Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Adulted too hard

Sitting in my office on Assessment Day, thinking, "You really need to be doing research reading" but having such a hard time making myself do it.

(I did make the alternate form of the exam for Friday, and printed them, and wrote the exam for next week in draft form. And in a few minutes I'll go set up this afternoon's lab so I have nothing else hanging over my head to do).

But I think I maybe pushed myself a little hard yesterday, especially in light of how bad my allergies are.

My allergies mostly take the form of something not unlike Churchill's "black dog." Everything seems to take far more effort than it should. Or, perhaps more properly: things don't seem worth the effort of doing them. (Like cooking. I ate one of my 'emergency' frozen mac-and-cheeses last night)

I also have a harder time concentrating; when I was at the tax-prep place yesterday I kept using the wrong words, like saying "income" when I meant "interest" and the like. And I could tell my brain was moving slower than it should.

And then, on top of that "everything is a giant effort/cannot brain today" there is the "everything is either incredibly hurtful or else it's exquisitely painful in its weird beauty" and I am more prone to cry.

(Like last night's NCIS, when the character Drew Carey played got to meet with the daughter who had never known him - part of that was that I was kind of expecting, even though I doubted they'd make Drew Carey the bad guy, that there'd be some kind of a heel-turn at the end)

And hurtfulness: I think I misinterpreted a couple things said in jest to me yesterday as being hurtful. (Don't try to joke with me, at least not where I can't see your expression or hear your tone of voice, when I'm like this, because I WILL interpret it as a slam). At one point I looked at my computer screen and said out loud, "That doesn't deserve the dignity of a response" and just kind of shut everything down then. (In the clear light of morning, I think it was a joke, but sometimes it's hard for me to tell when people are joking at the best of times. I tend to be very literal-minded).

But then also:

- Picked up the scholarship forms, will have to read and evaluate those some time, and also arrange to get them to my other committee members (there are too many to photocopy - I am not paying for it out of my own pocket, my department is broke, there's no other funds anywhere else)

- Sent off my Roth contribution for either this or next tax year, depending on how the rules go. (I forgot and had Jackson-Hewett submit my taxes to the IRS, and I think the rule is you can't contribute to a Roth in a tax year if you've already sent in your tax forms? I hope that's ALL it is, I hope they don't show up to drag me off to Federal prison for violating some law but who knows)

- Went and renewed my car tag. The tag agency has moved, which on the one hand is good (it is out of the building that reeks of stale cigarette smoke: they used to allow people to smoke in there BUT had a sign up asking people not to bring in their dogs because "people here are allergic"). On the other hand, they're trying to be more grand than they are - they now have a thing where you must tap a touch screen upon entry (with what you want to do - renew a tag, renew a license, or "other") and get a number. And of COURSE the touch screen doesn't work, I had to jab it five times (with increasing force and irritation) before it spat a number at me, and then I got to sit in the empty waiting area....but at least that's done

- Went and had my tax appointment. It took an hour but they are done. (We just estimated what I donated to my church; I will get the letter later on. I didn't want to harass the person who did it right now because I think he's helping plan the funeral and...yeah, I don't want to add a burden to him). Am getting a Federal refund equivalent to almost a month's take-home pay for me (I probably withhold too much, and may be too generous in my donations, though this is probably the last year I do a schedule A., given the new personal deduction limits - I'm not wealthy enough to give away THAT much, and the only way I'd hit that limit would be if I had major medical expenses and please God no, I don't want that). She got everything figured out, though, and asked me if I wanted to send them in and I totally forgot about the Roth thing, so....

I also owe my state $276. Womp womp. (This is typical: I get a small to medium sized federal refund, but my state still wants more. And yes, of course, some of that money was money they paid to me in the first place to teach - well, about 20% of it. (Our budget from state appropriations keeps shrinking). I'm doing an electronic transfer and have delayed it until April 15 because yes I am that petty about it. (Also I will be paid between now and then, didn't think about that).

And yes, it's not cheap to get your taxes done but given that I started doing this after the IRS went YOU MADE A MAJOR MISTAKE AND NOW YOU OWE US A LOT MORE MONEY AND HAVE TO DO THE PAPERWORK ALL AGAIN and I didn't even know, it seems worth it to me.

- I also had a little bit of reverse sticker-shock looking at my W-2. I guess I had seen the number before but I hadn't really thought much about how not teaching summers affected my paycheck. I....need to budget more carefully. That's why I've gone from having a couple hundred at the end of the month I can chunk into savings to occasionally having to take from savings if I have a big unexpected expense. (And of course: inflation and lack of anything like a COLA or a raise conspire to eat more of my paycheck when I go get groceries or buy new tires or whatever)

At least I have a yarn and fabric stash, I can work on that for a while. And a lot of books ahead. I need to do that. (And I need to cull my books again. There's no used-book store anywhere NEAR me or else I'd consider doing a trade thing where they could take my used books and I could get it back in kind out of their store - I used to do that a lot. I don't have the energy to do used sales through Amazon or anywhere so I suppose I will just donate the books I cull to the library's used-book sale)

I've been hoping for publishers to want to hire me for evaluation/editing but so far the only offer I had was for an Amazon gift card, not money....though then again, I suppose I could use it to buy paper towels or dish soap or something. (I'm still resisting the idea of going out and looking for a short-term summer job, but.....I don't know. And no, I don't have the energy to make junk and try to sell it on Etsy, anything like that.) It's probably easier for me to just super tighten my belt and figure this is how I live now. (New Normal is one of those horrible euphemisms. If things were better they'd say they were an improvement. "New Normal" means "it's kind of awful but we're trying to put the best face possible on it")

And no, not going to teach summer again - it's too late to do it for this year, anyway, but also: the new standard is if you have fewer than 12 students (entirely possible in summer), you get paid adjunct wages, which is just above minimum wage, and....teaching is too hard of work for that, again, I'd rather do super-belt-tightening (maybe I drop cable, maybe I drop the landline phone...) instead.

It makes me sad even to be doing these calculations.

- So anyway. I really kind of want to go hide in a blanket fort with my stuffed ponies and watch cartoons but I can't, I have to keep on being an adult. I am trapped forever into being an adult.

1 comment:

purlewe said...

I hope your blanket fort made you feel better.

We use a tax guy now too. When we were legally married, federal recognized us, but state didn't and well. It was easier to hand it to someone else and go "make this work" since then he has saved us so much money we let him do it.