It’s amazing how quickly time flies. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I last posted on this blog. The 2014 summer conference season came and went, and with barely a break in between, then the fall conference season came and went too. And now it’s already the end of February. Wow, how quickly time flies…and hummm…was I having fun?!?
I know I pushed myself too hard last year because my health suffered. Between October and January, I went through a slew of health issues including Shingles twice (yes twice, October and again in January), the flu during Thanksgiving (which luckily only lasted a few days, probably because I had gotten the flu shot), and then a myriad of other things from Christmas through to mid-January which had me out from work for about a week out of the three weeks I was home during that time.
It’s pretty rare that I get physically sick. Usually for me it’s just exhaustion, which a day or two of heavy sleep usually cures. So it was odd to have so many physical illnesses in so short of a period of time. It really told me that my immune system must have really been weakened, and what would normally have been small compromises, probably turned into big health issues.
I thought it was just me, but as I shared my story with others, it seems like many others that don’t normally get sick also were sick this past holiday season Then during the CPA Practice Advisor’s Thought Leaders Symposium this past week, the frequency of CPAs having mental breakdowns came up. One thought leader said that in the past couple of years, she has seen more of her clients have real mental breakdowns than in her entire career. This came up during a group discussion on the high level of uncertainty and overwhelming level of complexity that CPAs now have to keep up with between regulatory changes and tax law changes.
As I reflected on this, I realized too that many of my colleagues and I have been saying how there doesn’t just seem to be one busy season anymore (traditionally tax season), but rather that there is one big busy season—ALWAYS. So both in the recession and now as we go into recovery, there has been a great need for the services provided by us CPAs. That’s good right? Job security! I suppose it is, but we need more qualified CPAs to help serve all of the needs of all of the clients. And we need more people in the various specialized areas to help deal with the complexities and issues that seem to be growing.
Another discussion point that came up during the Thought Leaders Symposium was how great of a profession this was and how astounding of an impact so many of us have on our clients. After all, we are solving these issues and helping to bring sense to a changing and complex world for them, our clients. But as I reflected on my own illnesses, I realized that to really help my clients, I need to first take care of myself. Because if I was out of commission or performing at less them my best, then my client is not receiving the help they need or they’re getting a lower quality of help than I would normally provide.
So as the traditional busy season starts ramping up, I want to send a reminder out to my fellow CPAs—TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of your clients. So if you need a break, take it; and come back stronger and more ready to deliver your best for your clients. I hope that you’ll remember to do this, as I am also trying to remember, that I can only provide the best for my clients when I am at my best.
Take care and stay strong!