For me the holidays are always followed by two new years. First, of course is the one that begins on January 1st each calendar year. Then, each year I face a mid-January deadline for submission of the government budget request for our legal department. As the legal administrator, budget management is one of my core responsibilities.
About this time each year, my lupus-challenged brain is floating in a sea of budget numbers surrounded by revenues, expenditures, fees, estimates, projections, averages, trend lines, pie charts and bar graphs. This means many long hours peddling along in my little raft, floating in a sea of several million dollars. By the time the budget request is submitted for the fiscal year starting July 1st, calm fiscal waves will once again be gently tossing dollars on a peaceful beach of orderly financial landscape.
Over the past few years since the beginning of the recession, there have been challenges to face at budget season that were more stressful and demanding than in any of the twenty-plus years of legal management in my career.
Yet, I am very thankful to work for a government that practiced sound and careful financial management practices, guided by wisdom and thoughtful use of taxpayer’s money. I take my role of public service very seriously, including my role as an accountable steward of public money.
Over the next few days I will face the last of the budget “crunch” to get the budget finished that began in mid November. The spring will hold many meetings and balancing efforts, and the eventual approval of our department budget.
Although there will still be much to do following my end of week deadline, the rest of this week will be all-consuming. During this intense time of work each year, extra care is required to prevent triggering a flare of my lupus. Some years, I have done very well, and some years very poorly, but always I must be careful as I work long hours finishing the budget.
Wish me well, and I will meet you again next week on that peaceful post-budget shore!