A rock and a hard place

I am so stressed out right now, it's not even funny.

And the worst part is I'm stressed out about something that should be a PLEASURE to think about. But it's not.

I think I'm going to just start hating vacation. It seems to make more sense.

So CBC North staff are given a stipend twice a year to help offset travel costs. That money appears on a paycheque in October and then again in April. In order to get that money, you have to sign a form. And you also get two "travel days" because, as we all know, it takes usually a full day to arrive "down south".

Pretty sweet deal.

But here's the catch. You have to use that stipend (aka you have to LEAVE the territory) before the next one is issued or it becomes taxable income. Otherwise its tax-free.

And now the complication: I had planned on staying in the North for Christmas. It was going to suck. I have acknowledged that. It might very well kill me. I had come to terms with that as well. But I have to have my "first Christmas away from the family" some time. And it looked like 2008 was going to be it.

The trade-off was I was going to try to go to PEI in the spring/late winter. A year is a long time to go without seeing your dad and your grandfather.

But my sister graduates this year. And I missed her high school graduation and prom because I was in France. I can't miss her university graduation. Her graduation is in May.

And the boy and I had talked about going on vacation in April and/or August.

And there had been tentative discussions of a condiment reunion (perhaps somewhere HOT) this year during Robyn's spring break. But those were very tentative plans.

And my mom just pointed out that while I had used up all my vacation (and even had to take days without pay) in August... the way the vacation is set up this year I would only have to take the 29-31st off to get over a week off (CBC gives employees the 25th, 26th and 1st and 2nd). Meaning I would have enough time to go home to PEI after all, with only taking a few days off.

Oh, and I've also got to try and juggle the cost of a plane ticket out of here with the temptation to use the extra cash to pay off debts and the like.

I just can't deal with all this. No matter what I do, no matter what I decide I am going to disappoint someone. And in the end it just seems like I'm going on vacations for OTHER people. And I don't have enough time or money to do all of them.

So I'm tempted to just become a hermit and build myself an igloo and live in it for the next year so I don't have to deal with any of this.


Rob, Tina and the boys September 23, 2008 at 1:00 PM  

Oh my friend I hear you loud and clear on this one. This is one of the really bad things about living so far away from family when it comes to holidays. I'll help you solve your problem. Dissapoint everyone and come visit me. :)

Jackie S. Quire September 23, 2008 at 1:05 PM  

Congrats, you made me giggle a bit with this one. Which is a relief, because seriously. I think vacation/holidays are going to kill me, so at least I had one last laugh.

Mongoose September 23, 2008 at 5:05 PM  

The thing about the tax is pretty moot because when you have a taxable travel allowance you can then deduct your travel costs to the amount of the travel allowance, as long as they're both incurred in the same year. Plus, the money you save by not travelling is usually greater than the extra amount of tax you end up paying.

And not that it's any of my business but I do ask myself why you would move to Rankin if it's so important to be at every family function and see everybody regularly.

Robyn September 23, 2008 at 8:26 PM  

Whaaaaaaaaaaattttt???? Condiment reunion over spring break???? HOW COME NOBODY TOLD ME???? Not that I'm complaining.... as long as I'm not on a course, a spring break reunion would suit me just fine :)

I don't want that to stress you out even more though...