I’ve put it off long enough. First thing this morning I was in the office getting my taxes sorted. Last year I made a silly mistake and got caught with taxes owing that I hadn’t covered with Estimated Tax payments. In the 2016 tax year I was doing just fine until two days before the end of the year when our financial advisor screwed up and forgot that the IRA withdrawal that I wanted for our home purchase was supposed to be in the ’17 tax year — and he authorized it to withdraw in the ’16 tax year. I was so angry — but at that point there was nothing I could do about it, other than pay the piper. And walk around the house grumpy for a day back in January when I discovered the mistake.
It’s amazing how much easier taxes are to prepare today than back in the 60’s when we got married and we didn’t know what we were doing, and there were no programs to help you check out all the available options. It still took me a while but I didn’t once try to pull my hair out! And I didn’t scream at the computer! It was a very civilized morning, all things considered.
I try not to do taxes on Sundays. Even though we aren’t attending formal religious services at present I still try to leave Sundays as a day of rest and reflection — meaning that I also tend to do my blogging for the day on Saturday or Monday. Except today. Today I’m relaxed — having dispatched perhaps my least favorite annual task without a hemorrhaging wallet and without raising my blood pressure unduly.
While we were camp hosting it always worked out that Sundays were our busiest day. I was never happy about that. We had two days off each week but I still never felt good about working on Sunday. Much of my work life I was not on a regular 5 day work week and in my younger days I substituted whatever day I had off for my day of rest and reflection. I do think that there’s both a spiritual reason and a physical reason for a regular day off. And at my present age I actually appreciate those days — a lot.
Heck, I even try not to set alarms any more. I do have my phone set to the three times per day that I take meds. And if I want an energy nap I’ll set the alarm for 15 minutes and get up when it rings feeling quite refreshed — that really does work. But I don’t set alarms for waking, and not for appointments. I’m always early for appointments anyway — setting an alarm would be ridiculous. Time always seemed to matter when I was working — to enjoy the luxury of not having to allow time to matter. The idea that I can do whatever I’m doing until I’m done is such sheer joy. I can hardly express it.
I don’t know about other retirees but the longer I get to enjoy my retirement the more I notice smaller and smaller things being greater sources of joy or satisfaction. It’s not because I’m doing less. I suppose I am, but my days are busy and as active as my body will allow. But the idea that I can work on things without interruptions, or keep working on them until I’m done/satisfied/exhausted has helped me appreciate the phases and nature of activity. How people can get to the point where they have nothing to do bewilders me. I know it happens — people tell me so — but I’m glad I’m interested in almost everything and still able enough to putter around with whatever is on my mind.
Resting can be a mental thing, or a physical thing, or it can be both. I think being one of those all-on, or all-off kind of guys I’ve always understood that and sought to get my rest whenever I could. I get teased — specially by my son-in-law that I can sleep anywhere (while he has a hard time) but after years on the road when sleep was a precious commodity and sometimes you had to get what you could when you could get it it’s become a skill like many other skills that life teaches us. The fact that I’ve been lucky and not had experiences that haunt me helps a lot. I know folks who’s rest is hampered or haunted by events of the past and that’s a rough road to go. I feel compassionate about that; and I can only be the more thankful for the blessing of memories absent such horrors.
In this economy it seems that a lot of people have lost the idea of resting. Everyone wants to cram as much as possible into their lives; and that’s fine. They can do whatever they choose with their own lives. But I’m one who still appreciates the times — mental and / or physical — when I can let the organism recharge itself.
And now that my taxes are done I can do that with renewed vigor!