Six sentences that (might have) saved the world

It’s been one of those weeks — lots of fretting about my job and feeling overwhelmed. Which is rather silly because my job in no way represents life or death (except for me, and only in the livelihood sense of life and no way at all in the sense of death, except if I die I won’t have to do it anymore). But fretful I’ve been, including reaching out to a couple understanding friends to talk me down from the proverbial ledge. Ironically (and weirdly) soon after, I got a couple of unexpected, positive, reinforcing, all’s-right-with-the-world bits of feedback that made me feel that perhaps I really can do this job I’ve been doing for almost 15 years.

Then I went on to have a pretty good day. In true Libra style, the scales were returning to a balanced neutral.

But no, not quite yet. A project I worked on a couple months ago finally hit the presses today (and by presses I mean my client’s website), and I got to see the finished product. It was mostly what I remembered, except for the end.

“But it just…ends,” I thought. I had no idea how I had ended it, so I went back and looked. Of course, possibly the best six sentences ever written about tax risk had been lopped off the end.

Gone. Soul-crushingly gone.

Is that too dramatic? My soul is not easily crushed these days. I have grown more and more numb to editors’ liberties over the years. I understand that I get paid whether I’m happy with the finished product or not, and usually I’m OK with that. But sometimes…sometimes I feel sad for what could have been. What should have been.

I should have been asked — “Hey we’re running a little long, can you trim 6 or 7 lines from this (two-page) write-up.”

“Of course,” I’d have said (rolling my eyes), and then I’d have agonized just the right amount over what to cut. I’d have thoughtfully trimmed a little here and a little there. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have sent it back without the last six sentences — passive-aggressive much?

And so…just to restore a little balance to my Libra soul, and just in case they really did have the potential to save the world, here are those six sentences:

…: As the adage advises, the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

First, is the organization asking the right question of its customers? While U.S. FATCA compliance may have begun with asking, “Is this customer U.S. or non-U.S.?” that is not the most effective way to deal with the now global myriad of regulations. Better practice would be to ask, “What is the tax residency of this customer?” Second, does the organization have an onboarding process in place and functioning to collect the required documentation from individuals and entities?

These are the basics, and once these questions have been satisfactorily answered, organizations can move on to tackle requirements that take effect at later dates, such as reporting and certain types of withholding.

World without end, amen.

It’s unhealthy for people to never express any kind of
negativity or doubt. 
To have balance, you need to address
that side of your thoughts 
as well as the positive.
Otherwise, you tend toward crazy.

~ Shirley Manson

Dear God,

Thank you for this beautiful summer-fall day, On a Friday. When no one needs anything (that I can’t put off until Monday), and the black-eyed susans are still blooming.


Thank you for the Knock Out® Rose that finally decided to be a knock-out. (And bless dear Sondra who gave it to us, who’s now looking down on it with you.)


Thank you for reblooming orchids. And, you know, for actually making this one rebloom.


Ummmm, thank you for the groundhog that ate through our shed floor so we pretty much HAVE to do something about it? (Better yet, thank you for helping us get a new shed floor, which we really need.)


(On a related note, thank you for helping us cram everything that was in the shed into the garage.)

Thankful 008

Thank you for the Pirates being in first place. (I know, can you believe it?)

Thankful 001

Thank you for letting us get 3 offers on the house just a day after we listed it. And thanks especially for my sister, who worked like a dog for weeks and weeks to get it ready to list.


(And thank you for helping me not to cry every time I think about the house being sold.)

Thank you for Emily. And poems. And chalkboard paint.

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Thank you for art. And artistic friends. And sunrooms.

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Thank you for today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And even the day after that (even though it will be Monday).


All that we behold is full of blessings.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 1, 2013

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged I wondered if I would pick it up again. There’s a lot I’d like to say, but not a lot I feel comfortable sharing in an open forum, even though only a few people would read it. Suffice it to say 2012 was the worst year of my life (I feel compelled to simultaneously knock on wood after writing that to avoid tempting fate and to add “so far” to acknowledge that fate can really suck and just might), and I’m certainly not over it, though I’m happy it’s over.

I have to believe 2013 will be better, but I’m not going into it with a list of resolutions or to-do’s or expectations. I know what I hope happens this year, but I won’t put any extra pressure on myself to “make sure” X or Y happens or doesn’t happen. I’m in a very que sera sera place these days. Getting my work done, keeping my clients happy, and paying the bills is enough on the “must do” list this year. Beyond that…well let’s just wait and see what the universe has in store.


You have to do it by yourself,
and you can’t do it alone. 
~ Martin Rutte

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