Thursday, February 22, 2007

Burnout

E. wrote a post about how tax time has yielded her funds for either her sperm or her baby fund.

Tax time is not fun for me. I paid a ton of money in estimated taxes this year, as I'm self-employed. But still, I owe. In '05, I ended up owing a lot because I'd worked crazy hours to pay for grad school and our wedding without going into debt, and it bumped me into a higher tax bracket. (Kind of kills the Protestant work ethic to realize that that's the case; I'm not Protestant, but I got their work ethic nonetheless.) In '06, I ended up owing a lot because I just don't have enough expenses to deduct. There aren't a lot of expenses associated with editing and writing math books.

And we didn't actually spend a large enough percentage of my taxable income on medical bills to deduct any of the TTC stuff. Incredible.

I work a lot. Really, a lot. I am always working. My friends have come to expect that when they ask to see me, I say "I can't, I have work." I need a t-shirt that says that. And being self-employed, I have no one to blame but myself for that.

This year, I told myself I was taking on as much work as I could for the sperm fund and hopefully a baby fund and an opportunity for my self-employed self to take some maternity leave when we ever have our elusive child. (I am confident we will have a child one way or another. I'm just losing faith that it will be courtesy of my womb.)

But I am truly burned out right now. From TTC. From work. From everything. I'm depressed and Loestrin is making me crazy. The Loestrin craziness is made more annoying by the fact that I know I am going off it in about a week to back on fertility meds and other hormones, which will screw with my biochemistry in other ways. My body is never able to adjust because I am always mixing up the meds.

Right now, my employer has me scheduled to write 3 more books up to June, a book every 5 weeks. It's a doable pace, but by no means cushy. What I would really like is to call her and ask if I can do only 2 and have them be more spread out. So I could take a break.

But I don't know what that would mean for us financially. Could we still pay all our bills and afford sperm and copays and washing fees at the lab? I don't know. I guess I'll crunch some numbers.

The thing that kills me is... I work SO HARD, and I don't feel like I'm getting much return for my investment. I mean, I work really hard at my job for what? To pay a huge chunk of it to a government that doesn't listen to me or value my family? (I am not against paying taxes, but I do wish my tax money were put to better use.) I work really hard at TTC for what? So, I can get a BFN and keep going round and round the hamster wheel of infertility. (I am borrowing the hamster wheel image from someone. Vee, maybe?)

The definition of burnout... feeling like the amount of effort you put in is not at all equal to the return you get from your investment.

P.S. -- I posted this for 5 minutes and then took it down because I was insecure. Cali convinced me that I should just toss my insecurities to the wind and post how I'm feeling and resist the urge to take the posts back down, so here is a post that was up for 5 minutes a day or 2 ago.

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