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Budget Blues on a Good Friday


In the stillness of Sunday afternoon, I found the motive to write. My wife watched re-runs of her favorite tv show, Gilmore Girls, and the children played Roblox on their computers. I was bored when I remembered my goal to start Friday blog posts on Sunday.

The laptop came out of my bookbag, and I started to press the black keys.

Motivation and her partner drive often attempt to avoid me, but I steer them in my direction with consistency. Evidence is visible during the quiet mornings of most days; I grab my journal and exercise before work. Relentless passion guided by purpose, clear goals with deadlines, and self-discipline with courage are the remedies to procrastination.

This season brings the usual income tax deadlines, unusual supreme court confirmations, and semi-usual global health care challenges.

Did you file your income taxes? US Federal income taxes are due Monday.

I would rather do anything other than file taxes. It’s a burden to organize financial records and calculate expenses every year. I comply to avoid IRS fines, prison and to help my accountant.

With a close look at my finances, there is also the tendency to see failure in the amount of money earned last year. I think about the missed opportunities to invest, save, donate and create more marginal income. Regret gives me reasons to hate tax season.

Do you feel me? Is it a struggle for you to get your taxes finished?

Consider the introduction to this post as a push to meet the Monday deadline. Last week, I submitted the necessary documents to my accountant.

It’s about time!

In the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, Judge Kentanji Jackson Brown became the first Black woman to sit on the bench. What took the US so long? Race, gender, racism, and sexism influenced this historic moment from happening sooner.

I hope Brown’s appointment will exceed the expectations that her presence will support a more equitable justice system. Living abroad and witnessing Biden announce Brown at the White House last Friday made me proud. Suspect politics aside, the sight of Brown next to the leader of the “free world” pushed goosebumps to the surface of my forearms about the possibility of progress back home.

Life experiences outside the US have shown me that perfect countries do not exist. World governments include imperfect individuals with more investments in themselves, their constituents, and financial interests to provide adequate services to people in need.

From the beautiful island of Antigua and Barbuda, let me give you a glimpse into global health care challenges.

Last Thursday, my son had an asthma attack. He caught a cold from his younger brother, which created inflammation in his lungs. To prevent a lethal asthmatic episode, we took him from the university's campus clinic to urgent care and then back to the clinic.

The country’s main hospital was the last resort.

Have you ever had to reconsider taking yourself or a child to a local healthcare facility due to concerns about the quality of care?

It’s not a secret that conditions at the nation’s hospital are not optimal for emergency services. The nurses and doctors are competent. However, local rumors suggest that limited and inappropriate use of funding restricts the hospital’s ability to meet the needs of the people.

With this awareness of healthcare in Antigua and an assessment of my son’s condition, we took him to receive the best services outside of the hospital.

When he didn't improve within 24 hours after an appointment at the university’s clinic, we took him to one of the island's urgent care facilities. When we arrived at 11:30 AM last Friday, the receptionist told us that a doctor would not be in until 4 PM. Asthma attacks have the potential to jump from manageable to fatal in a matter of seconds. The option to wait for four hours did not sit well.

We took him back to the campus clinic, where the doctors corrected his respiratory challenges.

My work as a professor on a medical campus facilitated the option to get my son the immediate medical attention he needed. Without my connections, we would have had limited choices in a health emergency.

I give thanks on this Good Friday for reflections on what could've been the worst Friday of my life.

This account is not unique to the systemic health care challenges in Antigua and Barbuda. Covid exposed how lower-income communities of color suffered to receive adequate medical services and options in the US.

The field of medicine needs help on a global scale. What role can you play in lifting inequities to provide improved healthcare services?

When you lack the motivation to do something, remember your WHY. Think or create a deep or intrinsic reason to make progress on a difficult task.

File your taxes by Monday to relieve yourself from the associated stress this activity can bring. Despite the impressive power behind Judge Kentanji Jackson Brown’s appointment to an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, she can’t prevent the IRS from coming after you! The longer you take to file delays new strategies to earn, invest, and save more before next Spring. – that’s what I told myself

Take care of yourself and your family’s health this weekend. Easter is Sunday. If a church is in your plans, say a prayer for me after you subscribe to this blog!


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