Wednesday, January 26, 2005

in the balance

In the mail today, two big fat letters from the IRS, on to DH, one to me; we're being audited for tax year 2002 for the same tax credit we're being audited for tax year 2001. The issue is in tax court via a class-action type thing, as there are many people being dinged for taking this same perfectly legal (or so we thought) tax credit which was recommended to us by our CPAs. If we lose, it will be close to $10K we'll owe the IRS. Ouch. All we can do is wait and see how it goes.

This evening, one of my best friends back in the Boston area called to say she'd been laid off that morning -- via overnight express mail. "Tacky" does not even begin to describe it. It actually got worse, when she told me about some of the stuff that was going on in her department prior to the lay-offs.

My neck and shoulders are killing me again today. I've spent a good part of the day with the heat pack wrapped around my neck, and it has helped a lot. This is getting ridiculous. The lumpiness in the throat is not improving, either. I am probably using my voice too much (that is to say: shut up, Joan!) It doesn't seem like I am being all that chatty -- there haven't been any major gab-fests or extended phone calls recently, but still, the throat feels horrible. And my eyelids feel like they are made of sandpaper, scraping across my eyes. Did I mention the joint aches and stiffness? I think I stopped mentioning how bad my hip/piriformis is because I just assume it's bad all the time now. But for the record, it's bad, holding steady at about a 5 all the time now.

Over on the low carb forum I visit, there's a thread titled, "What do you like best about your body?" There has been a lot of discussion there about positive body image lately. I wrote: What I like best about my body is that in the past it made three beautiful children, and it hasn't killed me yet. Not exactly what they were looking for. My point was to give healthy if overweight people another reason to appreciate what they've got. And also to wallow, if only for a moment, in a bit of self-pity.

The minor pity-party actually started a bit earlier when I discovered that we are completely out of coffee! I had to have tea. It's just not the same.

On the flip side:
I wrote a great column today in next to no time and sent it off. I realized I have written quite a few columns and should really start doing something with them that will enable me to get paid! I felt the faint stirring of hope somewhere when I thought about it.

The kids had early release today so we went out to lunch at Flancer's and had a great time. DS2 was initially disappointed that we didn't get to eat outside, but he snuggled on my lap and I rubbed his back until he calmed down. Then he was fine, and lunch was terrific. They have the best french fries there, ever, and the bread is just outstanding. Not very low carb, I'm afraid, but I balanced it out with dinner and a complete lack of snacks today.

The kids were just great today. DS1 did his homework without a fuss, and they played outside for quite a while. DD is doing so well with her reading, a little slow but noticeably improving every day. I think she is excited about how many words she recognizes but is too cool to admit it to me. Hee! I even had a chance to read to DS2, a little before my friend called.

This morning started out very sweet with the little guy sleeping late, finally coming down well after his brother and sister had gone to school. He looked like he was still half-asleep and I said, "Come here and give me a hug," but he climbed up into my lap and even though he just barely fits there anymore, he fell into an almost-sleep for a good 20 minutes or so. (Maybe that's why my shoulders are killing me? Hmmm.)

I don't think I lost my temper once today. Any time there was a situation brewing, I was able to diffuse it using humor or distraction or simply by removing one of the perpetrators from the scene. There are many days when that's not possible.

Dinner tonight was "clean out the fridge"; I had the shrimp cocktail.

The alstromeria that DH bought for me over the weekend -- one of my favorite flowers, for my favorite reason (no reason at all, just because) are so beautiful:

Having listed all that out, I feel as if I am leaving an exercise incomplete if I don't tote it all up and pronounce "it was a good day", or (sadly) "even all this good could not dispel the gloom." But how can I compare all these apples and oranges? There's no point. Other than concern for my friend and her employment status, none of the negatives carries much weight. Tomorrow I'll feel better (or I won't, but there's no point in fretting about it); tomorrow I'll buy some coffee. I'll go back to forgetting about the IRS auditing us until I actually need to do something else about it. That stuff just has no resonance with me, whereas 16 hours later, I'm still enchanted by the cuddle time I had with DS2 this morning.

Vidi diem. Seems to be working so far.

1 comment:

Sheik Yerbootie said...

"I wrote: "What I like best about my body is that in the past it made three beautiful children, and it hasn't killed me yet." Not exactly what they were looking for."