Taxes Schmaxes

Andreas once complained about doing his taxes.  When I asked him what he had to do, he said he had to log on to the tax-system-thing (which required him to go DOWNSTAIRS to get his log-on card) and check to make sure all of the supplied information was correct.

Then, I waited, expecting him to finish his story.  Only…that was it.  That was the story.  That was his taxes.  Bully for him.

I thought taxes were confusing in college when I wasn’t sure if I was a dependent or not.  Or if I could deduct the price of my schoolbooks.  And then I moved overseas and promptly stopped filing my taxes, because I was making zero income, so I don’t have to, right?  Only then, three years later, someone told me that if you live abroad, you have to file your taxes regardless of how much you make.

So, I immediately began researching how to make good on my American taxes, because the thought of a letter showing up from the IRS telling me I was in deep trouble filled me with dread.  So, after enough IRS surfing to make anyone crazy, I finally figured out how to do my delinquent taxes.  And then, just as I had filled out every form, signed every statement, and paper-clipped it all up neatly, I happened across a pamphlet that said you don’t have to file if you made under $4,000.  And then I also found out about another form I had to submit.

 

 

Resolutions Two Weeks In

It’s not often that I actively think about my New Year’s Resolutions after the first couple of days.  Which is why I generally don’t make very many of them.  But this year is different somehow.  I think because the resolutions have been in the works for a long time–they’re real ways I need to change.

I actually have printed and organized photos (and put them in a photo album AND organized by date all of my old photos back to the year 2000, which, strange as it seems, was actually a really long time ago).  I organized and reformatted my entire recipe collection, took care of old taxes and this year’s taxes, and even started knitting myself a cardigan.  *high five*

A couple things that helped me get these things done (to look at next year, when it’s mid-January, and I definitely haven’t accomplished any of the goals I set in my New Year ferver):

-Sitting down at the desk.  This is something that’s new to me, as I haven’t had a desk since I lived on campus, but we recently finished our two-person desk/office area, and it helps a lot with focus to sit down there, with nice focused lighting, and really check things off the to-do list.

-Making a list.  This past weekend, Andreas and I made a list with all of the little loose ends that we’ve been meaning to take care of on it.  And we finished it.  Like…all the way.  This was incredibly helpful, and it was fun to work together on accomplishing something.  Bonus: We also found out what was making the weird noise in the washer and (after hours of fiddling) managed to free the offending bobby pin!

-Journaling.  This has more to do with the “positivity” resolution, but I find that journaling helps me be able to find the positives, express my gratitude, and boosts my mood because my journal is a very pretty color.

In update news, I’ve started online school, and so far, it’s going great.  But we haven’t started the groupwork yet, so we’ll see.  I have to say, that studying business in Danish doesn’t seem all that much more difficult than it would be to study in English, because of all the new terms I have to learn anyways.  I’m really liking studying so far–I just really like to learn new things, and it is actually really, really nice to be able to do it in the comfort of my own home instead of in a classroom where I’m constantly thinking about how large the sweat-rings under my arms are getting.

Studying at home does, however, lead to more Facebook and blog checks than I’d like to admit.  Speaking of which, I’d better get back to it.

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In a Theo-update: This is Theo and the squirrel-baby that he named Rafael (after the ninja turtle).  It is very important to Theo that Rafael has enough lip balm on at all times.

Hello, 2016

Now that the year has officially begun, and I am seeing everyone’s posts about resolutions or looking back at the past year, I realized that I had done neither of those things, and was completely unprepared to start the new year.  But, perhaps better late than never, so here I go.

Looking back on last year’s New Year’s post, I only realized with a bit of a mental “nuts…” That not very many of the things I was hoping for 2015 came to fruition.  My job search stayed a job search, my plans for education jolted in at least 5 different directions before deciding on one, and we’re not quite ready to think about the next addition to the Hermit Crab clan on anything but hypothetical terms.  But on the bright side, I did make it through, and came out the other side.  Andreas switched jobs for the better, Theo is speaking eloquently, and I did manage to finish all of my Danish education, and with good marks to boot!  We have a lovely, cozy, clean home, and we’re in a good place to start the new year.

One thing I want to work on in 2016 is being more positive.  I’m not, by nature, a particularly negative person, but there is of course room for improvement.  I want to really embrace positivity, because I believe in the power of a positive outlook.  I’m sure that we will face some big challenges in the next 12 months, and I want to meet them ready and confident instead of filled with dread.

I also want to do more things.  I don’t even mean particularly big things, but I just want to fill more of my free hours with projects, activity, and fun!  Andreas and I often find ourselves too easily convinced to spend the evening on the couch with Netflix, and while I want to leave space for that as well, we realized that even we need to make plans sometimes.  Even things as simple as more ambitious cake-making projects, board games, and handyman projects will make that free time feel better used, and the Netflix marathons feel more deserved.

Being a bit more up-and-at-’em might also help me actually accomplish some of the goals I set for myself last January, like getting all of our recipes organized and printed, and sorting through the videos and photos I have from the last two years, and finally getting around to printing a few large stacks.  

It’s admittedly hard to believe that I will actually get any of the things done, but there’s an extra glow of hope hovering around the first of January, and I’ll enjoy it while it lasts! 

Happy New Year!