April looms just around the corner and for those of us in the United States that means Tax Time! Last year I did my taxes by myself for the first time. Previously my dad did them for me or helped me do them. He enjoyed doing taxes and people always told him how much they appreciated his demeanor.
But this entry has to do with me and my taxes. Doing taxes proved, well, a bit more taxing than I thought, but I finished them! Much to my surprise and dismay I received a note in late February from the State of California that they had no record of me filing my 2013 taxes, and they requested that I send them copies of my forms along with proof of payment. I complied. I always kept records.
Fast forward to yesterday. I received a letter from the State of California that said I erred in doing my taxes and owed them money ($183 + $135 late fee+ $9.11 interest). They didn’t break those figures down for me. I had to figure that out myself. In their letter they offered me no recourse if I disputed their figures, and they only gave me a week and a half to pay them or the amount owed would go up substantially, and they listed all the ways they would and could obtain their money.
My first reaction: panic. My second reaction: feeling p*ssy toward the government. My third reaction: this is awful and is going to haunt me for years.
My fourth reaction: let me take a closer look at their “corrected figures”. Hmmmm. They match my figures exactly. No discrepancy. The light dawns. I always owed $183 and that’s the exact amount I paid them when I filed my 2013 taxes on time. They never recorded my cancelled check.
My fifth reaction: how to solve this. I put in a call to the woman who took over my dad’s business. She might be too busy to help me now, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If she can’t help me now, she can help me after tax season. I trust her, so it’ll be worth the wait.
In the meantime, if I need to I’ll pay the state of California the money they say I owe and fight the battle after tax season.
I’m telling you this story because there’s a time I would have fretted over this endlessly and I would have eaten over it. My life would have been paralyzed by fear and by dramatically dreaming of worst case scenarios. Instead, within a matter of hours I came up with several reasonable solutions. All of which lead to calming resolutions.
It might not be fair, but sometimes life happens. It just does. And I’m tired of fretting and worrying about that which I can’t control. I can control how I react. And this time, for yesterday, in the midst of the initial distress I didn’t overeat. I didn’t binge. I didn’t eat sugary junk. I walked my way through life.
That’s what recovery from an eating disorder looks like. Taking the small moments and building upon them. Now I’m going to take the rest of the day and enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy yours! And if it’s not sunny where you live, create your own sunshine!
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