Procrastination and maybe a political future

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By Lisa Tolliver

Landmark News Service


I haven’t done my taxes yet.

It’s April 10 and time is ticking down. But I’m not in panic mode yet. I still have a week and a day — that’s a lifetime. Since April 15 is on a Friday this year, the tax deadline has been extended until April 18. I’m not sure the reason behind the extension but I’ll take it. 

I’ve still got plenty of time and once I get started it really shouldn’t be that bad.

I’m not sure what makes me wait. If I traditionally had to pay the government every April 15th because I didn’t take out enough taxes throughout the year, I could understand my delay. But I normally get a refund from federal and state. So really, my delay only hurts me.

I blame my job for my inability to get moving on my taxes. I work in a deadline-oriented business. To an extent, most of us do. But in the newspaper business, there’s a deadline and it has to be met or the newspaper won’t get printed. Every day my morning starts with looking at the clock, looking at the work that needs to be done and calculating makeshift deadlines throughout the day to make sure the ultimate deadline at the end of the day is met. That’s the main goal.

After being in this business for nearly 15 years, that way of looking at my workload has started to seep into my daily life. I’m never early for anything but I’m also usually never late. I get there right on time. For my exercise class I normally get there as the class is starting, not much time to spare. Same goes for most meetings or when I meet someone at the movies. Who needs to see the previews anyway? I pay my bills on the day they are due, even if I have the time and money to pay them earlier. It’s now just a part of who I am.

If it wasn’t for a deadline, I wouldn’t know when any project, report or item needed to be finished and it would probably languish on my desk until someone asked about it. I have tried to convince myself that I work better under pressure and that’s why I wait. But, in reality, I don’t think that’s the case. I just can’t function without a deadline. I didn’t used to be like that. In school whenever a paper was due or I needed to study for a test I used my time wisely. I had papers finished early and I studied for tests days in advance. If I did taxes back then, I would have probably done them early as well.

But regardless of my deadline affliction, I’m not alone. I think the Kentucky and federal governments suffer from the same affliction. The Kentucky General Assembly went into special session this year because it couldn’t pass a budget in the allotted time. The federal government was facing the threat of a government shutdown Friday at press time because Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on where cuts should take place. In both cases deadlines loomed and work wasn’t completed. It didn’t even seem to be an issue until the deadline was breathing down their collective backs.

Maybe my love of looming deadline just points to my future in politics. I don’t actually think that’s the case though because I make my deadlines and it doesn’t cost anyone an extra cent. I think that’s the main difference.

 Editor’s note: Lisa Tolliver is the editor of The Kentucky Standard in Bardstown.