Sunday, March 12, 2017

Taxes and Other Confessionals

I didn't write yesterday, although I was up early.  After creating a post for my theology blog, for my I decided I would make a quick trip to a garden center and a grocery store, came back to do some chores, and I never got back to writing.  I joked later that it was one of the first times that I felt I had experienced a typical Saturday as a homeowner.

It wasn't unpleasant by any measure.  I had been listening to this episode of On Point, and I decided I wanted to try the Jalapeno-Honey Steak with Cilantro and Lime.  I thought I'd just zip out to do my errands before the rest of the world got up and out and that I would be back to writing in no time.

We needed chemicals to kill the algae in the pool, so I went to the Home Depot--I'd been meaning to get some pots of flowers for the front porch.  It was a beautiful morning, and the garden center area was mostly deserted, and I lost myself in the flowers.  I bought the last 2 pots of petunias.  I've wanted petunias in pots since the first spring we lived in this house--and even earlier.

The grocery store had everything I needed--hurrah!  And then I got back home and thought, let me just get these steaks marinating.  And then, let me just pull some weeds while my spouse works on the pool.  And then, let me just eat my long-anticipated brunch of baguette with brie, heated, while watching some of my favorite PBS shows--the shows weren't on, but in honor of St. Patrick's Day, the station was running travel shows that featured Ireland, so that was interesting.

And that's how a morning slips away.

In the afternoon, I did taxes, which came out how I expected.  The software warned me that I'm at a high risk for audit because in my work as a writer, I earned significantly less than last year.  Well, I can't fix that, although it's startling to see it spelled out with specific numbers.  I was pleased with the tax credit we got for purchasing solar panels, and I don't expect that credit to last much longer, so I'm glad we were able to do that.  While we are not off the grid, we are closer to living out our values.

I think of the ancient spiritual practice of confession, which most churches practice on a corporate level, if at all.  Tax time is a modern take on that ancient practice.  We can see where we've fallen short.  We can ask for forgiveness--and for the ability to make a change.

We can make notes for next year--if I was thinking about claiming the cottage as tax-deductible work space, I should probably earn a bit more money.

As the afternoon shifted to evening, my spouse worked on his class that starts on Wednesday, as did I.  And then, because I had less to do than he does, I filled out the paperwork for our passports and got all of that ready to go to the post office.

It was a good Saturday:  chores done with treats along the way.

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