If I could wish anything for my family and friends, and even strangers – is to live a life of passion. It has been said that doing what you like is what will provide the most happiness in life. For most of our lives we are working. Yet most go through the motions to obtain a paycheck. Then they go home turn on the TV or the computer and indulge in the news or entertainment of the world – other people’s worlds. Get busy making your own world. Over the years I have found solace in many forms:
- Exercise and sports – I’m 54, but I still have passion for shooting basketball and playing tennis. I have a desire to stay fit and trim, to beat the odds that I won’t be a sedentary senior. I’d rather go out in life young pushing that limit than to be pushed around in wheelchair.
- Gardening – I live in Norman, OK. Not necessarily a place of natural beauty, but with effort and passion I can watch plants bloom to fill the green and brown void with various color. Create your own paradise.
- Travel – We have this world created for us filled with immense beauty. I have a passion to see these great natural wonders and to set out on unexplored paths, but if I can’t I find places nearby.
- Passionate People – nothing is greater than being surrounded by people who are passionate about life. If you stop and listen to them you will hear them tell their stories with a glow on their face. Then after listening to them, they will want to know about you. You cannot expect to have these friends if you cannot give them a moment of your time, no matter the distance between you. When you go out of your way to see people, you are telling them, “You are special to us.”
- Guitar Playing and Singing – I am not a great player or particularly great singer, but I love to try to figure out the chords to a favorite song or how high I can pitch my voice. I would dance, but I am crappy dancer.
- Drawing – Ever since I was a young child I have enjoyed drawing what my mind sees.
- Writing – I may not be great writer, but I do have a great imagination. I find peace putting those thoughts into a story, short or long. Take a chance at poetry. I can entertain myself without the use of technology.
None of these require any great deal of money. What they do require is the sacrifice of your time. You have a choice, to work yourself to death for material possessions or to live life. Yes, some people are willing to risk the loss of time for these possessions. In my experience through life I can say I have never met a truly passionate and happy wealthy person. Their time is more concerned with the maintenance of that wealth than actually enjoying all that wealth can provide. As a CPA I have seen people stress over taxes as though they might lose an arm or a leg. Take all your allowable deductions, pay your taxes and then get busy living a passionate life. When you bring your stress to a CPA, we become stressed.
For 30 years I sacrificed my time for career, family and yes, even for material pursuits. All I accomplished was lost time and money. I used that money to help others and rarely was it appreciated. Now as I move into the last productive years of my life all I truly have left is time and now it is fleeting faster than a jet.
So as you consider your current phase in life ask yourself if you are using your time wisely and passionately. Do you have something that provides beauty to the eyes? Have you played an old tune, danced and sung to it lately? Have you taken time to write a story or learned to play a musical instrument? Have you exercised and stretched those aching muscles? Finally, have you surrounded yourself with those of common interest and passion and laughed so hard you almost wet your pants? These are the moments in life I treasure more than anything. I live passionately for the next moment. All other events in human history I have no control and to be anxious of those moments is to be foolhardy. Age brings about wisdom.
Sing your own tunes, giggle at your own book,
The more you smile and laugh, the more people look.
They may gossip, they may even be mad,
be the example of a life to be had.
Plant a seed and watch it flower,
wash away doubts from a cool spring’s shower.
A journey in a world exists in your mind,
cast away excuses and find the time.
Never lose faith or your compassion,
but live your life and do so with passion.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) as one of the “likes” on my Facebook account. Today there was this quote:
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire, French writer, poet & critic.
My reply was sarcastic as usual, “Poets do not have CPE or Poet seasons.” How can you just be happy while you are in pursuit of happiness? Is that an oxymoron? You can’t walk your dog if you are chasing him. You see I’m an author, poet, CPA and critic. I have one credential more than you Guillaume. Funny, because I’ve seen some CPA’s credentials look like this: John Doe, CPA, MBA, PFS, CFP, CVA, CTIP, CMA, CGMA, etc, etc. How would you like to be the receptionist for that guy?
We CPA’s for the most part truly dread tax season. Sure there is always a handful of folks that are blissfully happy to have the entire tax code memorized. They keep your eyes glazed with their brilliance of memorization. I actually worked with a fellow who reveled in this. We might seem mild and emotionally constrained, but on April 16th we are party animals.
It’s December, so right now we are cramming tax continuing professional education into our heads. As of late with all the flux in Washington we remain on our seats edge, because for once we truly don’t know what is coming. They might pass something at the last moment that throws the tax season into complete chaos for us CPA’s, while “they” take vacations to the Bahamas.
So I decided to take this poet’s advice, explore my inner poet and write something poetically taxing.
Owed to Taxes
I do not like to prepare my tax,
I’d rather have a bikini wax.
It hurts to talk to the IRS,
More than when my wife has PMS.
I wish you’d stop changing code,
It’s hard to calculate what I owe.
Please don’t take my home as your prize,
Won’t you take an offer in compromise.
Don’t tell me my deduction will not fly,
Please go and tax the other guy.
You tax me now on that and this,
Can’t I have one moment of bliss.
I’m still in pursuit of happiness,
Yet April is synonymous with stressfulness.
If tomorrow I should whither and die,
They’ll tax me again without a cry.
Hurry up and reconcile the law,
Before winter begins its thaw.
I hope from this poem they get my drift,
Before they drive us off the fiscal cliff.
There, I now feel happy, relaxed and no longer in pursuit. Isn’t poetry wonderful?
As a writer I try my hand at numerous forms of writing, most of all prose, but every so often poetry. A few poems are even present in my trilogy “The Chosen One of Allivar.”
The following is the longest poem I have ever written. Often an idea for expression comes from something we personally experience. Many years ago my marriage was on the brink of ending. I am not a quitter and counseling was my last attempt to save and honor a sacred vow, today which is taken too lightly. Many men have difficulty expressing themselves; I am one of them, in the spoken form, but not in the written form. With this in mind, if you are struggling in a marriage, try your hand at poetry and express you inner-most emotions. But most of all swallow your pride and ego and seek independent counsel.
This Man Before You
This man before you from the moment of early morning’s light,
ponders and wonders how he will make for you this day right,
Never a moment passes that he does not care for your happiness and delight,
and how this man before you will deliver his promise before night.
You are his queen, his lover, his wife
which this man before you has vowed to love, honor and cherish for life.
This man before you professes a love that none can set apart,
surrendering only through the passing of light at death do us part.
This man before you once witnessed your passion for him so clear,
He only wishes now that those times were once again near.
This man before you has a heart that races fast,
That begs your passion for him will return to last.
Time has passed with moments of pain, doubts and fears,
This man before you stood faithfully through the years.
As our moments in time pass and some we wish not recall,
I ask you to ponder and wonder, what if this man before you had never been here at all.
Would the embers in the fire of your heart grow dark and cold,
or would you miss his loving touch from the days of youth, now old.
Would you regret the moments for embrace that now lay waste,
dreaming you had a different man, in a different time and place.
This man before you is flesh and blood with heartaches and tears,
none as deeply as the loss of your love he fears.
He longs the return of the daily touch of your lips and the light of your eyes beams,
that says this man before you is again the man of your dreams.
So this man before you has no agenda, only his love to acclaim,
no matter how old and gray his body may proclaim.
This man before you sees only a beautiful bride,
the love of his life and the source of his pride.
Before any more moments are lost and words unspoken,
he promises his love for you will never be broken.
He will treat each moment as his last,
so that your love for him will not pass.
Before this man before you takes the last breath of his life,
he wants you to remember this poem for you, his wife.