Federal Personal (and non corporate) Income Tax returns are due this Tuesday.  For some reason, this year I hear more people saying they have to race to meet the deadline than I’ve ever heard say that before. It’s the clerical element rather than worrying about coming up with the money that seems to be driving the accountants, of the people I’ve spoken, with “nuts!”  I don’t know if you’re experiencing this. I’ve been nervous about getting my returns out and I figured out all my earnings and expenses in February and sent them to my accountant. It’s the first year I was nervous about this.  Guess what?  They went out yesterday!

I feel so sorry for my sweet accountant. Granted the firm, in which she’s a partner, lost its original founder this past summer. He was an angel and he passed on at what we’d think of as ‘much too young”.  Even taking this into account, the other people I’ve spoken with work with different accountants who haven’t experienced this type of loss.

There were several tax law changes this year – the kind of changes that required accountants to look very carefully at their client’s exemption allowances in many areas.

Why do I bring this up? I mention this because we so often think we did something wrong, or less than well, when our clerical lives don’t run smoothly. I could hear myself saying, “Gee Barb! You run and get stuff done and you always pick bad people to work for you!  There I go saying “No!” to me again. That voice I’m hearing talk to me is really my loving dad saying, “What’s taking you so long with that homework, Barbara? You should have had that finished much earlier. You never pick friends you can count on! ”You know your mommy worries when you don’t get to sleep on time.

I’ve learned to quiet myself (rather my father) when this starts happening. What made this “Tax worry” different is that I was being my father thinking about my accountant.  He didn’t pick on me so much as he would pick on my friends. I didn’t choose friends wisely according to my dad. He loved me so much that he was looking for something outside me that was slowing me down. The truth is I was never (well…rarely) late, in the first place and I did get me work done.  I think he though it would make me feel better about myself if I was great and my friends were jerks.  I know he meant well. His spirit in me just needs my inner adult to give his spirit a little massage and quieting down.

I’ve discovered I’m not the only one who sometimes frets about getting things done on time. I bet the other people I hear talking about this fear had dads  (or moms) like my dad was, in this respect.

This same agitation bout not getting enough done in a certain amount of time seems to hold for almost every area of our lives these days. It certainly does for mine. I can even catch myself beginning to swat myself for getting to bed later than I’d planned. Sleep is supposed to mean restful!

Look at your day. What do you feel you need to put into your day today?

I know I have a daily task that can take a while, that I didn’t have twenty years ago. Yes, we had to make more phone calls. But the phone conversations, generally, had something to do about the work we were working on or the other person was working on.  O course there were always friends who wanted to gab and we had to politely ask them to stop. With emails we can delete more quickly. However, at this stage of the development of emails, I find that I get hundreds of emails from people I barely know.

I read a wonderful rule by a writer whose words were on a Franklin Covey planner years ago. She said, “Never answer emails in the morning!”  What she was saying – and what I’m getting at here – is that you need to SAY YES TO YOU before answering everyone else’s needs. Email seems to lend itself to supporting others before you put your own needs out there. It’s great to support others – AND – if I can help you take care of your own needs first, I’ll have done my job.

Getting frazzled over something often indicates that you’re worrying about someone else’s needs. I doubt I’m going to get hauled in by the IRS. I’ve never been late with my tax return in my life.  If you could really plan 100% for yourself and not worry about your friend who’s in a show or selling art or jewelry or real estate, etc. etc. etc. I bet you’ll feel less frazzled.  I also bet that should you want to, you’ll get to the friend’s show, art or jewelry exhibit, real estate open house, etc. etc. etc.

This even holds for not eating things that aren’t optimum for you at parties, etc. I know a woman who doesn’t like going to events because she’ll have to eat all the food that’s there.  I talk about this in my book, “Find Your mini-Qs(?): Reveal the Slim, Strong, Sexy Star You Truly Are! at Age 50, 60, 70, and Beyond.” You can go to the event and not get frazzled. You can be good to you and be at the event also.

If you do start feeling frazzled, let the adult in you cuddle the child in you and then silently say to your Mom, Dad, (whoever watched you when you were a kid) – “Don’t worry. I’ve got it all under control. My saying YES to me will get the job done. You can relax Daddy or Mommy or p