As a young bride, the 15th of March and the days leading up to it were always a source of stress. I give birth to my firstborn son on March 15 for whom I was and am still grateful and delighted that he was perfect in every way. My husband was relieved; he wanted a son so badly and we had no way of knowing beforehand 57 years ago.
My father, although pleased to have a grandson and happy that I had come through the experience well and happy, was kind of wistful as he said that I had achieved a goal that eluded him. I was the first of his three daughters.He, too, always wished for a son.
But it was not birthday celebrations that made me anxious then and now. It was my discomfort at hav ing to get my financial life in order to present my bookkeeping first to my husband and then to the accountant. March 15th used to be income tax day until it was moved to April 15.
Now I set March 15 still as the day I have to get the tax prep done.
I confess publicly here and now that I procrastinate endlessly. Even writing this blog at 10:25 in the morning is stalling. I should be at the kitchen table organizing the piles of papers set up there. They have been waiting for me all week!
When I sum up the year's expenditures, it feels like a report card to me. I weigh how much I have spent on editing and publishing my newest book and how little revenue has come in. I see what the ratio is of what I see now as self-indulgent expenses to the charitable donations I made.during the year. I could have done more, perhaps.
And this is the last year that my husband's name will come first on the tax forms. I review the expenses for his funeral and for the family to gather in New Jersey to accompany him to his final resting place.
Before the High Holidays each year, I judge myself and my accomplishments during the year. Then I am more lenient with myself and I feel rewarded by the time I spend with my family, my wonderful friends and with the folks at the various groups I lead during the year. I am delighted with the positive reception my book has had, with family and with strangers to the Holcaust experience.I am pleased that I attend lectures and concerts and support the artistic community as well as the synagogue community, not judging myself by monetary standards as I do before the Ides of March.
Each year I think "Next year I will take no deductions, file the short form and leave all of these papers in the lateral file."