The following ramblings are based on real-life experiences, mishaps, and downright screw-ups. Names (of past, present, and future boyfriends) have been changed or omitted to protect the innocent. And the guilty...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Always Look On the Bright Side of Life

As you know, I took the dreaded CPA exam yesterday.  And, yet again, I failed to finish.  Which means that, yet again, I failed.  

This is the third time I've taken this section, and the collective 10th time I've sat for a portion of this stupid exam.  I've been taking it for what feels like a lifetime. I've spent so many hours, and an insane amount of money, on perpetual failure.  All I want to do is say to hell with it and quit. But, I'm SO close now, and I've already put so much of everything I have into it...  

So, with my new super positive outlook on life, I'm trying to actually take something from yesterday's failure, other than the extreme annoyance, exhaustion, and invariable self-loathing that quickly overcame me.  

I'm reading Dr. Dan Baker's What Happy People Know.  It's loaded with psycho-babble, but it also has a lot of wisdom in it as well.  Baker discusses the components of happiness (which is far more complex than you think), and the "Happiness Traps" we all have to navigate in our lifetimes.  Second only to love comes optimism in the list of 12 happiness components.  I thought optimism was just thinking positive all the time - being Mary Sunshine and all that crap.  It is, in a way, but there's a little more to it than that.

Baker defines optimism as "realizing that the more painful the event, the more profound the lesson." (p. 20)  Well, failing the CPA exam yet again, and flushing another thousand+ dollars down the drain is definitely feeling pretty damn painful right now.  So, my job, in the spirit of optimism, is to realize that there's a big lesson in this, and then figure out what that lesson might be. 

I realized that I've already learned a couple of lessons in my fruitless attempts at certification.  Albeit a little too late, I did figure out how I should have been studying all this time.  So, I know that from now until the next test date, I need to put time in every day on my new method, and just get it done.  Also, I finally talked to the folks at the testing center.  Now that I have officially been diagnosed with ADD, I can receive "special accommodation" for the next exam, and take it either un-timed, or at least with extra time.  Either way, the study/extra time one-two punch should be just what I need to finally wrap this damn thing up.  And, I can use these lessons when I sit for the bar this summer, and maybe avoid taking that test twice a year for the rest of my days.  How's that for optimism?

Registration fees for the Financial section of the exam (3 sittings): $1,200.  Rescheduling fee: $96.  Practice test software and study guides: $150.  Wasted effort in Becker courses: $3,500.  Figuring out that there's a bright side to everything: Priceless. 



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