I got back to strength training just slightly yesterday, doing a couple of sets each of lat pulldowns and leg presses. Lost two pounds this week. Made it about halfway through building the WebCT course and saw some activity on the discussion board. Got about six inches done on my current knitting project, at a rate of knit four rows pull out two. And I worked all week except on New Year’s Day, and did exactly three billable hours, and I have at least another full week’s worth of unbillable stuff to do.

Today I believe we’ll undecorate our house, even though it’s not yet Epiphany, and clean up. Then I’ll do The Clearing, which is the HGP New Year’s ritual of going around your house, pen and paper in hand, and listing all the things that need to be done.

I could probably use my list from last year, since I didn’t get many of them done. The Clearing will therefore be a process of thinking, “Well, I didn’t fix that. I didn’t fix that, either. There’s something else I should have done.”

I also have to gather up my tax information. I had a brief conversation on this subject with The Computer Guy last night, in which he used algebraic equations and words like “accrual,” thus causing me to waken this morning with a deep sense of dread at the thought of even gathering the stuff up. The Empress has offered to do my taxes for me, at a reasonable price. Blessing has a person she recommends, as well. Either way, my job is to gather up all the expenses I possibly can, in order to avoid having any profit at all. For 2009 I have to do quarterly estimated tax payments, a thing which of course I don’t understand or know how to do at all.

I’m reviewing a tax-related book for Amazon, but so far it has only told me that I have to declare the fair market value of my barter arrangements, which is hardly good news, is it?

And I didn’t manage to come up with enough money to pay off #1 son’s tuition from last term. He didn’t help, regardless of the number of times I pointed out that he needed to take a job over the break in order to get that tuition paid, and my husband has been laid off. This means that he probably won’t be able to go to school this spring. His sisters feel that this is okay: he can work and save up for the fall and will be less cavalier about it. I hope they’re right.

This post just gets more and more dismal, doesn’t it?

I’m going to blame this on my having spent yesterday evening all alone watching “Smart People,” a very depressing movie about a bunch of horrible, miserable people. Sarah Jessica Parker plays a nice, though sort of miserable, person who gets mixed up with the dreadful family. With the credits there’s a montage of photos intended to suggest that, contrary to all reasonable expectations based on the movie itself, everything works out and everyone becomes happy and life improves. It’s completely unconvincing.

I think I had better get a cup of tea and dress. The song for the day is “Our Festive Song,” a New Year’s hymn by Fanny Crosby which features, along with another year being gone and a new one beginning, cold winter flying away and blushing fairy spring coming tripping o’er the lees, which isn’t likely to happen all that soon, but it’s a nice thought, isn’t it? I considered offering you the New Years’ hymn which reminds us that our bodies will all soon in narrow beds be lying dead, but that wouldn’t cheer me up any. “Our Festive Song” will sound good with all your bluegrass instruments and six-part harmony. I’m hearing a mandolin solo.