Death & Taxes

There are few things that are certain in this life, but two of them are “death” and “taxes”.  I’m settling in to finish up a few tax returns today, and that old phrase came to me as I started to motivate.  Then I got to thinking, those two things may be certain, but they also demand “acceptance” for us to transcend them and move forward in our lives.

In the case of taxes, if we desire to be law-abiding citizens and “do our part”, we have to file a tax return every year.  This project entails, at minimum, gathering up your records, financial or otherwise for the previous calendar year, organizing everything, and completing a tax return (actually two returns, since we are required to file a federal return and return(s) for the state(s) in which we are residents also.

Once everything is together, it’s either a bundle that you give to a tax accountant to complete the return on your behalf, or if you’re so inclined, you bang the returns out via TurboTax or similar software program.

Regardless of your approach, acceptance that this is something you must deal with is the start of the effort.  Or it should be.  Otherwise, you’re likely to be frowning and gnashing your teeth and grumpy through the whole process.  Better to work on the basis of  acceptance, rather than go kicking and screaming through the effort.

Death is a heavier topic of course, but perhaps even more demanding of acceptance.  After all, there’s no dodging death.  Acceptance allows us to get over the angst and anxiety and wringing of hands and move forward.   Rather than dwell on death (either of someone we love perhaps, or fear of our own passing, whenever that may be), it’s better to accept it as reality in whatever context you face, and focus on living.

As I’ve written elsewhere referencing Scott Peck, “Life is difficult….but once we accept it, acknowledge that fact, we’re able to transcend the reality and move forward.”  In other words, rather than lamenting any particular situation, accept it and do your best to improve it if you can.

So with that attitude in mind, I accept the tax returns waiting for my attention, and know that I’ll get through them faster than maybe I think I will, and they’ll be done for another year.  And once I’m finished, I’m going to be sure I linger a moment with the feeling of accomplishment, the reward for accepting the circumstance and moving forward.

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