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Thursday April 15, 2004, 00:38

I think that the defining sentiment of the past couple of weeks is that it is tax season, and it sucks. This year in particular, when I actually shelled out more money than I ever have before for the pleasure of giving the government my money (Turbotax AND an accountant, for different reasons), actually made them worse for me than they ever have before. Actually, the process of doing said taxes has been relatively painless, for all the forms that I ended up having to file, but the situation leading to the realization that I was going to have to pay for assistance was what ended up keeping me up at night and waking with a tension in the center of my chest. Even now, with the forms mailed and the e-file waiting to be completed, I am now left with all of the obligations that I have left standing for the past week as I have attempted to get my finances in order.

And it's cold out.

I think that's the real kicker. When I moved back from London, the one thing I did not miss at all was waking up and knowing that the odds were pretty good that I was going to go the entire day without seeing the sun. And now, for the past three days, I have been looking out into a blanket of mist; the sky is white with clouds and it has been raining for days. We even had a thunderstorm the other day, and I have been hankering for a good old-fashioned thunderstorm, but it led right back into grey skies, rather than sunshines and chirping birds. The thing is that a thunderstorm is a cleansing act of nature. The sky cracks open and floods the world, and a couple of hours later the storm clouds clear and the sun comes by and everyone walks around refreshed and renewed (right before they head back into their offices and cubicles, but that's neither here nor there).

There will have to be some large claps of thunder too -- the kinds that rattle the windows and send your dog scurrying under the coffee table.

As it happened, there was a bit of thunder (but I think I missed most of it over the sounds of opera blaring through my wall), no visible lighting, and it's still raining. I guess there's nothing else to expect from a winter storm, but at this rate I can't even imagine when it's so hot that I can't stand to even move for fear that my clothing is going to melt onto my body. I am sure that come summer I'll be hankering for a visit to colder climates, but for now, warmer days can't come soon enough.

It's all a metaphor for my life though. Heading into last week I had half-completed personal taxes, a photo exhibit for which none of the prep work had been completed, three clients to deal with, a potential new client, and a new accountant to dig up for some business taxes. All this while applying for jobs and trying, desperately to figure out what I can do to my apartment to make it more livable and less cluttered. I open my closet on a daily basis saying "today is the day!" and just as quickly shut it for fear that I might just fall in and never dig my way out from under computer hardware and cardboard. I have an inexplicable amount of cardboard in the front storage closet.

I think that this might be what's known as being over-extended, but I like to think of it as multi-faceted. Or sleep-deprived. One or the other. I guess the big problem with this kind of an arrangement is that there tends to be very little time in which to explore one's surroundings when one is busy running around like a chicken with its head cut off. In addition, I have control issues which tends to mean that I like to have my hand in everything, and as it stands, I really do have my hand in everything.

Also, all of my work as of late has been photography-based, which means that the part of my brain that deals with constructing sentences and structured thoughts is on hiatus, which also means that I constantly feel like I've just had a lot of coffee to drink and I'm just sitting here waiting for me to catch up to where my brain has already gotten so I can keep thinking without having to worry about retaining long enough to process.

I've also been riding my bike.

There's really not much to this other than the understanding that I have been trying to ride my bike on a regular, daily basis (which has made this rain all the more thwarting) which means something akin to a routine, which is unheard of in my particular profession. It is this routine that has kept my from my leisure-time activities, like reading and writing, for it takes up just enough time and energy to keep me placated overall. The body does the work so the mind can rest. It seems a nice enough thought up front until one comes to the realization that a resting mind is a dying mind.

Instead, what I need to do is to get over my love of both the late night and the early morning. The two cannot reconcile themselves and so I must make sacrifices and start understanding that with routine comes sacrifices, but the rewards can also be great.

I'm sure that there is a lesson to be learned there, but I'm still hung up on "when it rains it pours."

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