Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Serious Business Stuff vs. Important Life Stuff

It is a fact that I have a slightly above average head size, a family trait I have passed on to two of my three children (sorry kids!).  I like to tell people this makes more room for all my brains, but I suspect my husband sees it as a sign of my hard-headedness.  However you look at it, there is one thing of which I am convinced:  there is a finite amount of space in my head and I am guarding access to it like a shotgun-toting father of a teen girl on prom night.

There are some things I choose not to let into my consciousness on principle, like the name of Kim Kardashian's baby, the minute details of Lindsay Lohan's time in rehab or anything to do with the "Real Housewives" of anywhere.  None of these people are allowed anywhere near my synapses.  As Gandhi once said "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”

I am not generally a facts and figures kind of gal ("gal" is a word my husband uses in everyday conversation--it always makes me think of one of the female cast members of Oklahoma).  Any seminar titled "How Algorithms Can Improve Your Life" would be a sure sign to me of the coming apocalypse.  I was a liberal arts major; I'm more about ideas, different view points and no wrong answers.

Unfortunately, there are all sorts of situations in adult life where there are very wrong answers.  My husband owns his own business and I, as Empress of the Office (his Gal Friday, if you will) am in charge of accounts payable/accounts receivable/payroll/taxes/insurance/etc./ad nauseum.  Here, there are wrong answers up the ying-yang and if you slip up some government-type person will come audit you, hanging out in your office/dining room for three days straight, looking disapprovingly at your filing system.  (Or so I've heard.) In this instance I must put my large noggin to work and store all sorts of tax code, procedures and accounting software. 

For the most part I am okay with this--we have a CPA who oversees the important stuff (and doesn't laugh at me when I screw up)--but other times I feel the facts and figures encroaching on my brain cells.  Today I received an email from our payroll company that made me want to pull up the drawbridge and call for the hounds:  "Are you compliant with these employment regulations?"  Huh?  What regulations?  Where?!  I don't want to know about any regulations!!!!

In order to protect myself from this evil, I immediately called upon the Angel Gabriel Garcia Marquez, flipped open my thesaurus (safe, unmolested, impervious) and quoted the first line from Pride and Prejudice ("It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.")  I quickly deleted the message.  Crisis adverted...this time.

What if the minutiae of Serious Business Stuff knocks out of my head something I think is really important?  What if the tax rate in Moclips bumps out the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody?  What if the method to run corporate credit cards through QuickBooks replaces the spot where I kept the plot summary of Jane Eyre??  Could my ability to twirl Double Dutch jump ropes be taken over by my supreme skill in billing air compressors to third party leasing corporations that are being dropped shipped out of state?!?

So I put up my walls, I listen to my music loudly as I work, maybe dance a little, and I refuse to open any email that contains the words "permit", "policy" or "accreditation".  Occasionally I allow my husband to talk business to me, but only if he buys me dinner first and has my mind back by 11pm.