Tax time makes me a crazy person. Every year I swear I will prepare the packet of requested information and get it to Tax Guy in a timely fashion. This year I was more organized than ever before, sorting receipts, totting up feed bills, etc., during that brief flurry of cleaning out the work room back in, what, February? The dining room table was covered with stacks of papers; all that was needed was to enter the info on the worksheet. Well, that didn't happen. Company came and all those stacks got swept up into a pile and hidden. Out of sight, out of mind. I wish I knew how to do the taxes myself. It's bad enough that I shoot myself in the foot; it's worse that I put an additional burden on Tax Guy and his team as collateral damage. Guilt immobilizes me. I know what I should do. I know what I must do. The closer a deadline looms, the guiltier I become and I move at a snail's pace. There's something about taxes that sends me right into the Twilight Zone. I will have a document right there in my hand, not leave the room, and suddenly that piece of paper disappears. More time is spent hunting for something I just had than anything else. Yesterday was do-or-die day, my personal get-'er-done deadline. I was on a roll, entering figures on the worksheet like I knew what I was doing. Then disaster struck. The guv'mint, in its wisdom, has decreed that when one reaches a certain age, one must take out a specified amount from savings each year. This makes no sense to me as there is always the possibility that one might outlive one's money; therefore one should save as much as possible. It seems I overlooked this mandatory deduction from one account. The penalty is a whopping fifty percent! When I quit banging my head on the wall, I called Tax Guy's office to (1) ask forgiveness for being so late and (2) find out if anything could be done about this deduction debacle. I started out saying, "I need help, but I wish to remain anonymous." It should be said that I talk to the gals in the office only once a year. Just a couple of sentences later, Cathy laughingly asked, "Is this (Bo)?" Busted. She granted me dispensation for tardiness, and then handed the phone to Karen, my main source of help and information. Amazingly, she remembers all about the critters on the farm and asked about them all. Sympathetic as she was, the Feds are the Feds and I'll get hit with the penalty. Sheesh.
Rattled and ragged, it was wonderful to go to Joel and Judy's for Passover dinner last night. Hugged by friends and handed a glass (or two) of wine by my host and hostess, I was able to let it go and relax. I would say I am a spiritual person, but not religious. Participating in the reading of the Haggadah, however, is comforting. Having been raised in a different religion, I still appreciate the ceremonies and rituals of faith...and the food! Nourished in body and soul, I enjoyed the evening tremendously.
And then I came home and found a notice that I've been called for jury duty. It was just one of those days.