Tax time and the livin’ ain’t easy

I walked out of our home office just the other day feeling as though an anvil had been lifted off my shoulder.

I had first walked in there back in February with as much enthusiasm as a little kid going to clean the john. I didn’t want to go, I’ll give you that, but the tax season was upon me and with deadlines looming on my horizon, I had no choice.

My inner person had thrown her head back and sobbed out, “No!” to the powers that be, but the grown-up part of me told her it was time to put on her big girl britches, for the tax man cometh.

I cheered for me right up until I sat at the computer and the overwhelming task settled in around me like a wet cloak on an overheated adding machine.

Lately, I have been dealing with files on top of my piles, adding machines, file boxes, year-end reports and the whole shebang. I felt as though I had been locked up for days poring over figures and calculations, percentages and deductions, and that was just to figure out how many pounds I put on while chained to an office chair.

When I came out for a much-needed break, I went for a quick walk to clear my head, tackled the laundry and since the dirty dishes weren’t going to do themselves, I did it for them.

At the end of the exhausting day, I sat down in front of the TV hoping for something to entertain me that did not involve a decimal point.

It was the commercials that really got to me. Instead of happy scenarios that involve smiling families and moms dancing with their children around a bowl of Cheerios, I was inundated with cheerful folks doing their taxes and belly crunches simultaneously.

The all-out worst was Paula from Pocatello who was able to file her 1099s on her way to the laundry room, added a decimal point to her tax data as she organized her car pool and hit “submit” while checking her lipstick.

Why her deductions practically categorized themselves and thanks to her happy tax software, Paula’s refund check popped out of her printer tray as her family hoisted her up on their shoulders chanting, “Mom is the bomb!”

Thankfully enough for Paula, she had taken the time to do the Special K challenge and dropped those extra pounds for certainly she would not want to have her husband’s back on the fritz with the $10,000 deductible the Affordable Healthcare Act dropped in her lap.

While the rest of us are stuck in our chairs trying to figure out why we wrote a check to PDMO last July (and just who the heck is the PDMO?), Paula had enough spare time to join the gym, got a few crunches in while organizing her closets, and has already addressed her St. Patrick’s Day cards.

And I thought the diamond commercials were bad.

To add insult to injury, there is that advertisement with a svelte 20-something woman who cries ever so pathetically about her recent weight gain of six pounds, followed by her (someone grab me a hankie) growth from a size three to a size four pair of pants.

Now, thanks to prepackaged meals and six easy payments of $39.99, she not only looks like a model, she plays one on TV. It’s enough to make a gal like me wish she would choke on her pre-packaged meal.

Since taking a break in front of the TV did my disposition little or no good, I went back into our home office and put my nose to the grindstone.

It only took me four 10-hour days, 18 pots of coffee and no less than 14 phone calls to my mother to complain about it, but I got the preparations done and happily plunked the whole mess down on the accountant’s desk. Then, being loving as I am, I gave her a big hug for all she does and walked out of her office sporting a 5-mile smile.

I feel victorious! I want to run in the streets, join a gym and get in a few crunches while I organize the closets. Perhaps I’ll even contact my inner person and see what she wants to do for lunch.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to