The things on my plate

When I was in high school and college, I used to joke that I was “a tax season orphan.” Today, my husband could rightfully call himself “a tax season widower.”

My parents have owned their own bookkeeping and tax preparation business for over 20 years. It’s perhaps pretty obvious and natural that I’d work for them through the years, and despite the fact that I majored in Journalism (and my passion lies in the arts) I continue to work the family business. And I truly do enjoy the work I do for them. It can really be a lot of fun!

The last few years, my work time has been focused on that final push of the season. The time when we have people in and out of the office constantly, and the time when the most returns are being completed a day. This year, I’ve alternated three weeks in Texas, one/two weeks in Nashville, then back to Texas another three weeks. I arrived back this last weekend to finish out the season.

Meanwhile, I am actively planning Muster for the Middle-Tennessee A&M Club. Everything, so far, seems to be falling into place beautifully. Which, I admit, makes me a little nervous. When it all falls together this well, I don’t feel as prepared for any “disasters” that could occur the day-of the event. Then again, I feel like I’m getting really good at planning things, so maybe its falling together just because its becoming old-hat to me? Who knows. Nonetheless, I am VERY excited for it all. I so love the tradition of Muster. It is without a doubt my favorite tradition of them all.

Easter is approaching!! I’m excited Craig will be down to spend it with us. THAT will make the day complete. Counting down for it, for sure.

The warmer temperatures of Spring are already making me itch for Summer. Actually, I wouldn’t mind skipping Spring just to avoid the tornado outbreaks that have already begun. I may have grown up dealing with them, but I will never be used to it. How can you be? They’re terrifying, how random they are.

But as I said, summer is approaching and that means… Craig will be on road a majority of the time. I get home in time for him to head out for work. That’s just the way it lands… bummer! We’ll make the most of our time as we have it, of course. We always say that we appreciate our time together more due to all the time apart, and we most definitely do. We don’t LIKE being apart as much as we are, but we make it work. It’s just the way our life rolls.

And honestly… I love my life. More than I can say.

Hope, fear, worry, and faith

I last wrote in this blog right after the inauguration, when the country’s optimism was high and hope was the feeling in the air. I still stand by my belief that optimism and hope are something we needed and still need. However, with unemployment rates at 1983 levels and home foreclosures happening just down the street on almost every street in America, optimism is hard to find again, and hope seems like a childish feeling in the face of the economy’s harsh reality.

I’ve not written in here in awhile because I’ve been “on the road for work” myself. I’ve been in Texas working with my parents through tax season. I’m grateful for the work, and I honestly enjoy it! It’s at times like this that I wish more than ever I could move Arkansas and Louisiana and bring Texas and Tennessee a lot closer together!!

Working with people’s taxes, I’m amazed how the economy’s downward spiral is a lot like a tornado. Hitting this house and that house, but not touching this other one over here. For every few people that are struggling — praying for a large refund to get through for awhile longer — there’s that random person who is thriving. Their company is growing or they’ve just been able to more effectively manage their money. That random person who is proud of their success, but sometimes I get a sense that there’s this underlying feeling of guilt to be thriving as others struggle.

Personally, I see those people who are thriving as those beacons of hope that we all still need. Hope is not childish or naive. Faith is not a lack of realism. Fear is to be expected. Worry runs rampant today. But I, personally, choose to use all of them together. Worry and fear to feed my desire to keep fighting. Hope and faith give me the determination and ability to win.

38 more days until April 15, 2009