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I just filed my 2012 taxes. I had 4 different W-2s and a 1099-MISC. I usually file my taxes really early, and this year I kept putting it off and putting it off. I couldn’t really bear to see my total income for last year, nor to figure out the taxes I owed from consulting and teaching projects I did with my old job. 

But today, which happen to be Easter, a bunch of people I work with got together and we repainted our performance space. It looked so clean and lovely, and it will be a great start to our Spring season. I figured I owed myself that same fresh start. 

So I did my taxes. Afterwards, I had this strange impulse to buy myself a present, and I realized that  was my “old self” talking, the person who would buy new shoes or a new outfit because I had a bad day at work, the person who would cover up anger and frustration with a “present.” 

I’m thankfully sticking to my plan–no soda, no credit cards. It’s been 3 months, one whole quarter, and I’m still on my plan. It’s hard, but amazing and totally liberating. 

I feel like I have taken the final step in putting last year behind me. That too feels liberating. 

Now I will eat some French fries and watch a Danish movie 

 

I know that even as I sit three feet away from a person who just sent me an email, there is always time for me together write or say the words “thank you” via email or my actual mouth, every time they do good work. There is no excuse not to say it. It is not wrong to praise. Saying “thank you” also opens up the possibility for giving feedback (both positive and negative) on projects, because the person feels acknowledged and valued. I seriously want to make a study of saying it as much as possible as a boss. 

Today I showed up my workplace to discover that someone had left a faucet running and flooded the bathroom. I mopped it up.

I also had a prospective renter tell me that I was really good at helping her think through details for her performance. I felt really proud of that. 

I am trying to let the good of today outweigh the bad. To that end, I am leaving early to go drop off a grant application and then join a gym so that I can work off some of this intense anger. 

Vacations make you more productive!

I’ve been saying this for years. Especially in the arts, where the creative mind can be hard to take, and where organizations and staff are under-resourced, the answer always just seems to be to work all the time.

I worked yesterday, and it was my 13th day in a row of doing some work, though not always at the office. 

Today, I make pizza and probably read most of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Guys, seriously. Running a small nonprofit with two other part time staff members, one part-time intern, and several volunteers and event staff is difficult. 

I feel bad today because I made a mistake twice in the space of one week that has to do with acknowledging another nonprofit that is involved in a collaboration. I thought it was a two-way partnership, but it isn’t, it’s a three-way partnership. I feel frustrated with myself and embarrassed that it happened again. 

I think the thing that is hardest for me is just how much customer service my day involves–opening the door, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash, booking last minute rehearsals, walking artists through contracts and rental options. It’s all necessary and important work. But it takes up so much time, and I constantly feel unable to focus and concentrate on the larger scale projects that will bring about long term sustainability. 

Anyway, grumpy grump. Off to work I go, an hour “late” even though all my time for today and tomorrow is unpaid (well, comp) time. 

Larkin Callaghan

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