Here comes the sun

I know we’re expecting another winter storm tonight, though it may miss where I live, but the last two days’ sunshine has been really, really awesome, even as the very cold temps continue. It was about this time last year that I began walking outside again instead of schlepping to the gym, and I’ve started that up as well. I went out two nights in a row and did two miles in the crunching snow, just because I actually FEEL like going out since it is still light when I start, and even though it gets dark during my walk. There’s something about the dusk that changes just about now which makes it not at all unpleasant to be outside when the sun goes down, even though it’s freezing ass cold. I learned long ago that if I want to avoid complete misery in the winters here, I had to cast fashion completely aside and go for warm, warm, warm. So, my walking outfit includes leg warmers, winter walking boots, two pairs of paints (leggings and sweat pants), my long, warm down coat (rated to -20 wind chill), hat and hood, gloves and scarf. I’ve actually gotten such drive that I came home sweating the 2nd time, even though it was only 20 degrees out.

I’ve also not been able to sleep for like four days now, and am not even tired with the lack of sleep. I suspect this is also the light, and the coming spring. The geese are pairing up and honking at me as I walk by them in the dusk, and the ducks have returned to the lake. The swan, alas, is still alone. Hope springs eternal.

This morning I received a package that was ordered from Kohl’s so long ago, it was before our Big Financial Crisis. It has been lost in Hell, otherwise known as the Orange Avenue post office in downtown Cleveland, where things go in but sometimes don’t come out, and I contacted Kohl’s long ago and told them about it, and they continue to “research it” for three weeks until eventually they will give me a credit if it’s not found. The larcenous part of my mind and heart, which has always been there since I was a tiny child, saw the package in my inbox and immediately thought, well, I can just wait for them to complete their investigation and claim never to have received it, and hey, free Kohl’s shit. Then the reasonable part of my brain takes over and I know this is the wrong thing, and that even if I did that and nobody knew, something bad would happen. Some people say, “Well, nobody would know, but *I* would know.” This is not a moral component I have in my soul; it’s just missing I guess – I won’t fess up to receiving the package because if I don’t I will feel guilty or wrong in any capacity, but only because experience tells me that when I do things like that, life extracts payment some other way, not of my choosing, and not a pleasant way. So I will go to Kohl’s tonight and return the clothes, unopened, as well as return some stuff to Target that I decided I can live without. This is sort of like making money, if you repay yourself, no?

I had a terrible moment of panic doing the taxes Sunday, which are still not done. I realized I had set aside a rather large sum of money in a pre-tax account for 2012 which I had not filed for any reimbursement from. I just forgot about it until the question popped up on the taxes. I was sweating, sick and panicked. I couldn’t even remember the name of the company that administered the account, and in my panic to look things up and double check, ended up getting locked out of the provider’s site for too many attempts to log in. I had to confess to my husband that I may have possibly forfeited a huge reimbursement for us, and how sorry I was. To his credit, he just said look, it’s not worth getting upset about. They money was taken out and it’s gone. We’ll do better this year. I would have been SO FUCKING PISSED if he had done something this boneheaded. I am lousy at managing the money sometimes, but he is even worse and so more forgiving of these mistakes, like when we were overdrawn TWICE last year despite careful planning and calculations, costing us hundreds in fees to reimburse the bank for overdraft protection. I googled around and found a site that seemed to indicate I actually have until April 1 to file for that money from last year, and held my breath until that was confirmed yesterday by my HR department, so this morning I filed for all the money. Half will go into savings and half to a credit card. It’s not a ton of money by most people’s standards, but considering we are not getting much of a tax refund and actually owe on the state (not quite a wash, but nothing to cheer about), this feels like I found a sack of gold at the end of the rainbow, and has cheered me considerably.

Things are looking up. Spring is in the air.


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