Sunday, April 16, 2006

Death and Taxes

I've heard it several times: there's nothing certain but death and taxes. How fitting that on this weekend in particular we get to consider both.

I made it to Easter mass today and discovered many a crowded pew at my lovely Saint Mary's church. For whatever reason, some believers only make it to church twice a year, and that's just fine with me. I'm a regular parishioner, myself, and I guess it's the pomp and circumstance of mass that helps me consider my connection to God.

The incense, the candles... it's all very traditional and full of ceremony, and that's just the way I roll when it comes to goin' to church.

Mass can get distracting for me. I don't know if it's because I have a tough time listening to the homily, or if it's because of the babies crying and the shuffling papers. For whatever reason, I sometimes find myself just thinking about Christ and his love for me (I know some of my regular readers might be surprised or intrigued by this sudden soliloquy on spiritual matters. Who knew there was more to me than just a Party Girl?) Today in particular, I thought about the journey I've taken in my adult years to get to my current state of spiritual awareness.

I've had some rough spots over the years, but the one constant was my faith in God. I've leaned on my prayer and conversations with Christ through the tough times, and somehow it's instilled in me an inner peace and knowledge that no matter what, everything's going to be okay.

Through the dark times, God has held my hand. Through the good times, God has held me up in praise, and I am so thankful in both accounts.

Today I feel so blessed in knowing that Jesus died on the cross to save my soul. He literally traded his time on this earth, so that I would know the time beyond it, and that's a concept that literally brings me to tears.

I am blessed in knowing that God will keep me safe through times of danger. God will hold me in times of loneliness. I will be able to lean on God when I am frustrated, challenged or otherwise burdened with something difficult, and I know that God will help me turn around any crisis I may experience, even when it comes to my problems of money management.

Which brings me to topic #2.

What better way to celebrate Easter than with a confession: I am an eternal procrastinator.

Back in 3rd grade I told my mom I needed to make a diorama with play-doh and a shoe box on a Sunday. The day before it was due. At night. Like, right before the CBS Sunday Night movie started.

Anyway. I'm up to my old tricks again, doing my taxes the day before they're due. I logged on to Turbo Tax and punched in everything I think I was supposed to, and it turns out I am paying the feds around 80 bucks, but I'm getting 350 back from the states of Kentucky and Ohio.

All in all, I'm not complaining.

I don't really do well when it comes to managing my money. I don't save receipts for things I could deduct (everything from magazine subscriptions and cable tv since I'm in the media biz, to normal things like doctor appointments, prescriptions, work related expenses) so who knows, I could be missing out on a major windfall from the IRS. My general philosophy for those blood suckers is: if they won't screw me, then I won't screw them.

So far, I don't really think I'm getting screwed.

But in retrospect, I think I'm going to start saving those receipts and keeping better track of where my cash is going. I know that's one weakness I have, spending money irresponsibly, and I guess that could be folded in to the sin of Gluttony.

I think the late 20s, early 30s usher in a period of self awareness and a desire for self improvement. I know what I do well, I know what tempts me and I know what I need to fix. Now I just need to do it.

I guess I better get out that checkbook ledger thingy.

When it's all said and done, I don't know if God will say I'm a good person or not. But I'm trying.

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