Posted in Grouchiness

Circling the drain at tax time

Today I got around to doing my taxes and it turns out, for the 11th year in a row, I made no money.

Once again, I operated at a loss.

I am really a happy person as long as I don’t have to consciously face the fact that I make no money. But as soon as I have to add up all the numbers, I get really depressed, and sad, and I begin to seriously wonder:

What the hell am I doing??

What kind of dream world do I think I am I living in that I think I can afford to go tripping merrily along, teaching my classes, working on my little projects, while other people underwrite my existence?

(Apparently I am a freaking genius, though, at getting other people to fund my existence.)

Bur how fair is this? I should be making a living wage, right? Funding my own existence. Pulling my weight. But instead, a bunch of people (who love me) underwrite me and my schemes.

And I know they love me. And I know that I am not an impostion on them, and in some way it is okay that I live like this. But still, at tax time, when I see it all laid out in horrible numbered columns on an Excel spreadsheet? I begin to circle the drain.

It’s pretty terrifying.

What am I doing wrong? Am I a failure? Am I devaluing myself? Should I be charging more? Should I give up the lounge and reduce my rent?

How come ordinarily it feels so wonderfully perfect to be doing what I am doing, and yet at tax time when I see that I don’t make a dime I get so depressed?

A few months ago I went through this Money Map thing. It was an extensive series of exercises that had me put a dollar value on everything I did. Everything. It took me a long time to complete, not to mention a lot of soul-searching, but at the end I had figured out how much money I would have to make, per month, to be “Minimally happy”, then “Preferably happy”, and finally, “Fantastically happy.”

I just now looked up that exercise and laughted.

Ridiculous.

And then I just re-read my post from last night where I was blithering on and on about my amped life, my great classes, my wonderful students, my new client, and now today?

I feel like shit. I feel like I have been undervaluing myself.

And yet I know (because I had to do all that Money Map research) that in my market, I can’t charge any more than I am for what I do.

So what do I do?

Author:

I’m a small town yoga teacher who says motherfucker a lot. I hate anything woo. I’m into neuroscience. And facts. I’ll lead the chanting of “om” sometimes, but it makes me feel awkward. I want to access flow states. As far as yoga helps me do that, I’m into it. Dopamine is my fave neurotransmitter. Don’t tell anyone I told you this.

2 thoughts on “Circling the drain at tax time

  1. Hi Kath 🙂 It’s me, Kestrel. I think you forget a very important price tag: how you make others feel. Yes, you might not be able to raise your prices and retain all your students and you might question your “value” because of the end profit/loss, but the fact that you have created a beautiful, safe, warm and inviting place in a town that is otherwise lacking such an environment – well that’s something to be incredibly proud of. You sacrifice the almighty dollar to live for others and give back your passion to the world. It might feel insignificant when you try to affix a price, but please know your work is worth more to people than any dollar amount you could think of. People fund your dreams because they love you and they believe in you and you give them something back that is way better than a buck – you give them your true, unabashed, passionate self! Cheers to your bravery and to your passion!

    Like

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