Saturday, October 28, 2017

Taking care of business

My son-in-law Scott prides himself on his efficiency. On one visit we were talking about time management. I said I spent about an hour a day on paperwork. Scott said, "Oh, you just do it once a week for a couple of hours and then you're done with it."

Really? I can't imagine. Scott is 30 years younger than me but I don't think I've slowed down THAT much. Maybe it's that he has one grown child and we have eight. Maybe it's that he has a dog and we have a cat. That he lives in San Diego and we live in Seattle. That he has an enormous, diverse music collection and I don't. That he doesn't play Candy Crush.

Anyway, my husband Art and I are leaving for Tucson in five days, where we'll live until April. I'm trying to get it all done, paperwork and otherwise. And it will take a LOT longer than a couple of hours.

For one thing, I'm the bookkeeper for Do Your Part, the nonprofit I volunteer for, and last year we had about an eight hundred percent increase in revenue and expenses because of the refugee camp in Oinofyta, Greece. So instead of filing a postcard with the IRS, we have to file a GINORMOUS, INTIMIDATING FORM 990. We hired a CPA to help, but even so, it's taken me many hours to get ready. I just became the bookkeeper a year ago, and the previous person wasn't available, so I had to do a major research project to get the numbers I needed. Ordinarily I enjoy a challenge, but this was beyond the pale. I think I'm about finished but I have sent at least four less-than-kind emails to a couple of the other volunteers who had information I needed but were busy doing other things.

A couple of friends said, "Well, if it's that frustrating, don't do it again this year." Are you kidding? I've got it figured out now! That's what I tell myself. Besides, I am completely committed to Do Your Part, however I am needed.

I'm also taking care of our personal paperwork. Change our address for Netflix and Blue Apron. Cancel one of the papers but not the other since son Peter wants to read the Seattle Times while we're gone. Start the Tucson paper and Bluespan. Change the car and truck insurance. Get the passports out of the safe (we have a dentist two blocks on the other side of the Mexican border).

And some other things. Make arrangements for a Lyft ride to the airport for a 7:30 a.m. flight on Wednesday. Make sure I have a tranquilizer for Larisa, our Designer Cat, who will ride under the seat in front of me in a soft-sided carrier. Finish going through my closet to pull out the rest of the clothes going to Goodwill so we can take the maximum deduction for this year.

And several of our family members have hiccups in their lives right now, which pulls our thoughts and hearts toward them.

Anyway, my next post will be from Tucson. We'll be in our 620 square foot trailer instead of our family home. In the sun!


Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

I hear you about the paperwork for the nonprofit. Last weekend we had to file some forms for the state, and even though it wasn't bad, and they don't need our financials because our income is low enough, it was still a headache.

I cannot imagine the headache of moving south for the winter, though. I keep thinking I'd like to do that once we retire, but after all the details you just mentioned, I might have to stay in the frozen north twelve months out of the year.

Safe travels!

Olga said...

It is a task to move around for different seasons. I am grateful I can do it though. Life has become all about way too much paperwork lately. When I found myself doing more paperwork (way more!) than teaching I knew it was time for me to retire. I suppose some of it is necessary.

Barb said...

I have to say that I also have an office day once a week and do not do paperwork any other day unless when I look at my mail there is something urgent. However I admittedly am not a bookkeeper for a non profit. I do lots of volunteer paperwork but none of it book keeping type stuff.

Actually, the only organizational advice I have ever taken in my non working and working life is to not do email first thing in the day and to do paperwork no more than a couple times a week. Other than that my life is probably the least organized on the planet.

I also am not sure that I can imagine moving my whole household twice a year.

Arkansas Patti said...

You make me glad I stay put and just suffer through the seasons. At least the work is all spread out that way. I'll try not to be envious as you sunbathe this winter. Have a safe trip and a fun stay.

#1Nana said...

Safe travels! Hope we get there this year to see you.

DJan said...

I don't envy you that paperwork. It would gather a lot of dust before I could make myself do it, but you are a different animal, for sure! Also wish you safe travels to Tucson! :-)

Meryl Baer said...

Have a good stress-free trip!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I’m with you on paperwork. I may not do it everyday because there is not that much to attend to, but it is a matter of discipline and making sure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. I also rather enjoy if.

Enjoy your trip south. Getting away from winter is a wonderful thing.

joared said...

So, what do you do in your spare time? Am sure once all is done it will have been worth the effort. Hope it’s gone smoothly.

Silver in AZ said...

can't wait to read your blog posts from Tuscon! Can't wait to move to AZ in less than 2 years!