Sunday, March 25, 2012

be happy

The Whale by Terry Fan
Tax time.

I don't know about you, but those words fill me with a sense of dread. When I was in college and receiving major kickbacks, I loved tax time. Over the years, and understandably, my love has been deflated. It now sits limply on the hardwood floor, moving only when kicked. Tax time. Ugh.

Last year was the first year I really got to taste the bile, as I learned that the company I work for hadn't been taking enough tax off my cheque, and with very little warning I owed over $700 to the government. I managed to move what little money I had at my disposal and paid it in full and on time. The smart thing would have been to immediately check with my company that the same thing would not happen again. But I didn't check. In fact, I outright forgot. I also switched departments and got a raise early in the year. About a month ago (about the time my accountant reminded me to get my things together), I remembered, and wrote an email to our pay department. According to them, I'm being taxed at the appropriate rate. According to my accountant's quick assessment, they're still only taking 14%, when they should be taking much more. At this point it's only a rough calculation, but even as an estimated Owe amount, two or three thousand dollars is enough to make last year's bile taste like candy.

As I was driving home, contemplating these new numbers and what I will do if they are, in fact, accurate (I will know when my return is complete in a few weeks), I began to feel a pain in my head. My stomach churned, my muscles tensed, my brain seized as the math would not compute. I flipped on the radio. The song that started three seconds later is the absolute last song I want to hear when I'm anxious and counting.

                    Here's a little song I wrote!
           You might want to sing it note for note!
                              Don't worry!

Bobby, your timing is impeccable, and I hate you for it.

I am young and privileged, with goodness all around me. I have a steady income, job security, and eat good food with regular occasion. I have friends, family, and the freedom to speak. I am strong because I'm here; in the same way you are strong because of what you've come through.

Even still, I am wondering this evening about the point of overcoming hurdles. Every time I finally climb over one, another (bigger) one awaits my tears and sweat. Yes yes, we get stronger in the climbing, and as an optimist, this question of validity hardly traces my lips; I know there is a point to struggle, and that we all struggle each in our own way. My question, I suppose, is if there's an end to it.

Will victory always be ruined by the view from the top of the mountain (that there are, in fact, an endless sea of mountains waiting)?



Mama said...

Have you been reading my mind again? It's really creepy.

afterthoughtcomposer said...

Of course Mama, of course ;)