Wordless Wednesday: Merry Christmas!

Instead of a photo, I’m sharing one of my favorite Christmas tunes for Wordless Wednesday (technically Tuesday when this publishes). Crank up the volume and play the video. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than “Father Christmas” by The Kinks.

“Have yourself a merry merry christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin
While you’re drinkin down your wine”

Merry Christmas!

The Power of Dance

I started taking dance lessons when I was three years old.

My classes were a mix of ballet, tap and jazz. Never a fan of ballet, I was happy when I got older and could focus on jazz and tap. (I’m small, but I’m not overly dainty.)

By the time I was in high school, I had at least four routines in the annual recital. I can only imagine how much my parents spent on dance costumes over the years.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any old dance recital pictures. They are all in my parents' basement!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any old dance recital pictures. They are all in my parents’ basement!

While I attempted to continue dancing in college, my double major and social life got in the way.

Sometimes I wonder if I should have made more of an effort to find time to dance.

Still, fifteen solid years of dance left me with more than I ever expected when I first put on a leotard.

Self-confidence. Discipline. Balance. Leadership.

I didn’t know it at the time, but dancing helped me get through the toughest years of growing up.

When I was on stage, I was in control. Confident. Happy. Able to conquer the world.

I guess that’s why I seek out work that puts me in front of people, whether it’s in a speaking role or as a writer.

Last Friday, my husband and I saw Dreamgirls at the Maine State Music Theatre. Each time I see a performance, I am reminded of the power of song and dance and the emotion that comes out of a good story told by talented and creative people.

At several points during the show, I got goosebumps. At one point, I was almost brought to tears by the powerful singing.

maine state music theatre

This month, as part of my Giving Pledge, I am donating to the Maine State Music Theatre. I am fortunate to live within walking distance to a venue that hosts such amazing performers. Performers who have been on Broadway, yet still manage to make it to Maine to share their talents.

My husband, who I’m still trying to convert to a full-fledged musical theatre fan, gave me season tickets to MSMT for Christmas. Last week’s performance inspired me to give a little extra.

I’d hate to live in a world where music, dance, art and creativity isn’t a regular part of my life. Dancing has given so much to me. This month, I’m attempting to give a little back.

How have the arts changed your life?

Are you willing to take the giving pledge and donate every month to a nonprofit? Grab the badge below and tell the world.
another jennifer giving pledge

photo by: pawpaw67

Tax Season and Mom Guilt

“I don’t want to go to daycare.”

“I don’t like school.”

“I want to stay home with you, Mommy.”

I’ve been hearing a lot of these statements from Biz lately.

At first, the mom guilt sunk in. Maybe I wasn’t spending enough time with him. Maybe he’s having a hard time at preschool or daycare.

“Don’t worry, Mommy. I’ll play quietly by myself while you work in your office. I won’t bother you,” he says as he spins on the office chair reserved for clients, holding a stack of my business cards spread out like playing cards in his hands.

This one killed me. He knows I work from home and can’t entertain him if he stays home with me.

Goofing off at G's indoor soccer practice.

Goofing off at G’s indoor soccer practice.

“But won’t you miss playing with your friends all day?” I try to remind him of the fun he has when he’s away from me during the day. Oftentimes, he has a hard time leaving at 4pm when I pick him up.

But he’s been unusually difficult lately. Not unruly, just constantly debating with me. About everything.

Then I realized it’s tax season. I’ve been through this before with G.

Being married to a CPA means that Dad disappears between January and April 15th. He leaves early in the morning and doesn’t come home until after the kids are in bed. As we get closer to April, I’m lucky if I see him before I go to bed. He works on weekends. Though he is religious about family dinner and movie night on Fridays and is the one that gets the kids ready for their day every morning, this absence takes its toll on everyone.

They don’t always know how to express it, but the boys miss their dad. And so do I.

There are days when it’s too much for me. There are just too many people relying on me. Or so it feels. Being the sole CEO of a business and a family 24 hours per day is taxing. (Could the word tax have more negative meaning to it?) Little things bring me to tears, and I raise my voice for no reason a few too many times.

But I also know this is only temporary. And if we really need Dad, he’ll be there for us. Like when our puppy, Hana, got stuck under the deck on a Monday morning, and I couldn’t get her out. Or when he surprised me for a quick one-night getaway to Sugarloaf. He seems to know when I’m about to crack and need some time away.

I have so much respect and admiration for single moms and military wives. I don’t know how they do it.

I also know that tax season is as hard on my husband as it is on us.

So for now, I’m lax with the rules. Dancing and singing is allowed at the dinner table. The constant loud burping and farting followed by giggles is slightly more tolerated. I’ll let them watch a little extra television or play an extra game on their tablet every now and then. We’ll read just one more book before going to bed, and I’ll give 17 more hugs before I leave them to sleep.

It’s the little things that keep us sane during tax season.

Right now, this is my theme song. Because I have to remember, it’s nice to be alive. (And, yes, I also blast this and dance with my kids. Swears and all.)

Don’t stress
That’s dumb
I’m here
And it’s nice to be alive

Chill out
It’s all right
Kiss me
It’s nice to be alive

“It’s Nice To Be Alive” by Ball Park Music

Are you a tax widow or a tax professional? How do you handle “busy season”?

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