A year in review, 2008

26 Aug

This past April I applied for an extension for my 2008 taxes.   On July 14, I called the IRS to ask for another extension, and…I also asked about the status of the money I owed for 2007.  I took a distribution on my 401K towards living expenses and I didn’t put any of it away for the taxes and penalties.  I’ve written repeatedly about lessons and about how I’m becoming a different person.  Not sure if I’ve used those words or not, but a different person is a good description if you compare the person I was in 2004 with the person I am today.  The funny thing is, in some ways, I’m still the same person I was in 1977…but that is not what this post is about.  This post is about what I discovered while preparing for my 2008 taxes…

I save receipts.

I file bank statements.

I am organized.   Oh, wait.  That was the person back in 2004.  The person I have become is somewhat disorganized and, as a result of moving 6 times in 2008, has lost track of where most everything is…  Today I was preparing for a trip back to Georgia and I came across some software that I had packed along with something totally unrelated.  Software I’ve been looking for, so it was a great find.  But it just made me so much more aware of the lack of structure in my life today.  I don’t really know where a lot of things are…but, thankfully, I have a handle on the documentation required for tax preparation.  That’s a good thing.

So anyway, while sorting through the paperwork, the organization part of me in full force, I decided to put my gas receipts in order.

What?

I know, I know…WHO puts gasoline receipts in order?

WHO EVEN KEEPS GASOLINE RECEIPTS?

I have always written the trip odometer reading on each receipt…started doing that years ago, it was either my mom or my dad, but one of them impressed me with the necessity of knowing the mileage.  What happened while I organized the receipts was an enlightening.  I was able to relive 2008.  The pain, the joy, the discovery…all of it, as a result of writing mileage on little slips of paper.

I was waiting to donate blood, without an appointment, and so I had brought the slips of paper with me, along with a clipboard and a pad of  paper… And I recorded the location, the price of gasoline, and the mileage and I marveled at what happened in my life.  Rather than elaborate on the specifics, suffice it to say that I have so much to be grateful for, along with a lot of painful memories and hardships.  I heard a clip of Ted Kennedy tonight on the special they had prepared for his passing.  In it he spoke about how the sea is a lot like life.  Storms come up, seemingly out of nowhere, there is turmoil and fear and sadness.  And then the storm passes, there are changes, life goes on.  And there are beautiful, sunny days where there is not a care in the world.

2008 was like that for me.  I would not have had it any other way.   I remember driving across the state line into Louisiana.   It felt like coming home for me, and I’d never lived in Louisiana.  I suppose I was coming back to myself, to living a life where I was the person I worried about, shopped for, and planned for again.  The care and concern for those I left back in Georgia still a part of my life, but just as the peripheral vision, no longer my direct focus.

There is a story to tell about the mileage and the places where I purchased the fuel that allowed me to travel to and fro…but for now, this post will do.  Mainly, I just wanted to remind myself that my quirks are my jewels…they are what makes me special, ok, different.  Unique.

I had to laugh…I learned that I had driven over 13 thousand miles in a vehicle, which the repairman who checked it over before I left had told me, “is not worth fixing”.  I have told people that, if you could see them, there are angels holding the Jeep together.  Not that it rattles, or that there is anything that “I” can see wrong, but because that mechanic had told me the Jeep wasn’t worth repairing.

Right now the Jeep which took me through a very challenging year is sitting in a repair shop.  $2400-$2600 is the estimate to repair the transmission.

I think one of the angels must have gotten really tired!

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