By January 22nd I had scanned almost every home improvement receipt my parents kept since 1978 to help the CPA, my old boss, adjust the basis of their house to calculate capital gains. I scanned over 625 receipts!
There is more work to be done, more information to be gathered, for my parents’ income taxes. I’ve also started the easier tasks for our own income taxes.
I enjoy managing money, working with numbers and spreadsheets. Always been a math geek. Enjoy the patterns, the stories, that the numbers tell.

Warning: Here, I Boast

In my youth, I was more a lover of math concepts than numbers. No longer do I get to use my beloved unit circle or calculus. My one regret is not continuing math past honors calculus – a class I loved. I love to boast (yes, I’m still proud of this achievement) that I, at 18, got 100% on the math placement exam at UCLA.
Today, at 53, I’m far from that sharp as a tack, hypomanic young woman. Wiser, perhaps, but time (and neglect) has taken a toll on my mind and my body.

Time to Care for Myself

Yesterday I saw my internist. In the last year and a half, I’ve gained twenty pounds and my triglycerides are high. Haven’t been eating well, especially for my needs, as I have SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Trust me, you don’t want the details. Many people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) have SIBO. To control my symptoms, I must keep to a restrictive low FODMAP diet (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols), which involves not eating many healthy foods, like onions, garlic, pit fruit (who doesn’t love peaches?).
Time to get moving, too, for I haven’t been exercising. Both exercise and diet are important for mental and physical health. My mother and my maternal grandmother both had strokes, which puts me at risk. Exhaustion keeps me from exercising, which reinforces the feeling of exhaustion.
My focus has been on caring for others – my parents and my son.
Time to care for myself.

Good News – NAMI Provider Education

Last month I enjoyed teaching NAMI’s Provider Education course along with four other great panelists. This time I presented as an individual with mental illness. Last year I presented as a licensed mental health professional (no longer in practice) with lived experience of mental illness. Scheduled to do so again in mid-February.


17 responses to “Yes, I'm a Math Geek”

  1. Thanks for the invite, but I’m overwhelmed as is. Eating better and exercising more is a must (not that I will…). Don’t diagnose yourself with SIBO. My gastroenterologist diagnosed me. Definitely don’t go on a low FODMAP diet, for many of the foods high in FODMAPs are healthy whole foods. Best of luck on improving your health without overdoing it! Take care.

  2. Wow, I just found that term online (SIBO) while searching for answers for my symptoms. Not sure thats what I have but I feel for you! I’ve been slowly switching over to healthy foods and cut out all processed foods, sugars (mostly), caffeine… (eh, mostly), dairy, alcohol, and a lot of health and beauty/ bath products. Coconut oil is my best friend both for diet and beauty. Once I started eating good whole foods, I couldn’t imagine ever going back to the junk I was eating before. and I thought THAT stuff was healthy!! I’d love to have you in our facebook group “Healing foods to fight pain and disease.” Lots of good tips posted there daily.
    I will say this though… living on the internet is not healthy either. I obviously still have changes to make. You can do it one little step at a time. There is NO hurry, really. I got so frazzled by all the new info, I had more than a few panic attacks. My anxiety is helped a lot by exercising everyday, but thats another can of worms. I’ve become obsessed with it. (Nothing new, I do this in cycles and I should have known it would happen again). What I started out with was what I called “Physical therapy.” Just stretching and a few leg lifts. yoga poses. I told myself “Jenn, you are not getting any younger and if you dont start moving your body, pretty soon you wont be able to.” My point is, it doesnt have to be a marathon or a long sweaty workout. Just commit to 10 minutes a day. eventually you will become stronger and you will want to do more.
    I am NOT a math geek, but I thought you didnt have to pay capital gain taxes after so many years. like 5? from the date of purchase of the home?? so going back to 1978 seems … wrong. But I dont know, like I said. I hope they dont have to pay any taxes on that.
    Sorry I rambled so much! Take good care of you, its your turn for nurturing.

  3. Attended the NAMI OC Walk event in October. No problem finding George Mason Park, but felt like I was in a live version of Pac Man trying to get back to the 405 after it was over. Previously commented on you being a “role model” to teach your son driving skills.
    You embraced mucho uncertainty last year, but like MTM you got “spunk” math geek. I like spunk.
    Hope you have some smooth sailing this year. Take Care!!!

  4. Cathy Mcneil Avatar
    Cathy Mcneil

    Thanks! No worries! I do have diabetes but this is unrelated. You’re right. I had forgotten about the 500k maximum .

  5. Cathy Mcneil Avatar
    Cathy Mcneil

    Wow, glad they got booted. That’s terrible!

