Mundanities of life

Mundanities – another made-up word in our household.  What are they?  Surely, you can guess.  They are those mundane things that we handle because we are obligated in some way.  Tonight, Dave prepared Owen’s tax returns for 2007 – not your usual tax returns, given that they were prepared after Owen’s death, and the IRS requires slightly different procedures for a deceased person.  Dave entered the data, I answered his questions.  I took frequent breaks on the balcony, just to catch my breath.  I kept thinking Owen should be here learning how to do his own taxes, in spite of the fact that he didn’t believe his taxes were used for the greater good.  He wasn’t here.  And, had he been, it would have seemed so…mundane, to him. 

Last year, Dave helped Owen when it came time to file for his 2006 returns.  After he died, we realized, Owen’s tax return checks were still sitting on top of Dave’s dresser.  Owen had wanted to use that money to help pay for his new computer, the one we were going to buy him for his 21st birthday.  We had spent weeks looking up what computer, what peripherals, and what software would satisfy his requirements.  Once he was gone, there was no place to commit his tax returns, so we put the checks into his memorial fund, hoping to use the money to help other families searching for missing adults via a website dedicated to this purpose.  I’ve been too distracted to orchestrate the website.  I’m not a web designer, so there’s the additional energy (that I don’t have) necessary to that final outcome, that will have to wait for my learning self to return.  I’m looking forward to that time.  Once committed to a project, it’s easy for me to focus.

Back to taxes, though.  Owen read the Bible a good bit, and combined with his other investigations into society’s search for goodwill, and an aversion to “evil”, he asked a lot of questions.  We couldn’t answer most of them, but the questions themselves forced us to think.  This was a good thing, most definitely, not a mundane thing.  The question of “What is the government doing for us?” came up often.  We could point to the obvious advantages of paying taxes: roadways, transportation, healthcare (okay, not so pretty a picture in the U.S.), and other infrastructure foundations.  But, there was that ever-present difficulty with, “Why am I paying taxes at this rate, when people making millions are paying nothing, or nearly nothing?”  We never could answer that question.  Nor, can we now.

According to those who know the Bible, Matthew was, himself, a tax collector, until called by Jesus to follow.  Matthew followed.  I can only guess that he felt his life was lived in contrast to his mission.  How many of our lives are lived in contrast to our missions?

Song for the night:  Taxman, The Beatles (The IRS and I are not friends, we barely accept each others’ existence, and they have us by the b***s.  My two favorite lines from this song:  “If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet” and “You’re working for no one, but me”)


~ by Linda on April 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “Mundanities of life”

  1. I think my favorite line is, “If you are cold, I’ll tax the heat,” which just really illustrates my feelings of “ugh” toward tax season. It is the 14th today, and no, mine are not finished yet. I’ll probably be one of those people that they show on the news, rushing to the post office at 10:30 p.m., and will have my 15 minutes of fame when I am interviewed by the local TV crew, railing against the system, pointing out what no one else wants to say. A girl can dream anyway.

  2. We have not did ours yet either, life just hasnt been about taxes here , dont want to go there. So guess we will have to put our minds else where tonight,(maybe not a bad idea) Linda, think about you each & everyday!Thanks for all your wonderful writing.
    luv, Sandy

  3. Love this song! My poor mother sat up all night to finish her taxes on Sunday night. She was paranoid about it not getting in the mail on time. We kept telling her that if they owed you, it wasn’t a problem, but old habits die hard. She is a very organized, on time person, but taxes have become so difficult for her these days. Yet, every year she insists on doing them herself. A part of her likes the challenge, I think, but it really does take a lot out of her. I wish we could do away with the IRS. That was one good idea that Huckabee had. Do you think anyone would care if the IRS turned up missing? LOL! Lonnette

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