Sunday, April 09, 2017

Sunday Night Existential Whimper

I swear I'll write up our spring break trip, because it was a fun trip and I like to write trip story posts, dammit.

But it isn't going to happen tonight. Nor am I going to write a glowing ode to my oldest child, who somehow is now 10 years old, although she deserves one.

Instead, I'm going to whine about how this week just kicked my butt. Re-entry from a vacation is always hard. Re-entry from a vacation when you've caught a cold at the tail end of that vacation is especially hard. Add in a kid's birthday, a spelling bee, and a birthday party you've foolishly agreed to host at your house instead of one of the many locations that will run the damn party for you, and you have a recipe for exhaustion.

Plus, I had a fun little tax-related panic that ate up a significant amount of work time on Friday.

So, what I'm saying is: I am behind on EVERYTHING. I am considering, for the first time in my life, sending out a blanket "yes, I owe you a response on something but it won't come for another week" sort of email.

We'll see how long it takes me to finish unwinding the tax panic tomorrow. (The panic, for anyone who is curious, stemmed from me putting my SEP-IRA contributions in the wrong place on the questionnaire I filled out for my accountant, who thought I'd paid them as a person and not as a business, which was therefore going to require classifying some of my income as "self employment income," thereby necessitating payment of the self-employment tax on said income, rather than having all my income be either salary I paid myself (and therefore paid social security taxes on) or profit. This may seem like a small thing to you, but this was going to add a lot of money to our tax bill and for the period of time in which I thought the problem was the SEP-IRA that I'd opened and not my putting it on the wrong questionnaire I felt like an absolute idiot and thought that maybe I shouldn't be trying to run a company at all if I couldn't even get a retirement account opened without screwing things up.)

Anyhow, that's all sorted now, but we still owe an alarming sum in taxes. We sat down tonight to figure out why, and it is because my husband got a raise and my business made more money in 2016 vs. 2015 and we withheld/paid estimated taxes assuming the 2015 amount. OOPS. But not really something to complain about. We're going to adjust our withholding this year, and hopefully not face another big bill next year.

I will say, though, that for the first time ever, I sort of resent paying my taxes. I don't want to pay for a stupid border wall or security for Melania Trump so she can live in NYC and avoid her husband or, for that matter, for that husband to keep jetting off to the private club he owns in Florida. I will happily pay my taxes to fund Meals on Wheels and the EPA and the NIH and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. Happily. But the graft and waste going on in this administration is making the tax bill hurt more.

Speak of stupid border walls... Mr. Snarky took Pumpkin to pick out a piñata for her birthday party. He went to a local store that specializes in piñatas instead of just going to Party City or the like. She picked out a nice big music note, but she came home and told me about another piñata she saw: it was made to look like a big, brick wall and it had Trump's face on it. Clever.

And speaking of Pumpkin: it is a delight to watch her grow up. She stepped in to help smooth things over during Saturday's party when there was a kerfuffle between the big kids (her friends) and the little kids (Petunia and her friends) about time in the jumpy. In the end, I think all of the kids had a great time at the party, and this is the first year where Pumpkin really helped make that happen. She came in third at the 4th grade spelling bee. She went out because she didn't understand the word as the pronouncer said it (and I won't go into details, but he did mispronounce it), but she took this without drama. She loves to read, so much so that most of her friends gave her either books or Barnes and Noble gift cards for her birthday and she was thrilled by that. I could go on and on, but I said I wasn't going to write a glowing ode to her. I will just say that getting to watch you children turn into people you don't just love but are proud of is one of the great joys of parenthood.

Petunia is pretty great, too. She and her little friends decided to do a science experiment during the party. She got out her beakers and set up to do an experiment to find out which things float and which things sink in water. She wrote up the design and was ready to record the data, but they got distracted by the discovery that some types of beads float and others sink, and ended up just filling lots of bowls with water to play with beads. I couldn't even be mad about the mess, really, because it was ridiculously cute to watch them.

So, in summary: vacations are great, but re-entry is hard. Taxes are a pain, but all things considered, I'd rather make the money and owe the taxes than not make the money. And kids are delightful, but birthday parties are exhausting.

I'll write more once I'm caught up on things!


  1. I'm so sorry you caught that cold at the end there! We all caught stomach flus at the end of a week together and that was the pits. It's the first time I added a couple days to my estimated time off and I needed every minute of that (and more!) to recover.

    Your girls sound amazing. While not the odes they deserve, this was a delightful tidbit.

    The taxes are a pain but I'm glad that we make enough to have them be more of an annoyance than a serious trouble. Our tax bill last year was horrifying! This year was much better and I'm already bracing for the next two years.

    1. I wrote the checks last night. Ouch. But as you say, I am grateful to be in the position to be able to pay them with grumbles, not panic.

  2. EarthSciProf4:13 AM

    Sorry to hear that you're getting your butt kicked. Feeling the same way right now. In my part of the country, the sunny and warmer spring weather is helping reduce my stress level a little. Hang in there. Best of luck climbing out of the hole this week and presumably in the next couple weeks.

    Unrelated, I caught up on a bunch of your posts a couple of days ago. I commented the following on a late March post but realized you may not see old comments.
    "Interesting that you came across the word saudade (and that terrific post). I also recently came across the word because I started (re)listening to the group "Thievery Corporation" and they have an album from a few years ago entitled "Saudade"."

    1. I'm slowly climbing out of the hole! I should get to go rollerblading this week, too, which will probably really help my mood.

      I did see the comment- I have it set so they come to my email. I'll have to check out that album!

    2. EarthSciProf8:51 PM

      Glad to see that you got pretty caught up this week and got to roller blade. Good to know about comments & email. Have a great weekend.


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