  6. “Time to care for myself”…glad to hear it, Kitt. Hope you do. Nice to see you here again. ?

  7. Edited my initial response. So sorry that you are struggling with near paralysis and AVN of the hip.
    Whatever you can do to take care of yourself, I hope you do. I’ve taken a step back myself today (won’t bother you with the details, but I’m wearing a diaper…)
    Love that you are a real estate geek!

  8. I’m glad that they were both banned from NAMI programs. The whole purpose of the NAMI Provider Ed course is to share different perspectives — the experience of family members and of individuals living with mental illness. I, too, receive disability and no longer “work.” But, that does not tell the entire story of my life, nor does it define my or anyone else’s value. There are many ways to contribute. Making money does NOT define one’s worth. I am so sorry you had such a negative experience. As they were banned, I assume your NAMI chapter is sensitive about this matter. I hope that they would welcome you back and offer a more supportive experience.
    Congrats on your 106% on finite math at Ivy Tech! I’m proud of you. I, too, have forgotten a lot (if not everything…)

  9. Thank you. Time to take a look at what’s going on in your world…

  10. Thanks, Paladin (yes, I know who you really are). Sounds like you married someone with the same aptitude as you for math. My husband went to Cal Lutheran for a couple of years before transferring Chico. He loved Cal Lu, but they didn’t offer an engineering major. I’ve visited the campus. It’s lovely (like a country club).
    I’m the last person who should teach driving, as I’m a hellion on wheels. My son hasn’t shown interest in learning to drive yet. As I didn’t get my license until I was 18, and my husband until he was 19, I get it. But, we got around via bicycles. Not so easy to do in Mission Viejo where you must take arterial roads to get around (subdivisions are a tangle of cul de sacs and dead ends) where the speed limits are 45 to 50 mph and drivers often go 60 mph.

  11. Agree with the BPNURSE comment. Thought you were on an extended “Spring Break” since your last blog. Glad you skipped all the details related with irregularity and applaud your ability to handle your family financial affairs. My wife has a BA in Math and an MBA in Finance from Cal Luthern. She always updates her Excel Spreadsheet at the end of the month and uses TutboTax preparation software to provide the annual federal and state forms. She is very diligent about the math even when we see our financial planner annually.
    Wish you the best with your exercise plan for I believe you may still be teaching your son driving skills. Lost iconic MTM last month, but glad you are still moving forward with your geeky ways.
    As Always, Best Wishes.

  12. Good to see you posting, Kitt! Welcome back to the world of blogging. I’ve missed you!

  13. I wish I was that good at math! I finished calculus 1 and 2 in college, as well as algebra and statistics, with decent grades, but I struggled. Lately, for my hobby of electronics, I’ve had to do some math. I’ve forgotten a lot! I’m thinking of taking some classes at Ivy Tech, but I might have to take the remedial class first! 🙂 I did get 106% (extra credit) in finite math at Ivy Tech a few years ago, but that’s quite different than algebra.
    I was the consumer on a NAMI Provider Ed course a few years ago. It was not a good experience because the two family members were jerks. One got off the curriculum and made stuff up, and the other was quite rude to me. He put me down for having a mental illness and being on disability in front of the whole class and other panel members when planning sessions. When one of the panel members wanted us to come early for the next session, he looked straight at me and said that he couldn’t do it, because, unlike me, he had a job. Both of them have been banned from NAMI programs because of this.

  14. The law changed. Now $500K exemption for capital gains for couple ($250K each). See IRS Publication 523.
    Hope you get yourself to sunny Florida soon and that your femur will stop decaying (my non-medical translation of necrosis)! Yikes and ouch!
    Just looked it up and revised my response. Hope I didn’t offend you with my initial assumption of diabetes.
    I educated myself about “femoral head avascular necrosis” or “pathologic process that results from interruption of blood supply to the bone.” Apparently, “AVN of the hip is poorly understood.”
    I wish you the best. Hold you in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Cathy Mcneil Avatar
    Cathy Mcneil

    This part caught my attention: I thought there is no capital gain tax on a primary home sale for people over fifty five. ( I’m a real estate geek, ha ha ) Beyond that my math skills are aprroximately at grade two or three level. Seriously! Anyway, glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself again. I wish I could do same. I try but it seems that for every step forward I get two backward. Literally . I’m nearly paralyzed with so many issues including a necrotic femur that I won’t bother with the details . However, maybe a trip south is in order. Like Florida which isn’t hilly and I can scoot around in my power wheelchair. I’m sick of these NE winters!

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