Death,Taxes, and that thing called Fear

Here’s the thing: Death and Taxes are still a known quantity. Since I’m not dead, I’m paying taxes. That is really fine with me. I think we should all pay our fair share…and perhaps then some. It actually works for me because I play this trick in my mind that I imagine all my tax dollars are going to entities that I so enjoy and believe in. So National Parks are looking good because my tax dollars are funneled straight toward them. Yosemite, Bryce, Grand Canyon…all parks I highly recommend due to my federal funding.

Usually, I am pretty good about figuring what I will be offering towards to these federal entities, but I have used my accountant to confirm the results. This year, well, this year I was off. Way off. I know the parks needed help—the furlough and all that—but did they need that much of my personal assistance? Seems I did something a little shortsighted, a little unthinking, a little irresponsible. I say a little, but when the pen hit the checkbook, there was nothing little about it.

At first, my reaction was to be astounded. Then I was a bit angry—at myself. Okay, more than a bit. I beat myself up and have the bruises to prove it. As the hours wore on and the sleepless night ensued I woke up to the reality. I was not angry at me or anyone else. I was scared. It was my fear that gripped me and pulled me under.

Fear is powerful. It makes even the strongest among us tremble. For me the fear equated to failure. I was failing as a single woman responsible for her own mortgage, her own retirement, and all her own frivolity. The raw truth was, I was scared to be handling this all on my own. Absent are those folks—like parents and spouses and partners—who unconditionally love us no matter the mess we make. In the quagmire of my errors, I not only saw that I was a poor planner but I was also alone in my poor planning, and that jarred me straight up the avenue of fear. Yet, by identifying the road I was traveling, I was able to choose another path.

We have a choice. We can walk around disguising our fear as anger and letting others bear the brunt of our consternation, or we can understand that the world and the circumstances that surround our lives can be scary at times. We can pause, take a deep breath and accept the fear for what it is—a temporary stop along the avenue. Once I realized that I was not angry and I was not mad but that I was scared, the power of that fear evaporated…like sweat disappearing from my brow in the dry Mojave Desert…another one of the fine National Parks that I help support.

1 comment

  1. Jenna says:

    Stumbled on your blog through a Facebook post in couch surfing Greensboro, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time! You’ve got a new regular reader-thank you for these lovely words!

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