Tuesday, April 16, 2013

there will be hills

I remember the first time I filed my taxes.  I was a mere teen and felt all grown up.  I had a W-2.  I had FICA!  I had no idea what FICA was, but I had it, and so I was somebody!

It didn't take long for the annual filing of taxes to lose its allure.

I think that Magnum has been the tax preparer ever since we got married.  In the early days, they were no biggie, but over time, they've gotten more complicated along with the tax laws.  Add some kids, add some investments, add some private tutoring biz, add some college...

Over the past few weekends, he's chipped away at them as the pile of documents seemed to spread like a virus on the dining table.  I did my part by staying out of the way.  Every now and then, he would announce, "Got another line filled in!"

Bottom line?  After accounting for postage, about five bucks in the black.  Gosh, what should we splurge on?!

I see that as quite an accomplishment.  We/he couldn't have hit it closer if we tried.  Sure, it's nice to get a big return check, but really that just means that the government is having to give back your own money that they shouldn't have had to begin with.

Yesterday, I went out to run some errands in the afternoon and that was the first I heard of the explosions in Boston.  At first, I thought the source was possibly one or more disgruntled American taxpayers, given the date.  Then there're the anniversaries of the Oklahoma City bombing and the Waco assault.  This is a volatile time of year.

Not surprisingly, my f_book feed had lots of "prayers go out to..." type posts.  I also saw a lot about runner solidarity.  Runners should go out and run today or wear race t-shirts - symbolically reinforce the runnerhood.  That's fine.

But I don't think this is a situation of runners vs. evil or even Boston vs. evil.  It's just more good vs. evil.  And I like to think that the good still outnumber the evil.

As it happens, I did run today.  I'd planned on running, terrorist explosions or no.

I don't often think about it, but I do feel a unity with other runners.  And when there's an act of evil against good, I feel unity with the billions of good people too.



  1. I sat in HORROR watching the news about Boston all day yesterday. And then, I saw on Facebook a black-and-white photo of a smiling Mr. Rogers making the rounds, with the caption, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

    And that truly comforted me.

    1. Yeah, I saw that and it comforted me too, because it's true.

  2. There was such a binding/bonding between firefighters after 9/11. It was heartening to be a part of. And I was surprised to see all the helpers jumping in immediately in Boston.

  3. Congratulations for NOT letting Uncle Sam act as your savings account! That's an accomplishment.

    I was shocked when I heard the news of the bombings late yesterday afternoon. I don't keep a news feed on my work computer, but some coworkers do, so I was out of the loop until someone shared the news. Such a cowardly act... but as with all such acts, it only brings out the good and compassion that exists in the American people.

    1. SO cowardly. Hang 'em.
      And we're looking forward to our five bucks.

  4. Good job with the taxes! Pass that on to Magnum. I remember my first w-2, too, and all 2 or 3 lines that had to be filled out. Like you said, times have changed.

    The Boston tragedy: My first thought, too, was that it happened on 4/15. I haven't watched much on TV; these things are happening too often - things that shouldn't be happening at all. I hope they get'em soon! and like you said, hang'em.

    Do you have that t-shirt!

  5. Congrats to being "right on" with your taxes. Sad to say, that we weren't, but at least we're getting money back.
    I'm heartbroken about the marathon tragedy, but I have a feeling it will unite the runners and the do-gooders, just like you said, and make us stronger.
    But in the mean time, I'm all for a good hangin'.

  6. Congrats on getting your taxes in without much blood. We're a few bucks in the hole this year, but not as bad as years before.
    I'm still tore up over the marathon bombings. The whole event, while horrific, is bringing the running world closer and encouraging some to go farther. And I agree with a good hangin'.

  7. Hm, I spent a few years doing my own tax return - not fun...

    Thankfully the good do outnumber the bad, even if the bad sometimes make more noise...

  8. Good always conquerors bad, but recently it's been hard to believe.