenever I don't know how to something. Like opening a coconut. Thank God for Youtube.

But energy? Passion? Inspiration?


And rebuilding your inspiration sucks when you spent 8 hours crafting a report that will not help the company save a single dime.

I think that's a big problem in American culture, especially with the collapse of religious attendance. We have lost sight of any overarching vision, community, or purpose. Right now, we paper over that loss of meaning with smartphones, but Instagram and Facebook cannot fill a soul's hole: that wound has no bottom.

Ironically, this is where my Beta vision of life really helps. Even after a miserable day, I know that the last 10 hours were a mere snapshot of my existence, and little reflection on its meaning. Focusing on that Cash Flow report reflects an inner myopia, a kind of self-obsessed narcissism that can only result in pain, even on the best of days.

My true meaning is a tangential point on The Long Arc of History. If I want to draw meaning, I need to remember that I am part of a grander culture, that emerged from the Fertile Crescent and evolved over thousands of years. Despite numerous set-backs, including a few World Wars and a plague or two, my civilization now offers the best standard of living and freedom to over 300 million people, and safeguards the liberty and prosperity of others worldwide.

My role in that is a small one, but I am a cog in a larger whole that has accomplished wondereous things.

People frown on Betas. Men and women alike think us weak. I prefer to think those of with a more enlightened view merely take the correct perspective on our place in the world, and have much to offer our nations, whenever our nations choose to end their pointless crusades against us and realize our contributions to their well-being. We may be deluded, and perhaps not always the most violent, or wealthiest, or most attractive of the litter, but we certainly drive the nation forward, day by day, enduring great hardships with little complaint.

That's the kind of mentality that keeps me going, keeps me cutting up vegetables, keeps me cooking, keeps me working out, keeps me from blowing my money on booze or drugs, keeps me working on the car. 

There's a lot of value in that, even if people no longer respect it.

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