A cup of the taxman’s promise

Coming back from my parent’s house in Tyrone, I called in to wish a family friend, who I shall refer to as Joe, a Happy New Year and found him up to his eyes in VAT receipts and invoices. Apparently, the taxman had promised him inner peace if he got his returns in on time and a £100 fine if he didn’t.

“At least you’re one of the lucky ones, you’re still in business.” I said. (Earlier, on my trip to Tyrone I had driven pass the empty windows of Ginni G and felt sad that there is yet another empty space on Main St, Buncrana. When family and friends come to visit me they love to explore the main street and Ginni G’s unique and pretty gift shop was a favourite. Ginni G you will be missed.) The answer was a silence nod of the head as his eyes fell on the mountain of paperwork in front of him. “There’s that.” he said quietly. Going by his voice it didn’t sound like he was holding out for the taxman’s promise.

Inner peace is something we all want and need. Like many people, I lived my life for a number of years searching for inner peace at a time when I had a full time job and a part-time business while supporting my husband’s full-time business and being mother, homemaker and researcher of autism. My second son was in the process of being diagnosed with the condition. There were many claims on my time and too many difficult situations to be dealt with.

I was stuck in a world of confusion, wondering how peace could be mine. I was desperate for some inner peace. I believe it was that intention that led me to take action and discover a more peaceful way to live. It has been a few years ago now since I finally found a peace inside that did not come and go along with my emotions or the stresses in my life. I know it was the culmination of making a lot of changes, including:

  • Prayer and accepting what is
  • Taking action to change my life
  • Forgiving and letting go of the past
  • Spending time doing what I enjoy.
  • Protecting my inner peace.


If I had more space I would elaborate but perhaps you could take these headings and see how you might find your own inner peace by addressing similar areas in your life.

There is a beauty salon I know called the Inner Peace Beauty Room that offers a range of treatments; Fake Bake spray tan, Brazilian Waxing, Swedish massage and time to experience inner peace while sipping yogi herbal tea—a bit like the taxman’s promise. Don’t get me wrong! It’s important to look after yourself just as it is important to meet deadlines but I doubt if such marketing strategies will bring any everlasting inner peace to anyone and especially not Joe.  He still has a business to keep open and I don’t think he’s much into Fake Bake or Brazilian Waxing. So I offered to make him a real cup of tea with no fancy name. Joe took off his glasses, rubbed his forehead and gladly accepted. As the kettle boiled we sat in the middle of the paper work talking about Christmas and our hopes for 2013. We moved on to the state of the economy and how we would govern the world while we warmed our hands on inner peace in a cup—Ireland’s answer to almost everything—for a short while at least.

©Aileen McCallan


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