Owning the Owning of a Business and Other Things About the Thirty-Somethings

Maybe hitting 35 comes paired with this for everyone, but lately it feels as though managing some of the basics of my own life has become a full time job. Toss in losing 15 pounds and finding a life partner, and suddenly most of my clothes don’t even fit, I have the benefit of ongoing love and shared resources (like cars! like food!–both of which cost less when shared), and spending half my time in another state. Then genetics kick in and I need glasses for the first time in my life, I’m suddenly someone living with seasonal plant allergies, and I’m being tested for hypothyroid. Life, right? Or maybe aging is another term for it. I think I prefer growing up, though, or growing into my stride. Yes, that’s it! The icing on my cake of that stride? It’s also tax season for a year that includes my first book, a fellowship in another state, a summer gig in a third state, and hiring two people to help me with marketing and publicity. Dizzy yet? I sure am.I’ve sold my hiking gear and clothes that stopped fitting and replaced them all with new,
unbelievably nice stuff. Hiking is one thing I don’t go cheap on, and I get the most out of my gear so I never think twice about it. I’ve put off taking out a car loan and committed to The Claw until she dies (my sweetie has a Jeep 4×4 and an AWD sedan). I’ve even made some large business purchases to accommodate for my recent expansion–now being the proud owner of an 11″ AirBook, which will make the upcoming 5 flights to 5 cities for 11 events in 4 weeks much, much easier. When it’s all said and done, I have to do the Schedule C to show profit and loss for a business, file in NC and VA and MI, as well as federal taxes, not to mention dealing with the nitty-gritty of things like interest paid on student loans and the transfer of money from one small retirement account into another.For years, I filed taxes on my own–back when it was simple, I had no student loans, and my income was from a single source in the same state that I lived. Things got complicated after undergrad and sometime in the latter half of the first decade of the 2000’s I started hiring H&R Block for help. This year, with so many additional needs to attend to with my filing, I’m trying to save a little on my tax prep by learning how to fill out that darn Schedule C once and for all. I keep track of my business expenses and have for years–advertisting, publications, office supplies, car mileage, etc. But now I’ve got book orders to deal with, some of which are handled through bookstores on consignment, others through bookstores via my publisher, and other still through wholesale through me. Each of these is calculated in a different way (the latter being the most complicated and time consuming on my end, although with the highest payoff). I’m determined to get it right, and thanks to the local Toe River Arts Council, Mayland Community College, and a fine teacher at The Accounting Studio named April who joined to provide free classes, I think I can do it.

Meantime, the novel slipped through my fingers this week. I got two solid mornings in and made progress, but balked when facing my own issues in Chapter 8. Chapter 8, oh good golly god Chapter 8. Nearly every other line need expansion, correction, revision, or cutting. It’s a gift to be able to see this, I keep reminding myself; it’s the kind of critical distance I’ve been waiting for. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that even this here determined writer has been caught throwing the page down in disappointment these past few days. I take heart in the fact that even those moments are part of the process, and that even though I can’t see the way through it, I’ll damn well make it through eventually.

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