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).

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