With apologies to T.S. Eliot, April may be the cruelest month but January is a roller coaster.
First, we have the weather. It snows, it blows, it rains, it warms up and cools down. The sun shines and then disappears for days.
And the plants - all is brown, except, look! green crocus tips are peeking through the mud and the yellow January jasmine is blooming its head off along the side of the house where the neighbors park their car, even while frozen camellia buds, red but fading to brown at the tips, dangle on the bush next to the front door. And I know that by the end of the month the lenten roses will sport fat, bulbous buds.
But more than that, we have the paperwork. All the stuff for taxes starts rolling in from everywhere - here's how much you made in interest in this account, here's how much you made in salary, here's how much you already paid in. And all this other information has to be ferreted out of various files, or more likely, piles. All those papers piling up for a year. Here's the insurance file. Except, wait, there are only a few months' worth of papers in the file so where are the other months' papers? Here's that paper you were looking for back in May! And now it's too late to do anything about it, your six months has run out. And which account is this, and which account is that, and do I still owe something here? Oh, and do I owe over there, too? And the sudden surprise - yes, this is covered by insurance but no, that is not.
I can be organized - very organized - and I can also put things in a pile, meaning to get to them later. And later has arrived. Ducks must again be gotten into a row - 2010 needs to be filed before getting mixed up with 2011. The good thing is that my office is at home. The bad thing is that my office is at home. The clock ticks.
Thank God for wonderful customer representatives who have walked me through some of these piles today and helping me understand where I stand amid the flurry of papers and files.
Oh, January is the cruelest month. April will be glorious with its lilacs breeding out of dead land.