I'm going to drive the half hour to see my Mom today.
We're supposedly celebrating my birthday, the two of us, today.
We'll see how that goes.
She's not that nice, unfortunately, a lot of the time, especially when she's the one having to give in any way.
She likes to say that I'm not being good enough or nice enough and then she says she's changed her mind and she isn't going to give me the birthday money after all. Shit like that. It's always a bummer.
Hopefully this will go well today.
My brother chose to never speak to her again, and he was true to his word.
But I can't do that.
It's not right, and I love her, and it would be very hard on my children, and it would be hard on me because I'd feel terrible.
So, here I go, for my annual birthday torture.
And I keep inviting her to everything we do as a family and she usually comes.
At Thanksgiving she danced to Mariah Carey in the living room of Rob's house with Nina and me and that will go down in history as one of my favorite memories.
So, it's worth it.
She's worth it.
She's eighty-five but people think she's seventy.
People think I'm forty-five and she's seventy.
Awesome, let's keep it that way!
Other than that, we're still doing morning yoga in the living room here....not Rob...but Nina and me.
We still do the Adriene HOME sessions and she's so great, you find her on youtube.
I did my taxes last night, and the narrative on that is very interesting and exciting to me.
I've been saying that after I stopped getting alimony and child support from my doctor ex-husband, that was when real life would begin.
I knew I should have saved all that money and kept it for now, but I wanted to make records and tour with my band instead so I did.
I have the music videos and the albums to prove it and they become more valuable to me each year as my acclaim grows.
I spent everything and I kept spending and I continue to keep spending to make this dream become a reality.
The years that the financial plane crashed were the three years right after the alimony and child support stopped.
In those years I was in New York and my house in Minnesota wasn't selling.
I hemorrhaged money and went deep into debt thinking the house would sell and I'd pay it all off no problem, but the house sold for much much less than I had though it would.
I also kept believing my music career would take off magically but it didn't.
So these years have been lean.
And the credit card debt leaves you paying the brutal minimums and the interest mounts each month.
But.........this is a "thanks for making me a fighter" kind of story.
A public school teaching job would be stable but it doesn't have the larger earning potential of being a famous artist.
And it's not as much fun.
So I continue to fight for the right to party.
And this past year's taxes are a great indicator of positive patterns for me.
My income is going up.
My expenses for touring continue to grow because I do more and more shows each year.
I don't owe the government anything this year.
I'm still paying off my huge debt to them for the year after my house sold when I used up the 401k I had from the divorce.
But even that is only a quarter of what it was initially.
The other thing that's great about my earnings this past year is that I have wondered if becoming a teacher and mentor would be the result of my efforts.
As I get older, maybe the world would allow me to teach but not want to hear from me as a performer and artist.
Well, apparently the world is giving the green light!
I had very little of my income this past year from artist consultations.
And much more than ever in my life, I had income from performing my original songs for people.
My income was under $20,000 for the year.
But on that money I went on tour to the Southwest US, to Europe with my trio, and to the East Coast in the Fall.
Three big tours, plus I put out my Songs From The Open Road album.
How could such a productive year happen on so little money?
Two reasons would be that I live at Rob's house by his kindness and generosity and his belief in my career potential.
Secondly is that I have some very kind and generous and caring fans and friends and supporters who are keeping this project mobile!
So many people have been so encouraging and so helpful.
I claim a large percentage of the cash I receive and although much of the donations people give don't need to be counted as "income" I count them anyway because they're part of my business model in a sense.
Contributions from the fans is a part of an independent music career right now in our culture.
My fans have been fantastic.
This year is already starting with more shows booked, shows of a higher caliber with better exposure and better guaranteed pay, than ever before for me.
I love doing my own taxes now.
I was audited, if you remember, two years ago, and I won almost every point and only owed an extra $600 on three years of scrutiny.
That's fine, I got an education into tax law because I had to represent myself because I couldn't afford my accountant's $3000 retainer.
Now I do my own taxes.
At my level of income it's pretty simple even with the itemized deductions.
Okay, long post, but you and I understand each other and that's what matters to me.
I'm going to have a great year and I want you to be a part of it.
Have a beautiful Sunday whatever you do.