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What’s Up With JM – April 15, 2018

John Maxfield on guitar

John performs in Illinois on New Year’s Eve

“TAXES!  Beautiful lovely TAXES!  Ah-ha!  AH-HA!!” – Prince John, “Disney’s Robin Hood”

In addition to finishing, paying for, and submitting my taxes once again this year (for 2017) I have to help my fiancée with doing hers.  I have all of my documents in order, and I managed to get my mileage calculated, so usually the big pain in the neck ahead is paying for the software and associated submission fees for The State and Federal Governments of Missouri and the United States of America.

Amber and I call this “America’s Annual Homework Assignment,” and it seems we get to do a little homework together.  We do share a home, so why not?  Also; we have all of the usual implements of procrastination we both grew up with to avoid homework… almost exactly.  There’s TV (which is better now for being on-demand and commercial-free), video games (we still have our old systems from Nintendo, Sega, and the latest PlayStation stuff from Sony) and piles upon piles of records and CDs to listen to.  THAT we can do while doing our homework, and it was often a way to transition my brain from recreation back to work.

Amber pointed out the other day how rare and great it was for her to just sit down on our living room couch and enjoy a few episodes of a show she likes.  It so happened that “Big Bang Theory” was on cable- go figure.  There’s always that show, and Family Guy, and the news, and a lot of other reliably redundant stuff piped in through our cable at all times; though we seldom watch any of it.  Amber was just sitting there after an episode, then two, then three; commenting on how nice it was to disengage from all of the obligations she knew she was avoiding.  What was unique about it was the full disengagement from that panicked realm of “no really, I have way to much to do that I need to be getting done at this moment.  I need to get my priorities in action, no time for inaction.”  It feels like the realest and most adult place one can be when the mind is there.  It might as well be stuck there for an over-achiever, what would an over-achiever care?

Though it’s still seldom that she’ll do it, and often will require some arm-twisting coercion, Amber can be convinced to take a breath or two just for herself lately; I’m glad to say.  It has an immensely positive effect on her temperament, and gives her a moment to defragment her brain, reorganize her thoughts, and commence to doing something that feels rewarding in and of itself and knowing that important things that had been put off are now on schedule again.  She has had to pump milk for Alister practically every time she looks at a clock, and if not that- it should be about time to feed or change him.  Both Amber and I have experienced our mind going off track since suddenly, fully, and lovingly adhering to all of Alister’s special needs; being a two month old baby recovering from CDH corrective surgery.

I am so happy they let us take him home, and my face is getting new laugh line wrinkles around the eyes from smiling bigger than my face has ever done as an adult.  I’ve never smiled so large because I couldn’t help it that I recall- not without laughing.  More often than not, the really big smiles I remember were a bit or a lot more “put on.”  Alister smiles at me, and like my hair blowing back helplessly from the rushing wind- I can not help but feel my own cheeks in my own ears.  It is as though my face is finally strong enough to lift all of it’s heavy burdens.

Well it’s about 7:00 AM Central, I’ve got the coffee at the perfect temperature, and I think I’m going to head across to the other computer (where my email still works) and finish doing my taxes so I can knock Amber’s out and just MAYBE get to work without any worry of work still undone; painfully close to a deadline.  Before I go though, I would like to mention that this is the exact sort of undeniably important thing that winds up taking time away from creating stuff, which is a real drag for creative people who want to spend as much of their time as possible making something artfully.  It always feels like the better place to be, given the choice between that and getting back to work, back to business, back to adulthood and all that.

Alister’s alarm went off, indicating his food is done- so I just got up to shut it off and make sure there were not any kinks in the line.  I checked on Amber, who is mostly still asleep with a sleeping mask on, blissfully unaware of the sunlight coming up that breaks both morning and any chance of me sleeping until darkness- regardless how tired I am… which at the moment is very, though not nearly as bad as recently.  I’ve been coming home from even short work days feeling completely dragged out and in need of rest and recovery.  I’ve been trying to be healthier or even healthy lately in effort to get a bunch of this pain and lethargy out of my daily life.  I’ve been feeling a little bit of it going away more and more each day, and some of my focus and spontaneous talent re-emerging.  That is both exciting to realize, and dull to feel forced to walk away from.  For instance; I would love to write more to you at this very moment, though instead- I’m going to stop dilly dallying and go back to the Mac to attack my taxes.

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Apr 15
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