IMG_1717April 15 is not a favorite date on anyone’s calendar.  It is more than a deadline.  It is more like a doomsday foreboding boogeyman ready to pounce.

D.C. doesn’t help.  All of the vitriol on the Hill annoys most of us hard-working Americans.  Those are the guys using words to confuse the general public to hide raising taxes.  Hey, how come all of us are watching our expenses, cutting back on vacations, scrimping on trips to save on our expensive gas bills while the lifestyle in D.C. is booming?

Well, whining doesn’t help change the government.  It does give a lot of relief while collecting receipts, reconciling documents and double-checking deductions.  My calculator is solar-powered, so at least I don’t have to pay for new batteries.

Most of the year I spend a great deal of energy on being positive.  I look for reasons to be cheerful.  Joy is under some rock out there.

Preparing my taxes is simply a matter of addition.  It is a lot of addition.  Piles of receipts have to be organized and tabulated.  No one else can do it. It’s a solo task.

During the year I try to keep organized.  My file system is ready to catch a handful of receipts whenever I throw them in my cabinet.  I graduated from separate shoe boxes decades ago.  Nevertheless, the sporadic task is very similar.  Now, with the deadline within sight on my calendar I plod on through my addition like a weary traveler slogging it through deep Michigan snow drifts.

Often I pause and remember the great fellowship that those receipts represent.  Sometimes it was hanging out with a fabulous staff.  Other times it was spending time with people who were guests to our church, men to talk to about the next steps in committed living or encouraging members who needed some shepherd time.

But, alas, the IRS is not interested in the back story, they only want the bottom line.  There is a number that they want.  I want to give it to them.

Time to push on, add more numbers.  Summarize more categories.  Funnel numbers down to one final addition.

It will come.  I will get there.  Eventually, the organized files will spill out the final sum.

Hey, look at this.  I remember when we met with those people and talked late into the night.  It was fun, deep, meaningful…hey get back to addition.  The deadline is closing in.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography