Why I love doing my taxes

This was just a hair too long for twitter…

I really like doing my taxes because I like looking back at the year and seeing what I earned and where it went. I was just reviewing 2014, looking to see if I want to throw some extra money into my 401k for the tax break for the end of the year. I searched my Mint.com account for charitable contributions to see what my total was going to be there, and I scrolled down through everything for the past few years and had to pause when I saw a donation to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence from 2012 on the day of the theater shooting. Oof.

I made a note at the time, but I’m chronically trying and failing to get better at journaling, at blogging, at documenting my own life just for my own sake. And I really like how our financials do a bit of that work for us. A charge from a restaurant reminds me of a birthday, a charge from a clothing store reminds me of the dress I bought to wear to a fun wedding, plane tickets of a vacation.

That’s all. I tried to make this into a 140 character quip but “Reviewing charitable contributions for tax purposes, saw one to an anti-gun violence org from day of 2012 theater shooting. Finances are unintentional journals.” was still 20 characters over.

No races for one year

I did four triathlons in the summer of 2011 and another four over the summer of 2012. Each year in August I hit a wall where I was Done. Tired of training. Tired of passing on happy hours to go to the gym. Tired of getting up early on Saturdays to swim.

In the spring, it’s really tempting to sign up for races. Your have the year laid out at your feet and early bird pricing on registration fees. There are a half dozen races I’d love to do. And it’s a bummer not to be able to put anything on my calendar.

But yesterday was beautiful and warm. I was going to go for a run, but I emailed a friend instead and asked if we wanted to convene a meeting of the Ladies Walking Club. (Basically an hour or so of chatting plus four miles plus of walking.) Our walk quickly devolved into grabbing beers at the Denver Bicycle Cafe instead.

And I didn’t have to stress about missing a prescribed workout from my training plan or the fact that and I had not run one time this week.

I’m a little embarrassed by how little I’ve been exercising lately, but happier with how I’m spending my free time.

Mini goals update

Last week I set the following five small goals.

Monday – walk to work (a little over a mile and a half, about 35 minutes with a heavy bag).

I got a ride to work because I woke up to a small fire I needed to put out and I wanted to get to the office more quickly, but I got my walk in after work, though I suppose my bag was a little lighter since I’d eaten my lunch.

Tuesday – run for 30 minutes.

Skipped it. Realized the State of the Union was on and I wanted to watch.

Wednesday – go to yoga or do a podcast at home.
Check! Did a podcast with Chris. At one point the instructor told us to curl our ears back. Yoga is weird.

Thursday – read for 30 minutes (I am in the middle of a great book, so I assume 30 minutes will run closer to an hour once I get sucked back in).

Read the Steve Jobs biography for…not sure how long but a good long while. I smashed my kindle (again), but I own the big heavy paper version of this book and its been on my nightstand since the end of 2011.

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Friday – get up and do a 30 Day Shred before work

Ha. Nope.

All in all, probably better than I would have done without my goals, and I really loved having them as my iPad wallpaper for constant reminding. I am committed to the idea that I have enough time to do the things I need to do and that I want to do if I cut down on the things that are neither, my iPad being a huge time suck when I fall down a hole reading magazines or random internet.

 

Things I have to try hard at

I started this post on Friday waiting for our flight out of Birmingham:

There is a man sitting about thirty feet away from me in the airport. He is talking loudly on his cell phone. He just told the person on the line that his friend broke up with a woman after a long relationship.

“Because they were together for fourteen years it was like common law. Yeah. Yeah, he had to pay her like $35,000 for that house they had.”

I just muttered to Chris “I want to punch that guy.”

Earlier today we were talking about fighting our natural inclinations. I try to be a positive person, but my natural state is to be judgmental and sarcastic and snarky. I’m easily irritated. I find myself getting snarly and grumpy over things I shouldn’t.

But we all know people who complain all the time. They’re no fun to be around, and I really don’t want to be like that. So I don’t around griping about loud cell phone guys of the world. And when I do, I at least try to talk about them more in a listen-to-this-funny-story way and less of what-a-frigging-idiot way.

At least a few times every day, though, I have a grumpy thought and then I make a conscious decision not to let that thought out of my mouth.

I’m not 100% sure where I was going with this. Just that I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s in my nature vs. how I behave.

I’ve never been someone who loved eating healthy food or who craved exercise. Like, I’m so jealous of people who feel crazy if they don’t run or who really don’t find fast food appealing. My nature is to sit on the couch and eat french fries, but most days I choose to work out and eat (mostly) well.

And I’ve never been a neat freak. My nature is to make a mess and wander away, leaving a trail of clothes, dishes, and mail behind me. But every day I make conscious decisions to put my clothes in the hamper or to put the lid back on the olive oil and put it back in the pantry so that Chris doesn’t find himself wondering if he hitched himself to the wrong star. [1]

Anyways. I guess I’m just wondering if there really are people who are super positive, super healthy, and super tidy without having to make a conscious effort every day.


