Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tax Return Hell

The reason this blog is on the later side today is that I'm in tax return hell. Every year around this time, I take everything from our tax drawer and sort it into piles on our dining room table. Then I begin the laborious process of gleaning the relevant information from these piles and adding up the totals for our return.

I have a love/hate relationship with this process. I don't like the sorting and adding, but I really don't mind filling in numbers on the tax forms. I think this is because dealing with numbers is so very different that how I spend most of my time. As a teacher and writer, my life is filled with words that I speak or write. Filling in numbers feels like a break from my word-dominated life.

Of course, the painful part of filling in numbers is that last number: amount owed to the U.S. Treasury. I take some small comfort in the saying, "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization." That being said, civilization is expensive!

Is there anything spiritually fulfilling about doing taxes? Yes. Getting them done! Like any project that hangs over your head, it's a relief to complete it and know that you have an entire year until you have to do it again.

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