COVID19 life

Day 164: Various

August 26, 2020

1- Back to work. In Person!

I have been doing primarily telehealth since our July surge hit, but it feels right to go back to work and offer patients the option of either in person or telehealth (ie, leave it up to them).

I’m going to continue working from home on my GME days, which are Tuesday & Friday. I am actually really looking forward to seeing non-family humans in person again. Annabel has been mostly handling school on her own, so that’s been good.

2- #$(@*#@. We received 2020 tax estimates (ie, checking on witholdings to see if they are projected enough for the year) and they were shocking/depressing. OOPS. I thought we were really doing well with savings but. . . I’d change that assessment to just okay. I don’t think we are going to meet the goal of 20% gross income in retirement savings. (We still saved more this year than any other year prior though so I guess it’s not THAAAAAT bad.)

Note to self: do this IN JANURY next year. NOTE: not in any way complaining about $ or the taxes themselves! I recognize a) our privilege and b) this is just money that never should have hit our bank accounts in the first place. I only blame us for not figuring this out ~9 months ago.

You can only make accurate financial plans with complete information, and that includes accurately estimated withholdings. Lesson learned. (I keep hoping I’ve learned my last financial lesson . . .)

3- FUNK. Quite honestly, this week has been difficult. I think I’m getting to a point of Pandemic Fatigue. I have felt tired and sort of aimless while also being aware of several projects that need action sooner rather than later (all-digital resident recruitment + more). I’m sick of having to reinvent everything. But at least I finished my ACGME reporting! Until 2021 anyway.

4- Physical activity. I was going to start LIIFT4 yesterday but took a total rest day instead. I’m going to give the first workout a try today. I’m not committing to anything yet though! I might just do another full round of 21DF first. I also want to add back running 2x/week or so (though just short runs; it’s SOO hot and historically we don’t see significant weather change until ~November)

5- Physical activity, kid edition. Now that Annabel is in online school from ~8a – 1:30p, I am worried about how she will get any significant regular physical activity in. (A specifically, because I’m assuming C&G will get a chance to be somewhat active at their school.)

I think I am going to have to make sure she gets outside with either me OR our nanny from 1:30 – 2:30 but let me tell you — that’s not a hospitable time to be outside right now. I also can only do this on non-patient days (Tues / Thurs / Fri). Probably I need to actually plan it in. I should be capable of that . . .

Here’s another cover I am considering for next year.

Because browsing the Hobonichi store (with Annabel!) was definitely a bright spot yesterday.

mina perhonen minamo


  • Reply Irene August 26, 2020 at 6:52 am

    I will be interested in your thoughts on #5 especially as the school year goes on. In our district kids are expected to be on line from 9-3:30 (with some breaks) and this just seems like SO much to me especially the 5/6 year old range. I’m nervous my kid is going to be unable to do it. It seems like all the rules we have always followed about limited screen time and lots of activity just don’t exist anymore. We know several families who are doing the remote learning at a child care setting (one in our actual school which makes me so frustrated) and while I understand the idea behind that, it seems less than ideal. Hopefully the centers are making similar plans for movement and eye breaks.

  • Reply gwinne August 26, 2020 at 7:32 am

    Yup, this is an issue here too. I will be buying a trampoline (small, indoor) before winter hits. One of the issues of course is that real outside activity requires parental supervision….which means I’m losing more work time. Still working on childcare or a school tent possibility with our neighbors. Sigh.

  • Reply Lori C August 26, 2020 at 8:03 am

    I am feeling beyond grateful that my 2 kids will be at a school where they a. Will be in person and b. Be able to get tons of outdoor time. Also feel a bit guilty they are getting this when others aren’t. This is such a strange and difficult time.

    Total different note but I love that cover!!! I was thinking plain black with a cover on cover, but still considering. My alarm is set for midnight 9/2. And not sure if you saw, but they have these really cute little purse type bags that carry a small wallet, cell, and A6 size planner. I think I’m getting one!!

  • Reply Gillian August 26, 2020 at 8:34 am

    What if you scheduled A’s outdoor time for later in the afternoon. I appreciated the need to move after sitting in front of a screen for 6 hours but maybe an out door time just before dinner and before your nanny leaves would be better weather-wise, at least until things cool off. It could be a nice end of day ritual for the two of you (at least on WFH days). I bet just playing alone before the sibs get home will feels super luxurious after a long school day!

  • Reply Jessica August 26, 2020 at 8:58 am

    We have twice had unexpected taxes set us back too. Once we moved and all the moving expenses the employer paid for were taxed as income and we didn’t expect that. Then the next year, the employer took no state withholding out of my husbands check and we never knew because we never looked at the pay stub online. Of course I realize we owed those taxes, but it was pretty hard on our savings account (and yes we were lucky we had the money to cover it). But it was still hard and of course then we had a couple of other emergency expenses right after that. I think we are finally moving in the right direction now.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 26, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Even in Minnesota, being outside at that time of day is not fun. Our daycare has been having kids in the gym in the afternoons lately instead of the outdoor playground area because of our high heat index. So maybe you just need an alternate idea for exercise for her for the next 2 months until temps cool down? Are there some fun kid videos or do you have dance dance revolution on the Wii or something like that? I remember playing that with my nephews several years ago and it was a workout!!

