Somehow, my head has still not exploded. I have spent hours and hours reading tax forms and publications, feeling as if my head would explode any moment, but my head remains intact. I am grateful. I still need my head, because I am still trying to understand my tax return and get it filed.
I spent all of yesterday and much of this morning reading tax publications and trying to figure out which forms are necessary and what I need to do to make sure they are properly filled out. Yes, I have an accountant, but my poor accountant seems as confused as I am this year. Ours is, apparently, an unusual situation.
Let this be a warning to any of my readers who may, ever in their lifetimes, retire. If you decide to do that in December of one year, do not wait until mid-march of the next year to start trying to figure out your taxes. Don’t do it. I kept putting it off because I wanted to make sure all the necessary forms had arrived, but now I’m two days away from the filing deadline and I am still full of questions about the tax consequences of what we did back in December.
Yesterday, my head was spinning in the evening and I worried about how I would ever manage to get it to stop doing that and let me sleep. I took a break and went into the living room, where my husband was busy shelling peas he had brought in from his backyard garden. I sat down across from him and started to help.
As I opened up the bright green pods and stripped out the peas, I felt my shoulders begin to relax. My breathing slowed. All I did was shell peas, but my attention shifted completely to that activity and my whirling hamster-brain stopped thinking about taxes. My husband found some travel videos on YouTube and put them up on the living room TV. We shelled peas and watched videos of faraway places until all the peas were out of their pods and all my tax questions had given up and gone away for the night. I went to bed and I slept.
This morning, I tackled those forms again and reached a point where I could crystallize my questions and send them to my accountant. She has not answered them yet, but I am not going to lose sleep over that tonight. I still have two days and if I can’t work it out in time, I can always file for an extension. If I work it out and then find out later that it was not correct, I can file an amended return. There are options. It will be okay.
That’s what the little green peas told me, anyway.