OK–today’s post may win the award for the least “enlightened” entry to date. I’ve been wrestling for the last half hour with some clever way to work Thoreau into this blog post as an ironic point of contrast–but it all feels pretty forced. The truth is, all that I have to offer today is this:
I just finished doing my taxes.
I know, I know: How mindful! What deliberate simplicity! Right, right….
But here’s the thing: next week, we are planning a short trip up to the mountains, and the week after that I am traveling to Chicago on business. Now, I could put off this little chore for a few more days–maybe try to squeeze it in on Sunday the 13th, but the simplest way for me to simplify my life over the next two weeks is: just get that puppy turned in.
It’s silly for me to put off filing my returns, since I usually have a refund waiting for me, but typically every year I am doing my taxes on or near the filing deadline. So why do I put off this little chore? Good question.
The truth is: with tax preparation software, doing my taxes seems more like some sort of weird video game than an act of civic responsibility. Now if only I could beat my high score!
If pushed to find some principle of simplicity at work here, I suppose it would be that I am trying to pace myself–an ongoing challenge, to say the least. Rather than letting deadlines pile up, and then sprinting toward the finish line, I am trying to take things as they come and check them off the list. I still have some big tasks ahead of me over the next few months–good stuff, but with a lot of potential to create stress. Finding little ways to keep the pressure down–like filing my taxes before the the absolute deadline–is sometimes just what I need to help keep going on an even keel.