Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

A Financial New Year

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Total Black: $3,353.25
Total Red: $230,569.24

I opened a piece of mail today that I received yesterday or the day before.  I’m not sure when exactly.  The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance sent it.  I knew what it regarded, so I figured there wasn’t much rush.  Well, it turns out the NY IRS equivalent has filed a tax lien against me.  I owe $2,973.16 cents.  Ironically within about ten minutes of opening that letter, I received an automatic email alert from Equifax with the same information.  So, it’s now on my credit report.  I’m trying to keep my chin up and stay positive as I noted a few days back on Eyes on the Prize.  But it’s getting more and more difficult.  I fear that even the strongest will and the best intentions can’t make things get better on their own.  I need a job.  If I still had the previous contract attorney position, I could have paid this tax lien in two paychecks.  Sometimes it seems I was better off when I was on unemployment.  I don’t know how that could be though. 

Nonetheless, today marks a day of endings and beginnings.  It’s Halloween.  All Hallow’s Eve.  It’s also Samhain, the festival from which Halloween originates.  Today marks the end of the lighter months and the beginning of the darker.  It’s also the start of a new year in Celtic tradition.  So, happy new year!  Since the calendar is just a human invention after all, I figure we can make new year’s eve happen whenever we want.  Closer to the equinox or the ending of a season does makes more sense than January 1st, after all.  What is that date?  So, earlier today I figured, why not make today a financial new year of sorts?

Centuries ago people celebrated the end of summer with harvest festivals.  Samhain is one such event.  Sukkot, the Jewish equivalent, which was celebrated approximately three weeks ago, is another.  And I’m certainly reaping what I’ve sown.  So, why not make today a financial new year?  Today our finances are equivalent to harvests years back.  Since I have no plans for Halloween tonight, I think I’ll go outside tonight, just before midnight, and burn a copy of this tax lien notice and a few other bills to symbolically end my financial bad harvest and give thanks for what I’ve received this far.  There are things to be thankful for, after all.  l am licensed to practice law in two jurisdictions, and soon in a third.  I’m not living on the street.  I’m in good health.  I’ve got food to eat. This way, I’ll end my financial year on a more positive note.

And fire must be part of it.  Bonfires were an integral part of Samhain festivals, with the word stemming from the Celtic for bonefire, when ancient peoples would burn the bones of animals sacrificed for the harvest festival.  Can’t think of a better way to make myself happy than by burning a few papers and thus ushering in a better financial year!  Happy financial new year everyone.  Hope it’s happier, healthier, and more prosperous than the last!

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