Sunday, March 18, 2007

Utterly spent

which may, in fact, be a good thing.

This week revealed a genetic flaw. I've always known that I don't relate to numbers. My Algebra II teacher literally offered me a B to quit: "Julie, you don't understand math and I don't want your GPA to suffer. I'll give you a B for fall semester if you quit before spring." Let's just say I ran to the counselor's office to drop that sucker. Numbers - for me they didn't add up.

Even today, I still avoid numbers. When I read a book or magazine with statistics, dates, totals of Brangelina's adopted children, my eyes literally glaze over the numbers and skip to words because words MEAN something whereas number rarely do.

This propensity to not notice numbers meant that for three years, I put the wrong Social Security Number on my taxes and didn't realize it until I woke up in the middle of a random night: "OMG - I think I forgot my SSN!" Sure enough, I had to have the little card sent to me again in order to remember what it was.

As a history major, I never could hang onto dates, even important ones like the attack on Pearl Harbor, the beginning of the Civil War or what year Jesus was born (Ha! I'll bet you think it was year 0 when in fact it was 4 BC... or 5 or something...)

Money is worse. Having grown up with a gambler lawyer for a dad (trial lawyers have to be gamblers or they wouldn't take that profession), I lived between the feelings of "abundance" and "hang on until the next big case" all the time. We were affluent without ever feeling affluent, if you know what I mean.

I decided to end that anxious way of living by marrying an MA in English whose life ambition was missionary work. Yeah, not exactly Bel Air community aspirations and I was glad!

It's really worked out too. We've never had much money and so I haven't had to count all that high. Taxes were mostly a breeze (we filled out 1040EZ for years).

Enter the absurd notion of running businesses.


I can't count silverware to set the table and suddenly I have to track hundreds of enrollments, payment options, business related expenses, quarterly estimated taxes, sales tax, pension plans, investment options, payroll, 1099 MISC, contract labor, LLC tax forms labeled by digit, and the ever oppressive choices related to all of these.

Last week was the tipping point. I tipped... right into panic, depression and wishing I could take it all back and just be a mom again (I'm really good at that one and the only numbers required are measuring cups of flour for scones).

So many meetings where competent men and women bearing calculators show you "options" and say words like "It's really up to you" and "With this plan you could save X amount of money over X number of years for X yield" - huh? Did someone say something?

****And may I just interrupt this program to announce****
In Britain, there is no income tax period with CPAs filing dozens of four digit labeled papers on your behalf in order to help you pay too much of your money to the government. How come they don't have to? Who thought King George was extorting too much tax from us anyway? We lost the thread of that idea somewhere along the 200 years on our own.
**digression over**

So no, I didn't get much writing done. And I don't care. I spent everything I have emotionally and mentally on numbers.

And for the record, I have not used geometry or algebra 1 once, in all those calculations. What a waste of time and tutoring money that was.

1 comment:

Dancingirl365 said...

Julie, I empathize. I can remember numbers, but inevitably make small mistakes when calculatng (even with a calculator!) Sorry for the downer. Hope life is better now. Enjoy your time away!