Caesar had problems with the Ides of March, but I dearly love the Ides of April, notwithstanding the Roman calendar says it won’t hit on the 15th of this month. Yep, by whatever marker, this is the season my particular brand of insanity becomes most apparent.
I’m an accountant with strong focus on taxation, which means this is my most hectic time of the year. What certifies me as crazy is I love the rush and lack of sleep.
Being psycho-busy every waking moment has never been a problem for me. I get tired but never bored. What I do is interesting, and the people I do it for are fascinating — an excellent, albeit exhausting, combination.
I like folks and always believed that anybody’s life would make an interesting book. Everybody has a unique story.
Naturally some of my work is repetitive, but that’s just a necessary process of enjoying the whole yummy dish. Even the tastiest meal in the universe has to be chewed. Chomp — chomp — chomp.
I’m also viewed as a bit insane because I don’t have many problems with the Internal Revenue Service. IRS folks are nice to me and have always been responsive and helpful to the extent possible operating within their statutory limits.
It’s been my observation that most folks who get sideways with the tax people arrive there under their own power. If you’re up front and truthful and not insulting to their intelligence by spinning fairytales, they’ll bend over backwards to accommodate reasonable requests.
I know I’m swimming against public perceptions about the subject, but that’s my opinion formed over many years and a ton of experience. I may have huge objections to how our government spends our money but don’t have much of a problem with their mechanisms for collecting it.
I love my profession and the pressures it brings. As is my normal routine, after the 15th deadline rolls past I’ll survey the wreckage and clutter of my office with the certainty that since the season didn’t kill me I must be stronger.
Of course my year doesn’t stop. The 15th of April signals little but the passing of a deadline. My pile of extended clients will keep me busy for the rest of the year at a more relaxed pace.
And speaking of paces, people who do what I do have extreme fun on vacations because we’re switching from frantic to the leisurely in a blink of the calendar. It’s an especially wonderful transition.
This year, my wife Ann and I have great vacation plans that are noted on my computer screen with a day-to-day countdown. I recall when it registered over 100 but now is down to under a month.
When we get back, it won’t be long before my poker tournament in Las Vegas. I should write a manual for having fun year after year, although it would contain just two pages.
Page one: "Work hard, play hard." Page two: "Repeat."
Otis Gardner’s column appears here weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.