Reading between the lines - Catholic Courier

Reading between the lines

I let out a sigh last week as I looked at my to-do list and saw that filing my taxes still had a place there. I wasn’t too surprised, as it was unlikely that the task would have magically disappeared on its own.

As I stood there contemplating how long I could put off finishing my taxes, the old saying, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," came to mind. (That quote is from Benjamin Franklin, by the way.)

That’s when it struck me that dying is on my to-do list as well. Of course, death isn’t literally written on my white board alongside things like updating my website or cleaning the bathroom. But my to-do list is a place where I put tasks that I don’t want to think about doing at the time and hope to put off for as long as possible, and that’s a category death certainly falls into.

Unlike my other to-do list items, however, death doesn’t have a deadline, and it’s not something I can put on my calendar. I can never be certain how many tasks I’ll be able to check off before death offs me.

Because of that, I’ve been trying to read between the lines of my to-do list and pay more attention to things that aren’t literally on the list — things like expressing love and appreciating the little things in life. I needed to remind myself that those things are much more important than any tasks written on my list, and they’re things that I can never check off the list; they need to happen every day.

Unfortunately, I don’t think love and appreciation would satisfy the IRS, so I’ll still need to finish my taxes this week, too.


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