It’s just a matter of time before it breaks!

I grabbed one end with one hand.  I grabbed the other end with my other hand.

Let’s see how far I can stretch this sucker out.

Five inches. Twelve inches. Fifteen inches.


OW!!! That hurts.

I looked down at my hands.  A few red marks were prominent on both hands where the remains of the rubber band had violently attacked me.

When I started my accounting business so many years ago, it became my sole obsession.

I needed to get my business up and running so I could put food on my family’s table.

I pushed myself to the edge daily.  Waking up many hours before the rooster had a chance to think the sun was pushing through the sky.

Fourteen or sixteen hours later, it was dinner time.  I had to keep working.  I jumped into my car and zipped over to a hamburger joint.

I jammed 1,500 calories of ungodly slop into my gullet because I knew it would keep the hunger at bay.

Then I would work for another three to four hours.

Every day I continued at this hurried pace.

Seven days a week.

Most weeks out of the year, I lived this pressurized existence.

I continued at this intense pace for a couple of years.

Eventually, I established financial stability in my business.   I allowed myself to slow down and smell the roses.

I had breathing room.

Then the yearly onslaught of tax season would bear its ugly head.

For about six years tax season represented more than fifty percent of my annual revenue.

For two months of tax season, I jumped on the wagon of idiocy.  Convincing myself all the work would be worth it.

However, I was too busy.  I had to get all the work done before the tax man rang the bell on Tax Day.

Every year at the beginning of April I’d get the straggler who waited to the last moment to get his taxes done.

He’d come to me with a big smile and ask if I could do his tax returns.

In the first few years, I was still hungry.  I needed the money, so I took work.

I was already overloaded and barely had enough time to finish the tax returns.  What in the world made me think I had time to take on more work.

My dear wife Angel had the pleasure of being born a few days before the tax deadline.

There were so many years where her birthday was missed because I was to busy.  I regret that now. I’ve changed.

However, I was too busy.  I had to get all the work done before the tax man rang the bell on Tax Day.

But work had to come first.  It always came first.

I’d have a nice bit of cash reserves. A smile would come to my face.  It was worth it.

Look at the money in my bank account.

Ahhh! I relished in the satisfaction of harvesting the fruits of my labor.

Every year I take one to two weeks off to decompress. My family and I would travel to the beach or the mountains.  Some place nice and quite.

And above all a place with no people.  The last thing I wanted to see was a person.

My family and I would have a lovely time.

And then it happened.

I was so amped up for so long.  I did everything I could to run as hard as I could.

I crashed.  It always happened the same way.

Exhaustion permeated my body.  I was worn out.

Anger and resentment would surface.

I’d start to yell.


Then at the end of April it was my special day.  My birthday.

But I was too pissed off to enjoy it.

I had worn my mind, body in soul out during the last two months.

Sure, I’d gotten paid.

Somehow getting paid wasn’t worth it.

Every year after Tax Day, I’d felt like I’d sold a little bit of my soul for a dollar.

Then I’d get depressed.

Most years it would take me six to eight weeks to recover from the hell I’d put myself through.

Six to Eight weeks to get back to feeling normal.

A few people were happy because they had a tax refund.

Then I’d have to deal with the jerks.  The jerks who blamed me for having a high tax bill.

I’ve got a dirty secret to tell you.

If you get a tax refund it because you loaned the government money.

It’s not a bonus.  It’s a refund.  You overpaid.

If you owe taxes on Tax Day, it’s because you didn’t pay enough taxes.

It’s not your accountant’s fault that you have a tax bill.  It’s your fault.  You failed to pay enough taxes.

Most tax preparers are simply tax preparers.

They put little numbers in little boxes on tax forms.

After a few years, I realized working 14 – 16 hours a day, seven days a week for ten weeks a year was wreaking my mental and physical health.

It just wasn’t worth it anymore.

I made some improvements to my work schedule each year.

First, there was the idea of waking up early.  I’d leave the office at dinner time to eat with my family.

An hour later, I would be in bed.  I needed to get to sleep early so I could wake up early.

That brought some relief.

Then I decided I couldn’t work seven days a week.

I needed a day off each week. It was the only way I was going to maintain my sanity.

That’s the recipe that works for me now.  Saturday is my day.

No work allowed.

It’s my sacred day off.

If I’m tired, I take a nap on Saturday.  This afternoon I took a three-hour nap.

The sleep from that nap was simply heavenly.

Some Saturdays I’ll take a nap in the morning and a nap in the afternoon.

Going to heaven twice in one day.

Life just doesn’t get much better than that.

The day of rest is the perfect way for me unwind and reset my mind and my life for the next six days.

I still have the pull to work.  I love my work.  It’s so much fun.

However, I have to put boundaries around my work.  Otherwise, I’ll snap.

The pressure will build up.  I’ll explode.

My day off on Saturday is the pressure relief valve of my life.

I’ve got a limited number of weeks left on this planet.

I don’t know how many weeks I have remaining, but I do know those weeks are limited.

To get the most out of my life, I need time to breathe.

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