A client and I had a "cross purpose" moment a few weeks back. He wanted to deduct a number of expenses that the IRS would have disallowed. Things such as the cable TV, the gardener, his kids and wife's clothing and the kids babysitter (who is an undocumented worker). Now don't get me wrong. I don't sign a damned thing. He is the client. He can put whatever he wants into his business books. I am not paid to judge, and honestly I don't. Pretty much everyone with buttloads of cash and in "that" lifestyle all try this. But I have to tell the truth. Which was "Client, I will be deeee-lighted to categorize these expenses wherever you want. No problem-o there. However, I must tell you that they would not stand up to an IRS audit." And he became upset with me. After going back and forth, where he kept trying to manipulate me into verbalizing that it was absolutely hunky dory and allowable to deduct all these unallowable things - which I quite nicely and politely would not - and in fact, I kept telling him I'd be more than happy to put them wherever he would like me to put them .....well, he said that of course he was not trying to "cook" the books. Which I had never ever ever said.
Which leads to food. And the diet I've been on for far far too long.
There's more than one kind of food. I'm talking about spirit food. Here are five spirit foods. Some I will be giving up. Some I will be switching to.
1. Stress - I eat this every day. Too much. Stress from not enough income. Stress from an adolescent son who, while his school has many many really good things about it, gives him ridiculously too much homework without helping him to learn how to strategize and organize it. Stress from an aging mom who can't take as good care of herself and has become far far too sedentary for her health. Stress from having to be up at 5 a.m. and on the go until 10 or so. Stress from not having a really really close friend or partner for support. I chow on this all day, every day. Not tasty.
2. The sense of "entitlement" of others - I see this in all strata of social "castes" if you will. The twist of the American dream from "you can be and do whatever you choose" to "I can have whatever I want even if that means I take it away from you." This has "trickled down" from Wall Street, to Main Street to families. It's served up on dinner plates across the land, mine included. The American way of life has not matured. It has mutated into a non-nutritional diet of self aggrandized narcissism. I even see it in myself occasionally - at which time I go into the rest room and try to vomit it back up. Yes, I am an "entitlement" bulimic. It is delicious. Like French Fries and apple fritters are delicious. But oh so very bad for one.
3. "I am right and you are wrong" snacks. Especially with an adolescent who is in the throes of stretching the honesty envelope and occasionally ripping it wide open. Especially other parents whose children have never made a mistake in their entire lives. Especially in business and workplace so-called "leaders" who walk about with bloodied noses and shredded skin from all their very human and forgiveable f**k-ups, who cannot own the truth of their mistakes to save their lives. The extraordinary volume of their crunchy, crispy, munchy snacking on this is deafening.
4. Here is one of my new foods - My truth. Told honestly. As kindly as I can, but if I'm pissed, I'm gonna tell you. I've done that several times. Why didn't I do this before? Easy, because I was sure I would be killed. Because when I was a little youngster that's what my dad said he would do if I spoke my truth as I experienced it. And not only have I not been killed, but it's far far easier to wade through the detritus of the disingenuous, white-washed bullsh*t that flows so thickly these days. And I find I'm fuller much faster.
5. I eat less patience. There is such a thing as getting fat on patience. Too much patience can become enabling. Too much patience can become indulgence. Too much patience for others and not enough insistence of oneself can cause one to lose so much weight that one might disappear altogether. So I try to plate it up where it's appropriate. But when it begins to be an unhealthy amount, I set it aside. The funny thing about this is that it causes one to grow more substance as a result. And this is a good thing.
That's my banquet. Soul food for now. Dessert will be grace. I am sure of it.