1. Am I using this phrase correctly? I’m not sure that I am.

Odds and ends

Chris and I went to REI last Sunday and he spent like 30 minutes trying on cycling jackets, looking for one to replace his current jacket, which is looking a bit tattered. He’s a tall guy on the skinny side, so we were both surprised when he kept having to size up to a large or even extra large. And I was really impressed that the jackets came in the usual neon yellow but also pretty peacock blue and…we were in the women’s section. Which explained why all the jackets seemed just a little tight in the shoulders and short in the sleeves.

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We have one of those things that lets you make your own sparkling water. Or sparkling anything, really. I love sparkling water, so Chris has been carbonating water and sending it to work with me in these glass bottles. I did not know they were beer bottles and I got some funny looks at work.

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Our ‘Yes on 2a’ sign finally arrived! If you live in Denver you should vote yes on 2a if you like things like libraries and police officers. This is a pretty uncontroversial measure. Regardless of your opinions on the role of government in our lives, we all agree that libraries and police and roads are essential functions, and 2a allows us to have more of all that good stuff without raising taxes. Magic!IMG 3468

We are dog sitting two dogs this weekend, bringing our household total to three. Sadly I spent all day yesterday in bed fighting some kind of fever-y evil sickness. Dogs barking and wanting to play were not what the doctor ordered. (Chris was at work.) I felt much better today, so first thing we took them to the park for a good long romp.

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I was rather short sighted when I bought my MacBook Air two years ago and only sprang for the 32 gig hard drive. I have struggled with storage space ever since, and I finally decided to move most of my music and photos over to the iMac to free up space. It was pretty easy to copy it all onto an external hard drive and then from the drive into the iMac.

As a bonus, as the photos loaded into iPhoto, I got to see a rapid fire slideshow of that last five years or so of my life. It was fun to see really random photos I haven’t thought about in a long time. And not just…oh, that wedding! But also…oh man that really good breakfast I took a picture of with my phone. Or those suspenders I texted a photo of to a friend.

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Now I have a touch of the Sunday Night Blues. I definitely don’t live my life counting down to the weekend, but I always find myself lacking time on Sunday night and feeling a little stressed out. Like, I want to finish laundry, triage my work email, take the dogs for a walk, pick out clothes for tomorrow, make lunches for the week, fill out my mail in ballot, and go to bed in about three hours.

Tights are not leggings and leggings are not pants

Today I wore a dress to work that I deem just an inch or two too short to wear with bare legs (because I have borderline Victorian notions about hemlines) but it’s completely fine to wear with opaque leggings under them. The following is a very slightly dramatized text conversation that just happened.

Me: Embarrassing! I have a giant hole in my leggings. Since you will shortly be leaving our home and going right past my office, will you swing by and drop me off another pair?

He: Oh god. This is my worst nightmare. What if I accidentally bring you tights?

Me: Leggings don’t have feet and they have a wide waistband.

He: So, they’re like pants…

Me: Leggings are not pants!

He: I think I found some, but they might be workout pants?

Me: If they have anything reflective on them, that’s not the right thing. Or a nike logo…

He: Okay. I don’t know. I’ll just bring you a variety of black stretchy leg coverings from which to choose.

I won’t leave you hanging, he triumphed.

You know that Veggie Tales song where they sing about being busy?

So much for my post triathlon surplus of free time. Work is still super busy, and there’s something on the calendar every day this week.

  • Monday – Jason Mraz concert at Red Rocks
  • Tuesday – Uptown Restaurant Walk
  • Wednesday – Running Club
  • Thursday – Overnight houseguests
  • Friday – Happy Hour
  • Saturday – Could it be I have not one thing scheduled? This seems improbable but if it’s true I am going to brunch like a boss. I remembered I am headed to a dog park meet up with coworkers.
  • Sunday – Yoga for Cyclists workshop at Salvagetti. Pumped.

Definitely not complaining about any of this. I’m excited for all of it. And I’m not trying to say “OMG I am so BUSY!” (and by busy I mean important!) I’m just saying that the completely unscheduled weekend where all I do is I sleep in, go to brunch, and read a book is still just out of reach.  And the evening I fantasized about where I leave work right on time, come home, eat dinner and watch a tv show? Hasn’t happened just yet.

And while I promised myself all summer that once my half iron man was over I would only swim and do yoga for exercise, I think actually I might be running a half marathon in November. And I’ve only done yoga once this month. And I canceled my gym membership so I don’t have a place to swim anymore.

Oops. My calendar is full of fun things that I like doing. Oh, well.