Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 3:49 am | Fair 57º


John Luca: I’m Half-Enlightened

Not even seemingly catastrophic tax crises can get me down

I’m half-enlightened. I’m sure of it. So are some of my friends. Heck, you may be half-enlightened, too. Maybe if I were fully enlightened I would know all that’s going on with you and with all other sentient beings in all the realms of all the multiverses on all dimensions. But I’m not, so I don’t.

John Luca
John Luca

But I know I am half-enlightened. Today I finished my taxes. For any of you familiar with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service — aka the Tax Man — you know that the Tax Man cometh to taketh away your money on April 15, but he/she will wait for your measly paper excuse until Oct. 15.

My accountant, who is probably cursing me at this very moment, had all he needed to complete my returns and get them in the mail Friday. That’s right, I gave him one full day to complete my return — as if that’s the only one he had to do.

I know you’re saying, I don’t hear anything enlightening yet, not even a quarter-enlightened, never mind half-enlightened. Stay with me.

2009 was the worst, crappiest, pain-in-the-rump year financially for me thus far in my adult life. My investments are in real estate — all of them. Much of my income comes from real estate — it used to anyway. Now, all that comes are bills, bills and more bills. It has been a major bust. My net worth has tanked, tanked and tanked some more.

Nothing brought this home more clearly than doing my taxes.

I’m getting to the enlightened part.

Also, I lost all of my 1099s with income and commissions, all bank documents with interest paid on real estate loans — all my tax-related paperwork, gone. Looked. Looked. And looked again. Nada.

Had to call my brokers. Had to reconstruct from monthly statements. On and on it went, and the further it went the more money I realized I had lost. I started feeling like Enron or Lehman Brothers.

Meanwhile, the clock kept ticking as it got closer and closer to the 15th of the month. My back kept aching and aching as I pored over seven — I kid you not — different bank accounts, and more gas, electric and water bills than most guys my age have hair on their head. I worked on this thing from before 7 in the morning till late in the evening for three days straight.

Yes, you’re saying, that’s all fine and good, you procrastinating, absent-minded sorry excuse for a bookkeeper. But I’m here for enlightenment — even if only a fractional portion. Where is the enlightenment part?

I had a pretty decent time throughout the whole ordeal.

I was nice to my family and my dog. I didn’t flip out when I couldn’t find the tax papers. I didn’t rip myself a new opening for losing all that money. I told a few good jokes. I didn’t harangue myself for waiting so long to do my taxes. I didn’t tell myself that I was a sorry excuse for a human being. Why, I’ve given myself a harder time for wasting five minutes looking for my misplaced car keys. I’ve put myself into a weeklong clinical depression because I couldn’t stop beating the crap out of myself for a reason I can no longer remember.

And here I was after three days of fully documenting a significant collapse in my financial well-being — and I’m still not sure it’s not going to get worse — feeling pretty good, enjoying my life, and appreciative of my family and friends, my house, my life, my work, my readers and my clients.

American Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield wrote a book, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path, talking about how the truth of one’s spiritual life is evidenced in daily living, in the rare moments, if they come, of ecstasy — but more importantly, in the much more commonplace occurrences of the day, such as doing the laundry and preparing meals.

Why, doing the laundry will be a breeze in comparison to doing my taxes. You see, I’m at least half-enlightened, maybe even four-sevenths enlightened.

I’m going to get my calculator and figure it out right now. I’ll get back to you no later than the 15th of October — next October.

— John Luca, MA, DC, specializes in somatic coaching for success and happiness. Click here for more information or contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >