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Jailbreak. Monday June 22, 2015

It's a glorious day.
Warm with a refreshing breeze.
The Sun is smiling down on the Conservatory in which...
...I am doing my VAT Return.
I'm gazing longingly at the garden, hoping for a jailbreak.

I kid myself I am a free man, but I'm not. The consequences of not doing my VAT Return on time are serious, though not life-threatening. So I've done a deal: I'll act as an unpaid and unappreciated tax collector for the Government in return for looking like a serious business and getting a stunning 20% off my business expenses. I agreed to this. I put myself in this jail. This is one of my many jails.

Civilised life is like that, isn't it? We all agree to minor compromises of our 'freedom' in return for some kind of payoff. I was distressed talking to a friend the other day as she shared how she had to get so many permissions from her employer to do what she wanted to do with her time. People joke about "wage slaves" but it's not far from the truth.

I shake my head and sigh again in disbelief for possible the 10th time today. My Moodscope score is 20%.

But we can change. I can change.

A Zen Master once asked his keen and highly attentive students, "What keeps a tiger in its cage?" Not seeing the trap, a confident apprentice said, "The bars, Master!"

The Master bowed his head, then raised it beaming broadly at his pupils. With a twinkle in his eye, he declared, "You are nearly there. It is not the bars but the distance between the bars."

Does my VAT Return need to be done today? Almost. I've been putting it off because it scares me, but there's still time. Maybe I could move the bars? I could do some tomorrow and the next day. And this afternoon, I could catch some rays and lift my mood. I can renegotiation my commitment to the jailors.

I know you're in jail too. Tonight, today - whenever you are reading this, I propose a jailbreak. Slap on some "Thin Lizzy" and move those bars.

I'll see you on the outside.
Just let me know where and when...

A Moodscope member.

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Jac Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 1:29am

Hi Lex, know the feeling well!! Not good. Get it done, then you won't have to worry - no more prevarication....then life is your own again... You know this!!! There is no jail, there are no jailers - you are your own keeper. Wipe out the bars, do what has to be done, then get on with life - feeling good! You did it!!!

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 5:33am

Thanks Jac... I'm still prevaricating, so I'll take your kind words and make them the catalyst for today! Have a great one! L'xx

Sophbrad Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 6:12am

Brilliant. I love this. The distance between the bars just has to be wide *enough*, maybe even only a little wider to make a big difference.
Thank you and good luck with The Man! Sophie

Sarah Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 6:15am

Hi Lex your wise words always make me think. Also I love Thin Lizzy. I saw them live many times, great memories!

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 6:31am

I'm singing Folsom Prison Blues and it's not even 6.30 :-) I know this feeling well indeed. Freedom is a big word for me, need it, can only have it in tiny ways. Will contemplate the space between the bars, that made me laugh! Love from the room above the garage x.

Hopeful One Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 6:54am

Hi Lex- an enjoyable post. The jail is of our own making and we have in us the key for the door.Break your task down into smaller chunks and you will move nearer to the door slowly perhaps imperceptibly but definitelty

PWD Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 7:03am

Can you not de register for vat I used to be registered, and like you say you end up an unpaid tax collector. Lots of extra stress for very little benefit.

Julia Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 8:41am

I suppose having to do VAT returns is part of the choice you make being self employed. You could be a civil servant or a local government employer Lex and let others do all the horrible paperwork for you but I don't think that would suit you? What's worse do you think, working for yourself or for a faceless bureaucracy and really being a slave. It's raining here so I must remember to take my umbrella on my jail break. I am imagining meeting you on our escape and you throwing all your VAT papers high up in the air. Good luck with them. At least you have started.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 8:41am

Ah, but we could also sing Jailhouse Rock together, my dear Lex! For me it is my tax return. A complicated one this time because of stuff that has gone on within the family trust. This year I will NOT leave it until January 15th, but will do it by September! There - my commitment to non-procrastination!

