I’ll put my New Jersey non-resident tax return in the mail today. It will be the last time I have to file in two states. My allegiance, and my taxes, will be tendered here—in Oregon only. It is my final legal tie, no longer a property owner or employee in that most densely populated place in the United States that I had called home for almost thirty years.
A girlfriend of my son’s once said, “How sad that you’ve lived so much of your life away from the place you love.” I had been telling her of our hopes to retire out West, where I was raised. I quickly corrected her. “No, I love my life here! I’m not living for that ‘when.’ I’m always living for the now.”
After all, I bore and raised my son at the Jersey Shore, training myself not to say “coast,” and was lucky in every way to find my new family there; my husband’s family became mine, and I one of theirs. “Our” mother Judy spent the last years of her life living with us, something I only now am coming to fully appreciate, a blessing that amplifies as I age.
I thrived personally and professionally, so very fortunate, grateful in every way.
There is a bittersweet feeling as I slide this document in its envelope, strange as that is to say about anything tax-related, as I go—always forward, never back.