Why I’m a list maker

It helps me keep my sanity. I like to track major deadlines and tasks that need to be accomplished. I use a customized classic size Happy Planner. On most Sunday mornings, you’ll find me with my planner, laptop and a mug of tea as I map out the upcoming week. I tend to pay bills, review sale flyers, make out shopping lists, write notes/cards, etc. during this time, as well.

In earlier posts, I mentioned that we’re looking forward to some exciting changes in 2022. Of course, there’s a lengthy list of things to be done in connection with all the anticipated changes!

This week’s must-do:

  1. Get both of us on the same health insurance plan during open enrollment. IN PROGRESS. DONE. He’s been added to my plan and I’ve uploaded the necessary documentation to prove he’s eligible to be covered under my policy. Now, we just wait for the official coverage email.

I’ll rest a lot easier once I have confirmed health insurance coverage for hubby. This is a non-negotiable.

Update: 10/20/21 – Received official notification of his being added for coverage effective 1/1/2022!!!

Other items on the list that need to be done before existing benefits expire:
* Eye exam and glasses for me. (deadline 12/31/21)
* Open new joint checking account. (deadline 3/1/22)
* Update wills and advanced directive for healthcare documents. (deadline 4/1/22)

These are the only hard deadlines I have for now. Other items will be added to the list as we head into Spring 2022.

Why all the planning you ask? Health insurance coverage going with me into retirement has to follow a very specific set of steps. It gets even more complicated if I leave employment prior to being old enough to even receive my pension. If I screw it up, I can’t get it back unless I go back to teaching full-time. Not really willing to do that.

A tiny glimmer of normalcy

Last night, we attended our first live performance in almost two years. It was awesome! The crowd was smaller than usual and folks were spaced out…but no masks were required! Some attendees wore their masks, but most did not. Our community COVID transmission rates have fallen sharply over the past several weeks. Mask mandates in the Atlanta exurbs have started to loosen, but the City of Atlanta is determined to keep them in place as long as possible.

Mask mandates and the increased crime rates are why we opted to celebrate our anniversary outside of the city, rather than our favorite venues in the ATL. COVID canceled the big plans we had to celebrate last year with a trip aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. The trip was available this year, but the requirement to wear a mask 12-14 hours a day while on the train was not appealing at all – especially with the price tag of our proposed trip.

Instead, we decided to go north to a small town with a really vibrant town square. Lots of retail, restaurants, B&Bs and two theaters. The city had a fall festival going on yesterday. We had fun watching all the kids playing as we strolled through the vendor market. We ate an excellent meal and attended a live concert by a Chicago-style tribute band. B&Bs were within walking distance. All in all, it was a great way to reconnect and celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary.

It’s strictly a business decision

Deciding to cancel the kid’s classes at the quilt museum wasn’t an easy decision. I absolutely love to teach. Planning projects, teaching, and seeing my students get excited about learning…that’s my jam.

That said, I need to start evaluating teaching opportunities through more of a business lens. Hubby was the one who pointed out that the IRS mileage deduction (98 miles roundtrip) for a class with only 2 students would be more than what I’d receive in actual teaching fees. Ouch! Well, he’s absolutely correct. This doesn’t even take into account the time spent prepping for the class, commuting to/from Carrollton and actually teaching the class. (This totals about 6 hours of my time.) Then, there’s the cost of kits I make for students at the request of the museum. A class of six students is the sweet spot for this venue.

Closer to home is definitely more profitable. Fees are slightly higher. I’m not providing kits and I don’t have the commute. Classes of 3-4 kids are definitely doable. For now, my biggest constraint is a lack of daytime availability during the week due to my full-time job.

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