15 April 2012

#4: Yes, it's that season again... Taxes!! 8^/

Here in the U.S. it's that time again, Taxes need to be filed... once I've completed this task I will be blogging (my thoughts, feelings, and ideas for improvement) about this touchy subject.

"Mission Accomplished" quoting arguably the worst US President ever.  I finished my taxes on time and made it to the post office before they closed, at their regular time.  Whoo Hooo!  Definitely a "beer-o'clock" moment if there ever was one!  LOL

Years ago, when I had a substantial-comfortable income from my corporate job at American Express/IBM-GS, I always had my taxes filed early - usually by the end of February, and I had a very helpful tax accountant who made the process relatively painless and stress-free (thank you sis for introducing me!)

And now, for the past eight years, I find myself begrudgingly "getting It done" at the last possible minute.  I will often start the process weeks, sometimes a whole month or more early (like this year) but the fact is that "the deal isn't sealed until the paperwork filed".  And yet again I mailed everything on the last possible day, within the last few possible hours and without having to file an extension.  Yeah!

So how do we improve such a complex mess.  Tax everyone ten percent, an across the board tax for all gross income for all people, and no deductions whatsoever.  This might seem harsh to some of the most financially strapped among us, but it would be fair for nearly everyone, from the poorest to the richest.  And as for corporations (sorry Romney they're not really people - they are composed of people, but they're really not people).  Charge corporations fifteen percent.  Period.  Sounds pretty fair to me, except for the only downside being that a lot of accountants and economists might have to find some other kind of work.

Anyway, the original point of this post is that this painful sense of grief, and all too noticeable STRESS I felt throughout my body earlier this week.  As I struggled to complete my taxes before the deadline due to this annual, spring-time ritual; the bodily sensations very clearly reminded me of the time I initially returned from my solo European backpacking adventure of 1985-86.

So, despite some initially bad tax advise I received last week, and the last minute reworking of my taxes, on tax-day, in order to correct the serious mistake on my returns that the bad advise had me make; all is well that ends well and I'm due for some modest refunds.  It may not seem like it on the outside, but on the inside I'm doing the Snoopy dance!  I don't owe anymore $$, and I'm getting a little bit back.  And especially when one is between gainful (well paying) gigs, every little bit counts!

So, once again getting back to my return flight from Europe in early February of 1986 - when I first stepped off the TWA plane onto the jet bridge in St. Louis and took my first few deep breaths of "American air" - I instantly felt throughout my body a major jump in my blood pressure.  Then, I immediately noticed my heart had skipped a few beats, and then I felt a speedy intensity of pounding in my chest, returning in full force.  All in all, it was an experience of internal stress I hadn't felt in months while traveling across Europe.

Instantly I recognized that it was the "busy, busy, rush, rush, rush, gotta get it done, now, Now, NOW!" feeling that hit me the very moment I was back on the ground in the United States of America.  Don't get wrong, sure I love my country, and yet I feel we Americans have forgotten some of the most basic and vitally important elements of being human.  To be human has nothing to do with Doing and everything about just Being.

And yet despite the struggles and challenges I faced, mostly alone, in and around Great Britain and across "the Continent", the deep sense of center - a somewhat calm - relatively peaceful knowing that "everything is going to work out for the very best feeling" I had initially discovered in London, and then cultivated throughout my travels quite instantly dissipated.

So finally, on that fateful day in early February 1986 I clearly realized that I was back in the rat race, and when you're merely a field mouse living in a country of most rats racing madly about the labyrinth of life, usually taking instead of sharing, It Is A Very Scary Thing indeed.  And yet I've endured long enough to witness the coming "Shift" of 2012.  And for that too, in addition to the successful completion of my federal and state taxes this week, I Am grateful to have been so well guided to this time and place.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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