Friday, February 5, 2010

Making My Day

At some point as I sat on the floor working on tax paperwork in my old college sweatshirt sans make-up and watching a Clint Eastwood movie, I began to wonder: at what point today did I become a boy?

The good news is that our tax packet is almost ready to be sent to our CPA and most everything is filled out. We have some complex property issues, and so we send them off to our family guy. He is actually my second or third cousin or something like that, a nice man who works in Huntington Beach. The tax packet is pretty thorough and there are lots of documents and numbers we're accounting for. It takes me awhile to fill out all the paperwork every year, but I have a system of record keeping now that has reduced the time significantly.

I am just glad that my time on our taxes this year has almost come to a close. Outside of raising Katie and managing our household, I am also in the midst of studying for my real estate license exam, growing a second child, etc. Sometimes I do feel the pressure from so many responsibilities all at one time, I admit. Yet I still buy into the overachiever psychology that Stanford used to warn us about: various dorm programs brought up the idea that many of us work harder than it seems to other people, because we believe we also have to make it all appear easy to observers. It has been said that Stanford students are like ducks on water: we're kicking, kicking, kicking beneath the surface, but to the outward eye we try to cultivate the appearance of gliding without struggle. I am not sure it is always healthy for me to pretend as though nothing is difficult---I do have difficult days when the amount of work I have before me seems like more than I can ever really do, and do well. Yet I have this obsession (a symptom of perfectionism, I guess) about trying to appear as though I am constantly on top of everything and that nothing is hard. That kind of mentality gets exhausting, sometimes.

Anyway, the best part of the day was this morning and early afternoon. Katie and I danced in her room (she likes to pretend to do ballet moves), and then we ate breakfast, played outside a bit, and then went to the bookstore. We love Blueberries for Sal (Robert McCloskey), connecting with it when we checked it out from the library. Since we go blueberry picking every year, it is meaningful to us. We also picked up another Caldecott winner: The Island (written by Margaret Wise Brown under a psuedonym. And The Berenstain Bears were on sale for buy 2-get 1 free, so we got a few of those. I love classics for Katie. It seems so many of the books from the 1940s and 1950s really focus on the beauty of narration, treating children as intelligent readers who can think about complex ideas, and building positive character.

After the bookstore, Katie asked to go to Starbucks. We haven't been there in awhile, both to tighten up our budget in anticipation of Little Sib's needs, and to acknowledge that I don't drink coffee anymore. However, today, I indulged in a delicious hot chocolate, while we shared a coffee cake and a sandwich. I love taking my daughter out, because she is always sweet and well-behaved. She didn't want to use the stroller in the bookstore today, and she was super good about holding my hand and staying right nearby me. She really listens, and so going on excursions with her is a joy.

We did miss our music class today because Katie is recovering from her stomach virus. She is getting better but still has a bit of a symptom. We thought it best to stay somewhat close to home today. I think she will be totally better by tomorrow or Sunday.