I told Lily I had to do my taxes.
“Do you like to do your taxes Mommy?” she asked.
Wow. What should I tell her?
I have always loved numbers and counting. As a child I watched people coming on and off the subway and kept a tally of them, how many women were there and how many men. For some reason this really delighted me. Numbers add up, and give me a feeling of perfection about the world. As an adult, like most of us, I feel dread when I think about taxes. I generally have to pay more than I want to, and might be financially prepared or unprepared to do so. This does not create the same satisfying feeling I had as a kid counting.
Yet when I look at Lily’s face she genuinely tries to learn from me about the world, so I decided to create a new intention. Regardless of what the numbers turned out to be, I decided I would enjoy the process of looking at the numbers.
I set my Pandora station to “The Black-Eyed Peas” and looked at taxes and just saw them as numbers. I bopped to the music. I worked the calculator. I tabulated all income and expenses, and enjoyed the process of coming up with totals in every category. The numbers accompanied the melodies, and I entered a space where the various sections had a different theme song. I was done in two hours. It turned out to be a bit more than I’d expected to pay, but the process did not cost me the way it has in the past. I wasn’t drained or defeated. It all just became numbers and music.
Now I can honestly tell Lily, “Yes, I do like to do my taxes.” This year I will pay my taxes like everyone else, but did not dread the process. I am grateful that my daughter gets to see that sometimes even “have-tos” can have a theme song we can somehow enjoy.