I walk down to my stupid community mailbox to check my mail. The idiocy of these types of mailboxes strikes me, as it has every other time I've checked my mail. Bills. Magazines. Junk Mail. A package slip!
I couldn't remember what I ordered, but that happens a lot. I start driving towards the post office, eager to get whatever gadget I've ordered this time. Stopped at a red light, I look more closely at the slip. It's not a package, it's a certified letter. And it's from the IRS.
I had assumed that I would eventually be audited. I pay my taxes and all that, but my record keeping department is less than exemplary. Actually, it's nowhere near exemplary. This was inevitable.
I press on the accelerator, eager to get this over with.
There's no one in line at the post office, so I go straight to the pickup window. The lady goes to the back to dig up my letter. Noticing my heart rate increasing, I try to lower it. "This is a great opportunity to practice remaining calm in anxiety laden situations", I think. I take a few deep breaths and try to stop fidgeting.
My eyes lock with the post office employee's for a second. The IRS. I'm getting audited. If I were a human, I'd be slightly embarassed. I sign for the letter and open it as I walk back to my car.
It's a thick envelope, full of pages. I scan the pages as I flip through them quickly. Collections. Leins on property. Seizure of assets. This looks scary.
I get to the end of the packet and find no reference to what they want. I go through it again more slowly, and I find a bill.
I owe the IRS $125.
Yep. That damn estimated tax payment bites us lazy contractors in the butt every year. I guess I'll be getting mine soon.
I owed a little over 4 grand one year, because I was a contractor and never paid in quarterly like I was supposed to. I paid the 4 grand with a credit card. I am still paying on it, nearly 10 years later.
Two words: Screw The Government.
I woke up and stumbled to the front door to check for packages. I wasn't really expecting one, but you can never be too sure. To my surprise there was a small brown box waiting on the doorstep for me. What had I ordered? I couldn't remember. I walked back inside and tore the package open.
Inside was a book and a board game. Not just any book and board game, though - they were abominations thrust in in front of my virgin eyes. The game was called A Hot Affair and the book was Penthouse: Naughty by Nature: Female Readers' Sexy Letters to Penthouse. Confused, I check the shipping address. Sure enough they weren't meant for me.
They were my neighbor's.
So, first of all, you have GOT to read this post from John Carlton.
Let me tell you how I implemented his little exercise, with a little twist.
I imagined what my life would be like one year from now. January 21st, 2015. Where am I, what am I doing, what's going on in my life?
And AS future me, I wrote CURRENT me a letter... describing all the things in my (future) life that I am grateful for. In fact, the letter was a THANK YOU NOTE, thanking the "past" me for all the awesome things I did.
Try it, write for as long as you have to.