Ugh, it’s that time of year when all those envelopes pile up in the mail box stamped IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT. The season of receipts is upon us and every scrap from charitable donations to deductible expenses gathers into piles, then stacks, and finally is stuffed into the large brown envelope so I don’t have to see how messy it all is.
I trudged through the slush and into the historic brick building, where the heat melts the snowflakes from my lashes. The interior is dark wood paneling and green granite steps lead to my tax man’s second floor office. Hoping to catch him in but not busy, I poked my head through the door. I could hear him in the back, in a meeting. I wrote a quick note with my bulging envelope and was turning to leave when his head popped around the corner. “Can you come back in an hour?”
I have not seen Paul, aka my tax man, in a year. We were supposed to have lunch last fall when I was at a panic point about my finances. Not only did he stand me up at the restaurant, I had not heard back from him since. I went from being worried, to checking the obituaries, to being pissed off. But, he is the best and has done my taxes for years. I certainly didn’t want to make a change now; I had a year of unemployment and messy stuff to calculate.
As I suspected, though he is not normally “Mr. Communication,” he had suffered an injury the day we were to have lunch and had been laid up since. I forgave him and we went back to the little life discussion we have every year; kids growing too fast, slowing the pace of your life to find joy, how do I accomplish this without a corporate title? He is better than a therapist and cheaper. Last year when I sat in his office and laid out my “leap of faith” plan, he smiled and jotted numbers. “If this is what you want, we will figure out a way to make it happen. You do your part and follow your passion. In a year, we’ll see how you did.”
I wanted to write a book. I had set that goal and knew I also wanted to self-publish. With no idea how the year would evolve or what I would do when finances grew tight; his faith in my ability to learn frugality gave me the strength to take the leap.
Among the expenses we reviewed from this past year, were beekeeping classes and equipment. Without that side-trip into agriculture last summer, I would not have met Kim and Korey, owners of Monadnock Oil and Vinegar. Though I’m sure I would have found my way to their new store, I certainly wouldn’t have embarked on my latest adventure, helping to grow this little business in the dead of winter and seeing such success. In a recent email, Korey said, “I jumped and you were my safety net.” There seems a lot of that going on these days…