Saturday, January 20, 2007

Knitting for the time-challenged

Not being able to find enough time to knit seems to be a common lament among knitbloggers. I confess, I didn't understand. After all, I found time to knit in the thick of perpetual motion December, and if I could do that with my insane schedule, what's everybody else's problem?

I get it now. I'm as excited about knitting as ever, so it's not for lack of interest. Things have slowed down a little with work and work-related activities, but I feel like I'm having difficulty finding time to knit. Is it the lack of deadlines? As much as deadlines stress me out, they provide excellent motivation. (Donna, what was it you said the other day? Deadlines give us permission to quit?) I charged through December determined to get all of my Christmas gifts finished in time. I succeeded, although I sacrificed a fair share of sleep, something I'm smart enough to know I can't do right now. True, I'm not getting enough rest, but it's more than last month.

And maybe that's it. I cast aside hours I should have been sleeping--hours I picked up over those of you struggling to find the time--for knitting. Come to think of it, I'm not sure that work has slowed down a little, just my perception that it had because certain major tasks were out of the way. So it's gotta be the sleep, but deadline-free knitting is a contributing factor. Anyway, I can empathize with the time-challenged knitters.

A distant deadline wasn't an issue in something I did today that all of you--or the American readers--are going to hate me for. I finished and submitted my federal and state tax returns. (I haven't been able to get a form for the city return yet.) Granted, my returns are pretty simple to calculate, I use free e-filing to expedite the process, and I'm getting a refund. Still, this is a hassle I like having out of the way. My one tax tip: be sure to grab the telephone tax refund. I probably would have missed it if did my federal return by hand.

So, some money is on the way, and some "money" arrived in the mail today. That's right, I received the $150 Best Buy gift card I won playing McDonald's online Monopoly game. Sending in the winning piece and paperwork was one of those things I almost forgot in the December rush. Kudos to the fast food giant's prize redemption center. The turnaround time was shy of a month, which isn't bad considering how long companies take to send rebate checks, if they ever send them.

I read somewhere that businesses like gift cards because they entice recipients to spend more than the balance. I can see why. I've been wanting a laptop for awhile, so it's tempting to apply the prize and some refund money toward one. The good thing is I'm in no rush, and I'm not wild about bringing more stuff home with a future moving date awaiting.

I took another minor step toward that move by purchasing some plastic storage tubs. Target had them on sale, so I figured I ought to get a few in case I get the urge to tackle the junk stacked in my spare room. I also bought a smaller one for my scrap yarn, which is currently stashed in a cardboard box. I'm afraid that it won't all fit in the 15 quart container, but it's a starting point. At least I'll feel a bit more organized.

The scarf I'm currently knitting is about 75% finished. If I can keep my eyes open long enough, I may complete it tonight. Then I can dig into my new Knit Picks yarn. OK, enough blogging. It's knitting time.


At 10:46 AM, Blogger donnadb said...

I do hate you, very very much.

We have our taxes professionally prepared to the tune of about $500 a year. With Noel making all his income from freelance work, he's self-employed, and we take deductions for entertainment purchases, phone, cable, internet, part of the other utilities, electronic equipment, etc. I don't have any direct experience with doing our taxes myself, but with things that complicated, I'm happy enough farming it out. We haven't owed anything the last few years, and considering a quarter of our income hasn't been taxed at all before it gets to us (meaning we owe all the parts an employer usually takes out), that seems like a pretty good result.

I'll be setting aside a weekend in February to get everything together. So not looking forward to it.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I know I get off easily with my tax returns. I guess that's one benefit--maybe the only--of being single, owning no property, and having one employer. I had to report the single check I got from Google AdSense from my other site, but that's as complicated as it gets. Basically it's just a matter of waiting for the W-2s to arrive.

I imagine it's a major headache to have to take out the taxes on your own. In college I worked a part-time job at a radio station that considered me self-employed. It was a pain dealing with that on a small scale.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I have someone do my taxes, but always get a return. With two kids and a (hopefully) soon to be ex, it's easier that way.

Kudos to you for getting it done already! I don't think we have all the paperwork together yet to even go get the taxes filed. I just received my W-2 this past Weds!

As for knitting time... well... I skip housework sometimes. I do stay up too late, but I have sleeping problems anyway. I take knitting everywhere I go, even to my school.


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