Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring this year. I don’t know about trusting groundhogs with meteorology, but Phil was right about one omen of spring. Like it or not, tax season is here – and April 15 is just around the corner.
When you hear the word “taxes,” do you feel fear forming in the pit of your stomach? Does your heart start palpitating? Because of the way the IRS has been portrayed in the media , it’s no wonder that the IRS seems scary. However, you don’t have to be afraid and taking time to understand your tax return is the surest way to combat the anxiety around taxes.
By the time you read this column, you may have already abandoned your New Year’s resolutions. What sounded like a great idea on January 1 has become simply wishful thinking. OR you may be fully resolved to be successful in your plan for positive change and are making progress.
What is the secret to making positive changes in our lives? The idea that comes to my mind immediately is taking a strengths-based approach to change. The River Center uses this approach when working with individuals and with families. It is a commonsense strategy that builds on already present strengths rather than emphasizing problems. This approach encourages a positive partnership and ultimately leads to positive change.
It is the holiday season. Homes are decorated in special ways, lights appear in windows and on bushes, choral concerts feature age old melodies, stores stay open longer for shoppers, traditional recipes are made, family and friends make extra efforts to get together.
The River Center Christmas Angels program was established to help families through providing a couple of gifts for children at the holidays. We have two focus areas – first to get as many of our identified families hooked into existing programs in our region and second to help supply gifts for those who are not covered by the existing Christmas programs this year. I maintain a list of regional contacts and programs so that during October I can refer as many people as possible.
I want to take this Thanksgiving season to highlight the wonderful work of volunteers. Volunteers often work behind the scenes, supporting the frontline work of nonprofit staff in so many ways. Whether they are on the Board, take your ticket at an event, set up tables for a community supper, or help at the food pantry, volunteers are essential to nonprofit organizations.
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and this year’s theme is #CaregiversConnect. According to the Caregiver Action Network, “When caregivers connect — whether it’s for support, to get information, or just to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through — it can help you feel less isolated.”
Do you remember sitting down with your parents and having a talk about the household budget or the dangers of credit cards? Did your parents talk to you about compound interest or the basics of investing? Chances are you don’t recall having these talks because they just didn’t happen. If they didn’t happen with us, there’s a good chance that these concepts are not being modeled by you to your own children.
There is beauty all around us here in this corner of Monadnock we call home. The leaves are currently working their magic, begging for my attention, asking me to consider the wisdom they have to share with me. I passed a row of three trees this morning. One tree was still green, another maroon and the third had mostly turned a yellow gold. All trees, but all different tree varieties. The oaks have yet to turn to their goldish brown. The maples are turning their brilliant colors. The beeches are yellow and will tenaciously hang on to those leaves all thru the winter. And have you noticed the ferns? There is a stunning clump of gold ferns near my home. They aren’t big and showy trees, but they are small and mighty in their own wonderful way.