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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Sunday, April 27, 2008  
Tax Refund Evasion

Once a procrastinator, always one has been my case. It's a habit. I don't know why, but I always put off doing my taxes until the last minute. There I am with all those others like me frantically doing them on April 15. Then I say what I always do - that I could have done a better job if I'd started it earlier. I never learn.

For some reason when I'm extremely stressed out, it shows up in my paperwork - or lack of it. This has happened several times. Mostly it involves paying bills late even though I have the money to pay them. Sometimes I didn't file school folders and other times couldn't find papers I needed. When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1996 until after it changed from indolent to intermediate and required treatment in 2002, I didn't file my income taxes some of those years. I just couldn't do it. Every time I attempted to start on them, panic set in. In 2003 I didn't feel good enough to do it. I didn't hear from the IRS about it because I didn't owe them any money. In fact, they owed me refunds all those years. Talk about goofy!

Eventually I heard from them when they thought I owed them some money. I knew I didn't because I'd made less money that year because I'd been on sick leave and didn't do the extra jobs I'd done before when I had a refund. After my divorce in 1975, I became a single-parent teacher and had to work extra jobs in order to try to make my montly salary last three weeks instead of two. Child support was sporadic and never the right amount. At first I worked at the desk at Holiday Inn a couple of summers. Then I taught homebound students because I can make more money working fewer hours. I've done that for over twenty years and still do. Other jobs I had were teaching GED classes, doing after-school tutoring, teaching freshman English classes at Watkins College of Design and Film School, and a serving a brief stint in real estate.

So began my communication with the IRS. I told my story of having chemo, almost dying of sepsis, post-traumatic stress, and all that, and then explained that I lived alone and didn't have anyone who made sure things were done. When I explained that obviously I was sick because who in their right mind would not files taxes when they were getting a refund. They agreed and were helpful. I had to send the returns to three different places. They sent me information I needed and provided helpful information. I got three of the four refund checks I was due because one of them was past the time limit. Mostly it worked out OK.

Since then I've filed my taxes every year at the last minute and keep swearing I will not do that again. You have my permission to nag me about all during the year about keeping better records and writing things down. I've used Turbo Tax the last two years and filed electronically but need to have information available because I'd have had more deductions if I had done that. I guess I'm nuts.

10:39:00 PM

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