    I feel you on taxes, too. Whenever i talk about taxes on my blog, I always get questions from people asking why we don’t lower our allowances so the big tax bills don’t happen. Um…. our allowances are at 0. We make periodic extra payments throughout the year and then we STILL have a tax bill in April. Our situation is similar to yours in that we are both well-compensated. So we do not complain about taxes because we know we are very lucky to be in the position we are in… but I will say we have worked incredibly hard to get to where we are at – as have you and your husband. I don’t like the ‘must be nice’ comments I sometimes get when I talk about taxes. We are lucky to be in an industry that compensates well but we also have very low job security as my industry is shrinking (financial services). So we are just holing on for dear life as long as we can and we just grit out teeth when we do taxes in the spring and know that someday we will not be sending such big checks to Uncle Sam!

  • Reply Kip August 26, 2020 at 10:40 am

    On days we can’t go outside we use Go Noodle for physical activity. It has short videos to get you up and moving. Many are dancing and some involve jogging in place, jumping and ducking like you are in a video game. Also beach body has a few kids videos. I’m sure you want to get more outside time and less screens but on days outside is not an option these could work. We’ve been having our outside time in the evenings. They get some energy out mid day and then outside time around dinner.

  • Reply Danielle August 26, 2020 at 11:08 am

    My sister has never been so happy to live right across the street from a park. She sends her kids over there most days. They get to feel like they’re having some independence while actually she’s sitting on their screened in porch keeping an eye on things. Interestingly, this year they’ve been much more receptive to outdoor time and to no-screen time.

    I’m sure you and A will figure something out. Sounds like you two have hit a phase where you can enjoy bonding!

  • Reply LDMN August 26, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Re. your funk — I’m with you, in up and down waves. I read this article this week and it resonated…

  • Reply CNM August 26, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    I have the same concern re. physical activity for my 3rd grader because he also has virtual school from 8-2. During the lunch/recess break, he is usually not interested in running around for whatever reason. The only thing that seems to work is forcing him on a family walk after dinner and occasionally having a grandparent take him to the playground after school is done.

  • Reply RKK August 26, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    I did the sample workout of LIIFT4 and then abandoned because I didn’t like the ‘weights first/HIIT last’ structure (it felt like having to do 2 workouts!) But i recently realized that that isn’t the structure of most of the program (only 1x a week, which i can replace if I want to.) So now I am firmly on the LIIFT 4 bandwagon and have finished 4 weeks ad am loving it (though the weird spelling still bothers me 😉 )

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 26, 2020 at 2:54 pm

      Hahahahaha I also don’t love the spelling. I get they did it to mimic the two Is in HIIT but I still don’t like it 🙂

  • Reply AMG August 26, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Hi, I have been doing BOD workouts since March when the gym closed. Have you checked out The Prep with Amoila Cesar? I really liked it after doing 21DF and 21DFE.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 26, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      I thought about the Prep! I did think the first day of LIIFT was pretty good … kind of like half 21DF cardio half 80 day. Would definitely try the Prep!

      • Reply Shelly August 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm

        Long time BOD fan (from the DVD days) and I like the WORK much more than LIIFT. Do start with The Prep.

  • Reply Coco August 26, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    my girls also started DL from 8-12 for the 4years old and 8-2:30pm for the second grader. I encourage them to do rollers skate at our living room for 10 min during their morning break (30 min), then an hour swimming in the Pm, and 30-40 min walk after dinner. I too worry about lack of physical activities, so that’s where my effort went this week. 🙂

    hope you get out of funk soon. I’m actually realise that except few non-essential things, our live is pre similar to pre-pandemic with the bonus of spending more time as family. it’s all about mind set 🙂

  • Reply Irena August 26, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    every day i continue to learn from your blog! I am also a working mom of two little kids. I work in the research hospital in the Midwest. I was just wondering how you get your 2020 tax estimates? Do you use an online calculator of some sort? or is it through financial adviser? I was so desperately looking for some kind of tool to get this estimate, because the amount we have to pay always hits us by surprise.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 27, 2020 at 7:29 am

      our accountant did it for us. WHY they didn’t tell us in January . . . not sure

  • Reply T August 26, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Could you do a midday swim with Annabel? If you didn’t want to get in the water maybe you (or nanny) could just supervise from a shady area if she’s a good enough swimmer? I find pools to be so soothing after long periods of screen/indoors. Even just a ten minute dip helps my mental health.

  • Reply omdg August 27, 2020 at 6:20 am

    Yeah the tax thing is a bitch. I don’t know how one is supposed to be expected to figure it out in advance if it’s never happened to you before. I think there are tables on line you can go to where you can input your income, and compare that to what you’re already withholding, but nothing really takes into account deductions and credits. It’s hard.

    Not sure what to tell you about the exercise. When we have a bunch of snow and it’s as cold as heck, I suspect my daughter just won’t be getting any. That has to be fine because I can’t force her.

    Here’s to the end of the week!

  • Reply Anne August 27, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    I have to put in plug for tax planning by a professional CPA. Ideally this takes place before December 31st each year. This eliminates surprises and they can suggest quarterly payments if appropriate. If you’re not getting this, find a new tax advisor!

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