So I’ve been just a tad grouchy recently, and honestly, a lot of it has to do with cash flow.
We own a small business, a company of only two employees—-us. We’ve managed to fall into that age group where purchasing health insurance is a pricey venture. You would probably have a coronary if I told you how much our premiums and deductibles cost so I will spare you, since YOUR insurance may not be sufficient to cover such a medical disaster.
In addition, I just added up all the taxes I’ve written checks for in January alone—-and this includes one month’s federal payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, three months worth of payroll taxes to the state of MO, and our estimated personal taxes to the feds and MO on the non-corporate side of the equation. Our tax liability ALONE exceeded the income we brought in in January by 50%! And that’s BEFORE we purchase health, life, disability, homeowners, and car insurance. Before we pay our mortgage and tithe. Not that I’m complaining, you understand.
Oh, wait. I am.
In the past year or so, we’ve found collecting on the monies owed us to be a arduous task, whereas in most of the twelve years we’ve been running this business, we’ve only had occasional serious problems getting what was coming to us. Now, we’re made to feel like heels for requesting to be paid for jobs that were completed many months ago, and that just feels wrong.
What feels more wrong, though, is my lack of thankfulness for everything we have. And when I get like this, I have to go back to certain behaviors that have never failed to fill me with a humble gratitude, an attitude that I need to practice every single day, no matter what.
And so I iron. Ironing convinces me, quicker than any other discipline, that we have more nice clothes than any couple has a right to. There’s nothing “designer” in the whole mix, mind you, but we have outfits for any occasion that might come up, and who has a right to ask for more than that?
And then I cook. And when I cook, I use ingredients I find in my own pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. I challenge myself to make the most nutritious and tasty meals imaginable with items I already have in the house. I thank God, as I cook, for the abundance he’s given us, even if the abundance did not arrive this month. We then make it a point to tell each other how delicious our meals are, and how affordable, and how much less expensive than if we ate out.
And then I clean. I have inherited many beautiful antiques from beloved family members. There’s nothing like giving my great-grandmother’s pie safe a good once-over with Murphey’s Oil Soap and then maybe rubbing a nice coating of lemon oil into its grain to made me fully cognizant of the heritage I’ve been given. There’s nothing like changing the sheets on every bed, wiping down all the (old, but bravely hanging in there) appliances, and dusting cherished gifts from children now long grown to bring on an understanding of what it means to be truly blessed.
And then I take inventory of all the gift cards and Groupons I’ve got stacked up here. If I space out the spending of them, we could have one or two nice outings per month this year at restaurants, the dinner theater, and the movies, without spending a dime! We find ourselves becoming grateful because we have so much fun to look forward to.
And then I serve. Whether it’s my husband, The Moms, or a friend in need, putting someone else’s concerns ahead of my own is an automatic gratitude builder. I always forget that when I set out to serve, and it’s certainly not my motivation, but it nevertheless turns out to be true.
I need to keep practicing gratitude. I need to ditch the grouchiness. And, for sanity’s sake, we might need to hire someone to do collections for us.
In the meantime, there are some really cute blouses in the ironing basket that I completely forgot I had. An entirely new wardrobe awaits, for which I am very thankful.
Posted by Katy on 01/26/11 at 04:58 PMFallible Comments...
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