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 9:50am

i've worked with the cage analogy many times when faced with that yucky feeling of frustration -- discovered a trap door on the floor that leads to the grass outside, etc. etc. But the one that works best is to expand myself to such a humungeous size that the bars just burst open and the whole structure shatters. Or perhaps you could say, mustering gratitude, "today i GET to do my VAT return!"
(or perhaps not:)) Good luck with it all, Lex. susan xx

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 10:29am

This came at a perfect time for me thank you :) xx

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 11:25am

"Live and Dangerous" still fills me with thrills... L'xx

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 11:26am

Lassie Meatie Chunks?

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 11:28am

Wise counsel, Paul.
VAT actually suits me... my habits don't.
Guess which one I think I'll change?!!!
"Gonna Get Me a Book-keeper, findas keepas..."
Yo writing a song now!
I do appreciate what you said though.

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 11:29am

Yes! Julia! We'll go "Singing in the Rain" - and with every receipt I can track down, we can have another coffee and croissant, n'est pas?

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 11:29am

Duly witnessed, joyfully supported xx

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 11:30am

Thanks Susan, I can imagine me bursting! Perhaps a bit of "Breakout" by Swing Out Sister?

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 11:32am

Break out!

Julia Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 12:49pm

Excellent! Did you get my message re. a film?

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 2:55pm

Didn't you discuss De-chunking with me and Di last week????
Karen x

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 2:57pm

Hang on there Lex and could have that Singing in the Rain dance, and yunch or afternoon tea and claim it n expenses!!!!
Hope no tax inspectors here in Moodscope!!!!
Karen x

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 3:01pm

Will we be setting a reminder for you...end if August, maybe???

I hate it all too....I do accounts for my other half...finished ours a month ago and just heard from accountants that it's all done and accepted, phew, wipes brow with hankie before running out into garden shouting 'Thrippee!!' Karen x

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 3:07pm

It's a funny thing....I had to be reminded, years ago, by my editor, to do a small bit of a difficult bit of work, then 'give' myself a 'reward'. It used to be the simple pleasure of ringing my Mum which I loved it do each day to break up her day too. Then it became a small break...small bit of work, then have a break...and Jon has said pretty much the same in Moodnudges today using children at school, bursting out at playtime to have their break...and I cannot get Swing Out Sister's
Break Out song out of my head ta muchly!!!! K x
Oh and remember as with all things tax-related...this too will pass!
Karen x

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 9:35pm

It's going well, thanks Sophie!

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 9:35pm

Thrippee!!! L'xx
Love it!

The Entertrainer Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 9:36pm

Amen and Amen!!

Anonymous Mon, Jun 22nd 2015 @ 10:34pm

Have you tried the '5 minute rule'? Tell yourself....'I'm just going to do this ****** Vat return for 5 minutes, then relax and do something else.
If you've made a start in those 5 mins then stop that's great.. at least you've made a start and you can do a bit more later...if you decide ( as often occurs)..I'll just do a bit longer...well hurrah!!! you're slowly breaking it down into smaller manageble pieces...good luck mate..and once it's done and sent off..think of the joy , the bliss, the freedom (we only really appreciate freedom once we understand what slavery is) Susan

The Entertrainer Tue, Jun 23rd 2015 @ 5:07am

Loving this, Susan. What a great cure for procrastination!
Thank you.
First 5 Minutes coming up!

The Entertrainer Tue, Jun 23rd 2015 @ 5:07am

Karen, you're naughty...
...and I like it!

Anonymous Tue, Jun 23rd 2015 @ 9:39am

You are the man.
I bought a bass guitar at the weekend. Guess what I started playing yesterday?
Peace and Love, R

Anonymous Tue, Jun 23rd 2015 @ 11:35am

I suppose this is the time to Quote Janis Joplin:
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.
Am I a spoilsport?
No need for VAT returns if you were on the dole...or Zen hermit for that matter.

Anonymous Tue, Jun 23rd 2015 @ 6:43pm

A true Zen master would probably have replied: Don't waste my time. The problem of the tiger is not the cage but its perception as a cage. Otherwise it would just be a pattern around his natural abode.
And what can we learn from this
for VAT returns? :-))

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