When I read this from your piece it really resonated:
For example, in the middle of a mess that I’ve made by not acting soon enough, which upends my world but also those who depend on me for whatever reasons (stability, security) — should I love myself? Not necessarily. I can resent myself. I can resent myself and care. I can resent myself and still rebuild.
I do resent myself, and care, about the fact that I’ve neglected my financial affairs.
During a period of dealing with cancer, separation after 17 years of marriage, a subsistence cash flow and a recurrence of the cancer I’ve repeatedly allowed myself to ignore dealing with the tax man.
As you said so eloquently — the same behaviour repeated makes repeating the same behaviour easier. And I’ve been avoiding the issue and kind of pretending I’m ok, although I carry the burden on a daily basis.
It’s not just irresponsible it is doubly irresponsible given that (1) I have a 6 year old daughter who is part of this, and (2) I know (logically) that the first step is simply to communicate with the Australian Tax Office.
Then the phone rang
I read your article this morning. As was literally walking out of the house at 2pm today for some more blood tests my mobile phone rang.
It was a “No Caller Id” call. Usually, I ignore them. As I was on my way out I wanted to ignore it.
But I answered it.
“Hullo, this is the Australian Tax Office”
After verifying my details they informed me that I had outstanding fines for non-lodgement of GST (VAT) quarterly activity statements, and for non-lodgement of income tax returns for the past 2 years.
“When can you lodge these returns?”
“I can lodge the 4 outstanding quarterly GST activity statements by the end of next week”.
“Can I enter the 19th into the system?”
“Can I send you an email confirming that you will lodge them by the 19th?”
“With regard to your non-lodgement and the fines are there any extenuating circumstances”.
“Yes.” (I mentioned cancer, the separation and the recurrence of cancer.)
“I’m sorry to hear that. You can appeal the fines based on your circumstances once you have made the lodgements.”
So in the course of a short call, I was able to erase some of my self-resentment, by taking action. I’ll get the annual returns sorted out once this is done.