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.