Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hard at workst

I guard my leisure time jealously. Evenings and weekends, ideally, are for knitting, reading, and catching up on TV and movies. Work often intrudes, of course; I write about TV a couple of times a week, and frequently student work has to be graded. But I don't regard those occasions as business as usual. I resent them, and breathe a sigh of relief when I can contemplate a couple of hours with nothing obligatory on the schedule.

But I also work hard to make sure those couple of hours don't get eaten away bit by bit. Sure, I could still get in some stitching if I were also taking care of other minor chores. But I want the whole enchilada, not just twenty stolen minutes.

So even though I could get our tax records ready for the preparer in a few half-hour chunks spread out over several days, I took a different tack. The two hours this afternoon during the kids' quiet time that I would normally spend on knitting and internet while clearing a couple of items off the TiVo, I instead spent organizing the 1099's and separating 2010 receipts from 2009 stuff. By the time Archer came out to fire up the Wii for his afternoon playtime, I was halfway done with the job. Sometime before the end of the month I'll need to add up all the deductions and job-related expenses, but the hardest work of gathering all the material and entering the big numbers is over.

This may be the earliest I've ever tackled the taxes. And it's all thanks to the Winter Olympics, starting next Friday, and my aversion to sharing my weekend time with work. I know I'm not going to want to buckle down and start the massive job of tax prep when I want to be gorging on curling and starting the last pattern repeat of my Totally Autumn throw. Only a desire for total purity in my off-the-clock activities could lead me to devote much of a Sunday to non-deadline-related work. Now I can settle in for next Friday's opening ceremonies with a clear conscience. If only I didn't have to spend Saturday morning on campus for a half-day event -- or if only I could go ahead and get it out of the way on my own time.

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