It is a cold, dark and rainy day so far today. I wonder if that is an indication of things to come? I have to go to the bank and the post office today and I really don’t look forward to getting wet. It is raining pretty hard and the wind is coming off the ocean so it seems pretty nasty out. Perhaps it will let up by the time the bank opens.
I have a long laundry list of things to accomplish today. I don’t like this many loose ends and it is time to take a full day to clean them up. I planned on doing that yesterday, but I was thrown quite a curve ball. I arrived home from my errands to an email from my son (who handles my banking and finances in the States) which included a letter from the IRS stating that my taxes were done incorrectly and I owe a bit of money to them. That was good for a couple of missed heartbeats. Needless to say I was not pleased.
I read the notice carefully and there was little explanation as to why they felt I owed the extra money. I have an accountant, but of course it is ‘off-season’ and they only have hours on Tuesday and Wednesdays now. The notice gave me a week to pay or it listed a host of horrors that they could impose on you – quite intimidating to say the least. There was a toll free number on the form and I opted to talk to them to find out what was what. I needed to know what happened and get a plan of action.
After waiting on hold for approximately 45 minutes, I did reach a person who was at first quite terse, but turned out to be very helpful. Apparently once she saw that I wasn’t a raving maniac and that I was polite and considerate to her, she was far more personable. Long story short, after almost an hour of figuring out what happened, I found out that my accountant made an error and I owed the money. On to “Plan B”.
I had just gone with a new accountant this year because now that I am landed here in Canada, I need to file taxes in both countries – the US and Canada. I had to find someone who knew both tax systems and with living in such a rural area, the pickin’s are pretty slim. I am investigating the possibility of moving my business here to Canada, but early indications tell me that it wouldn’t be prudent for me to do so, and I would still have to file in both countries anyway. It can be quite overwhelming. It is just another hat that have to wear and one that I prefer not to.
So we pick up and brush off and get back to work. I had some very positive comments and messages yesterday and I do appreciate the support and thoughts. I agree with you that if I continue to give good customer service and do my job well, in the end it will pay off. It is better for me when people come to me directly and I try to make them want to do so by being available to them and helping them as much as I can. It isn’t difficult for me because it is genuine and as I said, I love to interact and hear their stories and get to know them.
The way I look at things, at least I was fortunate to have had four articles in that last issue of the magazine because the extra money really helped in this situation. If I hadn’t had that many, I guess I don’t know what I would have done. It isn’t worth my time to think in that direction. I prefer to look at the glass as half full, not half empty.
The pieces are in place and I know I have done my best with the things that are in my control. That is all I can do. I am going to continue to do my best and see where it takes me. So far, it has been good and I realize that I am doing much better than most who are self-employed just by being able to hold on. Many others haven’t even been able to do that.
A year ago or so this would have sunk me. But things have changed since then and I have changed too. If I want this bad enough, I need to fight for it. If it isn’t worth fighting for, then I shouldn’t do it. Right?
So it is with a positive and happy outlook that I start this day (in spite of the rain!) I have a renewed sense of purpose and I know in my heart that this isn’t going to take me down or beat me either. I wanted to share this part of the business with you all too because it is part of normal life. I am not whining about it, but I am taking it in stride. There are so many people that think that successful people just fall into success. There are very few, if any successful people that I know of that have had it that way. It isn’t all easy and it isn’t always fun and there are so many challenges that we need to be up for in a business. I think that sometimes people go into self-employment with rose colored glasses. I kid about my “pink-cloud” philosophy all the time but I am intelligent enough to realize that the world really isn’t that way. There is nothing wrong with hopes and dreams though. As long as you are also ready to face reality and deal with what is served to you. You need to take that bad with the good. You need to be resilient and not let the crummy things get the best of you. Those are the survivors and I think I am one of them.
So last night after all had settled down and I had a good dinner and caught up on some things, I sat down to paint. I wanted to end the day on something that was positive in my life and thinking about my skating pond and getting that finished and all the good prospects that go with it was a good choice, I believe.
Stephen was the little sledding boy I introduced last time. This is his mom, Carilynn:
|From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures|
She is pulling his sled for him because he has tired himself out. It is good to have someone to help you along when you run out of steam, isn’t it? We all need someone like that from time to time.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"