I Need To Make An Amends


Actually I need to fill out an amended tax form.

“You’re making an amends to yourself,” he told me, leaning into the table and looking at me with his bright eyes.

Indeed.

I had not even thought of it like that.

In fact, up until yesterday I hadn’t told anyone what was going on.

In the crazy.

In the head.

All by itself, the I’m not worthy drum still tries to sound a rhythm.

Fortunately, I told on myself yesterday and that opened me up to being able to find some recourse around a tax penalty I received for not having health insurance.

Because that’s what our country does to its people who can’t afford insurance, they slap you on the wrist and kick you when you’re down–like giving a homeless person a ticket for loitering.

And I understand it to a point, it’s to help prod people into having some sort of coverage, but I think about all the people that are getting screwed because they are neither here nor there.

I make just enough money now that next year I am going to have cover all my health insurance through a private insurance plan.

No more Healthy San Francisco for me.

Not that they have covered my grossest costs regarding health care–my glasses–but they certainly had me covered when I had my scooter accident and I had to go to the ER.

A visit that could have cost me thousands of dollars but in the end was  a $100 co-pay.

So whatever, I figured, when the penalty was leveed on my taxes that there was nothing I could do about it and that was just the cost of doing business.

That is until oh, around the 24th or 25th of last month when I received an interesting piece of paperwork from Kaiser Permanente–the provider that Healthy SF has me paired with–it was my IRS 1095-B form.

In lay man terms.

It was my out for the tax penalty.

Dear Carmen ______________

The affordable Care ACT (ACA) requires taxpayers to prove they had health coverage in 2015 when they file their taxes for 2015.  The enclosed IRS Form 1095-B reports proof of coverage.

Well fuck me.

I paid that fine.

It was taken out of my tax refund.

It was about $850.

That’s a nice little chunk of money I want back.

Especially since, well, that’s going to cover my new glasses, both pairs.

Well, not quite, but it’s damn close and what’s funny.

I wasn’t going to do anything about it.

I just sort of chalked it up to I made a mistake and now I’m going to pay for it and next year, well, now I know and I won’t make that mistake again.

Except well.

Dang it.

$850.

That’s a little bit of money.

That’s more than I make after taxes for a week’s worth of work.

That’s a ticket to Maui and back.

Plus some.

But.

Well, I fucked up, so I have to pay for the price.

I stuck the papers in my little file in and let it go.

Except.

Well, it sort of stuck.

And yesterday when I told my friend it was a relief to let it out.

It sort of took the starch out of it.

It had been weighing on my mind and although I kept telling myself I was ok with it, I obviously was not.

“Why don’t you call the IRS?”  My friend asked over the phone.

Oh.

My.

God.

Like actually call the IRS?

Are you nuts?

But.

Um.

Maybe that’s not a bad place to start.

“I’m sure there is something you can do, you should call, if you owed them $850, you know they’d be calling you.” She concluded.

True that.

So this morning I climbed into my big girl pants and I opened my laptop, after doing my morning routine, I logged onto the IRS website.

And wouldn’t you fucking know it!

There’s a tab that says: “make a mistake on your filed taxes?”

Oh.

Ha!

I’m not the only one who fucks up.

In fact, there are so many folks that mess up filing their taxes there is a form that they have so that you can fix your mistakes.

How freaking easy is that?

I was a bit chagrinned.

But also really grateful that I didn’t keep this to myself.

The fear is idiotic, but it was there and it was also an old way of living, a way of being that doesn’t work for me, that I get punished when I do something wrong, that I am a bad girl.

You know sometimes I am a bad girl.

Ahem.

But not in this case.

No.

In this case I made a mistake and I filled out my taxes and filed them to the best of my ability.

I used the information that I had and I made a decision.

So the decision was incorrect.

The thing about mistakes is that I’m not going to be punished, there is no need to be pilloried, I can just be a human and try to fix it.

Again.

To the best of my ability with the information I have.

I have the form to amend my taxes and I have the form that proves I had health coverage that is adequate for me to prove to the federal government that I was complying with the Affordable Care Act.

Oh.

This again.

“Adulting.”

I am acting the grown up.

I am growing up.

Grateful I also got transparent with my person at the cafe tonight.

It’s nice to be accountable to someone and to someone who is not going to judge me.

We read a big chapter and talked about acceptance being the answer to all my problems and how focusing on the problem only makes it bigger, but the more I focus on the solution, well, that problem just takes care of itself.

Thank God for solution.

Seriously.

So, so grateful that I don’t have to do this alone.

I got a spiritual solution for your desperate aim.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Ah.

So nice to be making it through the week and being accountable and showing up and also amending my behavior when and where it is appropriate with love and guidance that comes from outside myself.

What a gift, this life.

Grateful.

To be so constantly.

And.

Continuously.

Graced.

 

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