I’m pleased to state that when it comes to technology, I have one foot and 2-1\2 toes in the 21st century!  Reluctant as I was at first to embrace this brave new world, I did eventually relinquish my electric typewriter.

And, while I may have been the last kid on the block to finally purchase a smart phone, I must admit that I’m now as hooked as the rest of the population who never watch where they’re  walking.

I confess I didn’t jump in all at once, but proceeded slowly, on a need-to-know basis.  Hey, but look at me now! I Skype, I text, I participate in webinars and on-line meetings. I stream, I message, I email, and I’m a whiz with attachments.  I own an iPad and Google and Amazon are my best friends.  My web sites confirm that my passwords are powerful!  Content with the status quo, I do tend to shy away from updates.

I’ve mastered the meaning of pdf and MP3, and know that Adobe does not necessarily refer to Native American homes in the southwest. I create files and folders, store photos, type documents, scan, print, fax, spread sheet, Facebook, tweet, and a whole lot more.  (I realize I’m starting to sound like the actor in the UPS Store commercial.  Forgive me.)

And, as the family bookkeeper, I’ve mastered a multi-faceted bookkeeping program, which I’ve   been using for over 10 years.

So why, with a resume like mine, did I break out in hives when our new accountant suggested that I consider switching to a different method for keeping track of our finances?

He claimed this new program had many advantages over the old, and in time, I would learn to love it.  In time?  How much time?   But there was no wriggling out of this proposal after he offered to come to my home and give me a tutorial.  So we set a date.

I realized that my equilibrium was in serious jeopardy because for five consecutive nights before the appointed time, I awoke at 3:00 am with a recurring nightmare.  In my dream, it was always the 10th of the month.  I was sitting at the computer, using the new program to pay our bills.  As I attempted to enter the dollar amount, a scrawny hand with long, pointy fingernails reached out from behind me and added additional zeros to my figure. Before I could stop it, the hand pressed the “enter” key.  This occurred again and again while the creature with the scrawny hand vocalized his evil cackle.  I was powerless. Soon all of our bank accounts were empty,  and we were forced to live in our car.  And while we were gathering our meager  belongings, the dog claimed the back seat.

In truth, I was nervous about the transition from the old to the new, and had real daytime visions of doing something awful that would eliminate 10 years of impeccable record-keeping.  The impending visit by the accountant loomed large, and in my quivering mind he became a preying, fearful figure, replete with black cloak.

Did I need any more proof that I was overreacting? Would anyone with a functional IQ actually be afraid of an accountant!!!!  To calm my nerves, I promised to reward myself with that expensive blouse I had admired at the local boutique.

Fast-forward to the day of the visit.  He showed up right on time, looking quite normal in casual Wednesday business attire.  He sat next to me in front of my computer, close enough for me to discern that there were no fangs where his canines should be.  Step by step, he led me through the functions of this new and improved method for recording our financial transactions.  By Step 3 I could sense my blood pressure beginning to lower.

It took a few hours, but under his tutelage, I was moving out of my comfort zone, and manipulating transactions like it was part of my DNA.  I confess that I did panic a bit when he starting packing up to leave, refusing my offer of dinner and a place to sleep.  But I opened the program the next day all on my own, and guess what? I was fine.  And so, I bought the blouse.

So what’s the take-away from all of this?  Don’t let another birthday rob you of your confidence.  It is a challenge to learn something new when you’ve been used to the same old thing for a long time.  But an old dog can learn a new trick.  Provided the bone comes with a substantial price tag!

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