Yesterday was tax day. I’m self-employed. I always owe money. The kind of amounts that really hurt. Therefore, it’s not in my best interests to file until the last minute, and so yesterday was the day (along with a good chunk of Sunday afternoon and evening to sort through receipts and such) to do the taxes.
This is, as you might expect, a stressful few-day-long period of the year for me.
Several times yesterday, my little girl had been advised not to come into my office (she’s off school this week) unless she really needed something that only I could help with. And yet, repeatedly, she decided to come in with random stuff to distract me.
OK, she’s 7-and-a-half years old. I get that she doesn’t get it.
But then she comes in at one point, and I’m tuning out her presence thinking she was just coming in to use my electric pencil sharpener or grab a piece of cardboard for some craft project.
She blares a really loud and grating sound from a homemade musical instrument.
While I’m at the tail end of adding up a large pile of receipts.
To my credit, I simply extended my palm in her direction and said, firmly and neutrally, “That’s not a good idea right now.”
Later, I showed her the pile of receipts and asked her whether she thought it would be good to make me lose my place and have to start over from scratch again.
She got it.
More importantly, though, I didn’t lose it when she came in and almost ruined my day with bad music from a questionable crafting project. I’m glad for that, because I would have hated for her to have seen me go into this mode with my office and its furnishings: