Friday, May 16, 2008

Box of pain

I am in the process of sorting through my stuff to see what I can toss out rather than ship to my "new" apartment in New York City next week. I actually do not have that much in the way of physical possessions. No furniture other than two oriental rugs and no electronic gear other than my notebook PC that fits in my backpack. No kitchen or dining ware since I do not cook. Mostly I have a lot of files packed in standard office filing boxes, mostly one per year dating back to 1993 and other business records. I have been keeping files back to 1998 due to ongoing dot-com securities litigation and older business records related to a couple of former software products that I used to sell and simply to preserve evidence of my ownership and investment in that intellectual property. Most of these files were and are very organized and simply need to be re-boxed since past shipping has left some of the boxes in rather sad shape.

And then there is 2005, or what I now call my "box of pain."

That was the year I filed for personal bankruptcy. Some of my records were in fact in a box labeled 2005, but I had several other boxes which had bags of unfiled papers dating from 2004 through early 2006. It is all somewhat of a haze, but apparently the distraction of extreme financial difficulty prevented me from successfully completing even the simple task of filing telephone bills in the appropriate manila folder.

It took me about three hours, but I finally sorted through all of those records and filed them in the appropriate boxes.

Who knows, maybe that simple act of filing those papers will finally allow me to put that "year on pain" behind me. Actually, 2005 was not my most painful year. The period from June 2003 through June 2004 was probably the worst since not only was my balance sheet drawn down to zero and my credit cards maxing out, but I simply could not find professional work. In April 2004 I finally found a little part-time work and then in July I found some full-time contracting work, but not steady enough to regain control of my credit card debt and minimum monthly payments. I had some full-time work in the Spring of 2005, but when that was reduced to part-time in June of 2005 I finally bit the bullet and decided to pull the plug. I met with a bankruptcy attorney in early June, got my "affairs" in order by moving out of my NYC apartment and paying down some back taxes (and buying a new computer to replace my four-year old one) and then actually filed for bankruptcy in August 2005. It was discharged at the end of November 2005, but I still had all of my back taxes to pay off, which finally occurred just two months ago.

I finally got back to my normal habit of carefully filing records in a timely manner halfway through 2006, but all of my records remained packed up unsorted in boxes until yesterday.

Now, I feel that I am all caught up, sort of. At least my 2005 "box of pain" is in order.

-- Jack Krupansky

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