hanging-pair-of-boxing-glovesI took my FAR exam at the end of May and decided to take a short break (1 week) from studying to try and get my house back in order, do a little yard work, and have lunch with a friend. I had been telling my best friend, Paula, that as soon as I was done with my tests, we could start doing lunch together again. I came to the realization that it might take a while longer and this was a perfect opportunity to see what has been going on in her life.

As we met up she immediately said how proud she was of me. We first met back when I worked at the private school my children attended. She was the department manager of food service and I managed the operation of the kitchen. Back as a “lunch-lady”, I don’t think anyone would have imagined me getting a degree and work towards my CPA. She too, was wondering what she would do with herself as her youngest daughter was graduating.

Life has a funny way of helping you make choices sometimes. Paula’s stepdaughter and her husband made some poor choices so Paula and her husband became legal guardians of their children. After several years the stepdaughter and her husband divorced and he regained custody of the children. Shortly after, another child was born that Paula and her husband are currently raising and will officially adopt at the end of the month on his 5 ½ year birthday. Paula explains to me that there is another baby on the way, due in August. She doesn’t know what the future holds for that one, but she continues to try and guide this young woman into making better choices…usually to no avail, and is met with resentment and resistance.

I tell Paula she is the most amazing person I have ever met, and that she is my hero. To be faced with such challenging circumstances and she always has a smile on her face. How does she do it? Taking the CPA exams are challenging and I hear many stories of individuals who quit after that first…or second failed test, deciding it’s not worth it. Because Paula is such a woman of integrity, she does not have the option to quit this “career” path that is before her. She just endures with a great attitude. So even if I do not pass the FAR exam, I will choose not to quit. Studying for and taking exams is like a walk in the park compared to my best friend’s “job”.