Dannie (in Real Life)

Life after the CPA Exam: COVID-19 Style

What a bizarre timeline we are living in. I went from the hustle and bustle of a full-time job and 20+ hours a week of studying to… continuing to have no life, but with a lot more free time! I am very fortunate to still have my job and to be able to work from the safety of home, but this whole thing has taught me one important thing: I could never work from home full-time. Bleh. This is for the birds. The first few days were da bomb: rolling out of bed at 7 (okay, I’m still doing that) and logging in to my work PC in my pajamas. The novelty wore off real quick, though. I kind of miss having an excuse to get up and put makeup and real clothes on, listening to Harry Potter audiobooks during our commute, and I really miss downtown. Nonetheless, I am safe at home and that’s what’s important.

So, now that I’m not spending all of my free time studying or feeling guilty about not studying for the first time in 2.5 years, I have had to relearn the art of having hobbies.

  • Tackling my to-be-read pile. I love, love, love reading and audiobooks have helped bridge the gap (I finished 19 books last year!) but after staring at my Becker CPA study materials, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is pick up a book and read some more. I’ve only finished one book during quarantine so far, but I’m working on #2.
    • Completed so far in 2020: The Invention of Wings, Call Me By Your Name, The Boston Girl, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Three Hours in Paris, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
    • In process: Little Fires Everywhere
  • Guilt-free television watching. This used to be such a luxury for me. Sunday nights used to be the one time I actively dedicated some time to watching TV, but now… I can just watch TV whenever I want? What kind of sorcery is this? So far my favorite has been Apple TV’s For All Mankind,which it seems like zero other people have watched (it’s so, so good). I’m also powering through an ER rewatch. Sorry, Work, can’t come back to the office until I finish 7 more seasons.
  • Finally planning my wedding! When we got engaged on Christmas, one of the terms of doing so was that I couldn’t start planning the wedding until after I was finished with the CPA exam ([narrator voice] folks, she started studying for her last test the next day). What a frickin’ time to be scheduling a wedding. We toured one (1) venue the week before the whole “stay at home” thing happened. While we wait to go back out in the world I have started an extensive spreadsheet (nerdiest wedding ever) to log all of my ideas and details and budgets etc etc etc. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to tour another venue, set a date, and book our photographer – the big things I’d love to get behind us. So far getting married still doesn’t even feel real — it’s just a bunch of pictures of pretty things. 

Anyway, I guess this is all to say I think I’m doin’ okay. I’ve reorganized most of the house, baked a cheesecake for the first time, learned to make Chinese food at home, and have just generally been cooking a ton, which is a huge improvement for me after all the studying. The last two months have been such a perfect mental reset for me — long overdue. 

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