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Kristine: Cautiously Optimistic

As a work-at-home mom, it seems I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps it’s the unpredictability of my life and the result of wearing too many hats during the course of a day—wife, mommy, housekeeper, writer, and editor. When one of those hats fall, it sends my whole routine and day into havoc.

When I think I have time to open my e-mail or catch up on my favorite blogs, my daughter wakes up unusually early from her nap. When I think all my editing work for the day is done, I get a frantic call from the magazine publisher on our ship date telling me I need to find enough editorial to fill a half-page of space after an advertiser dropped out at the last minute. When I think I have two hours of uninterrupted time at night to work on my novel, my computer crashes, and I have to spend my precious writing time trying to figure out the problem.

I wake up each morning with one goal. I strive to be “cautiously optimistic.” It’s the motto for my entire life, actually. I’m optimistic that things will go as planned but cautious about getting too complacent. If something goes wrong, I try to be ready for it. If nothing goes wrong, I’m pleasantly surprised.

Sometimes being cautiously optimistic is the only way I’m able to function without having a nervous breakdown. It’s also the way I’m able to smile at my 11-month-old daughter when she refuses to take a nap and I’m on deadline.

I still groan and grumble when that dark cloud appears, and there are some days when even the most optimistic thinking gets me nowhere. The only remedy for those days is the emergency stash of chocolate.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. i love your description of cautiously optimistic in the third paragraph, kristine. i’m a glass-half-full girl myself and try to live by the positive the majority of the time. whenever i start to lose that, a good game of fetch with the dog cures it most times. 🙂

    November 10, 2008
  2. cathy #

    sounds good, and so does the chocolate! i think i’ve eaten my share and then some from the halloween stash today….

    November 10, 2008
  3. Kristine #

    The Halloween candy is in the freezer now but still within easy reach.

    Kelly, dogs provide a perfect way to enjoy life.

    November 10, 2008
  4. Your strategy is right on, Kristine. I think the best thing we can do is keep our expectations low, but at the same time, find ways to keep the creative fires stoked so that when sudden opportunity DOES strike, we can jump right in and take advantage of the moment.

    As for the emergency chocolate, I’m afraid that if I had such a stash, I would find an easy way to rationalize eating all of it, immediately 🙂

    November 10, 2008

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