Sometimes I wish that I didn't know that Cause = Effect, that every action has an equal reaction. Sometimes I wish that in the moment where I am struck down with fear at work, that I don't feel as though an invisible being is scribbling my response in a notebook and shaking his head. Tut, tut, failed once again. Sometimes I wish that I could walk past beggars on the street and not feel truly guilty when I don't put my hand in my purse and find them some change.
As you can see, I am still working on being a little bit easier on myself. All the same, sometimes I have my head in the clouds so much that it begs belief.
I saw a blind person on the platform of the tube the other day and I watched them in wonder. "How amazing they are" I thought. "How admirable that they can find their way around without being able to see. I would never be able to cope in the way that they do, and Beezrat Hashem, I hope I never have to prove that statement"
Whilst I am watching in silent respect, a woman approaches the blind man from the other side and says "Excuse me, would you like some help getting on the train?"
The blind man turns towards her and says "Thank you so much, that's so kind of you to offer help"
And I am left standing there feeling like a right selfish muppet. I just didn't think to ask.
Last night brought a short-lived redemption when I was asked by a woman in a car the direction to Muswell Hill. I gave her directions, remotely proud that I was able to assist. Until she pulled away from the lights and I realised that going straight on instead of turning right would have been a much quicker and more direct route. *sigh*
Anyhow, my latest challenge is my tax return. No, not my tax return for 2010-2011, but the one for the year before.
Being self employed whilst having no real fixed address and no real business to speak of was a bit of a mistake, so it seems. Add crippling depression to that list and you have a recipe for disaster. But somehow I thought that if I stuck my head firmly in the sand, that the tax office would somehow overlook me and I would slide under the radar.
Hmm. How wrong can I be? They caught up with me.
There is something about tax returns and everything financial that makes me a) feel totally sick and b) act completely irresponsibly. With my lack of financial prowess, Long Live P.A.Y.E., I say.
But I couldn't put it off any longer, so I took the day off work to sort out my tax return once and for all, having received the form for the last year and having printed off the one for the year before.
I am going to get this done early in the day, so that it is out of the way, I said to myself, after which I am going to feel a wonderful sense of liberation and relief!!
I woke up late and started procrastinating. I had a lazy breakfast. I watched a little bit of TV (because it was a day booked as Holiday, after all). And then I started to go through my email, and came across an article on Procrastination. Touché, Light I said. I read the email. s-l-o-w-l-y... (not that I am in the habit of dragging anything out, of course).
The email contained a link to this rather fabulous little video:
Eat That Frog! Movie: "There's an old saying that says... "If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is eat a live frog, then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!" Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, whether you want to or not."
Even though it was nearly 2pm, I decided that better late than never, and I started eating that frog. Gingerly. I started nibbling its toes by digging out my paperwork, and gave its rump a good lick calculating all of my income and the dates for the past two years.
And it is nearly 7pm and I have only just completed the self-assessment portion of my first tax return. What a nightmare. This frog tastes like shit. I am reading the handy notes as I go through:
20% writing down allowance
Where you have spent more than £50,000 in a year on equipment, or (on or after 6 April 2009) you have purchased a car with CO2 emissions of 160g/km or less, add all the expenditure together to make a ‘main pool’ of costs. Deduct:
• any Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) up to £50,000 (excluding any cars) that you are including in box 22
• any equipment that qualifies for 10% or 100% allowances
• any items which go into a separate pool.
Add the value of any main pool from the previous year, less the value of any disposals you have made during the year.
You can then claim a writing down allowance (WDA) of 20% of the remaining pool value. For example, if you have spent £70,000 on equipment and have claimed £50,000 of this as AIA, the balance of £20,000 qualifies for a 20% annual allowance of £4,000, which should be included in box 24. The amount remaining in the main pool after the 20% allowance has been deducted should be carried forward to the following year.
Excuse me, but WTF?? Is it possible to get these notes in English? If this is Tax Return 101, then give me The Dummies' Guide instead.
Anyhow, I'm not going to bed until it's done and until I have completed my second bugbear task of changing all of my addresses. It's going to be a late night.
I imagine I shall feel ever so slightly sick from eating too much frog in one day, but who knows, perhaps the after-taste will be worth it.