"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

The Unrealistic Optimist

I expect instant, unrealistic  results.  I’ve been working out religiously but haven’t changed my diet yet I am disappointed that the scale has not budged. I have been putting more energy into business development but have yet to gain a new client (I have a long sales cycle so that’s reasonable).  We have a new puppy and I expect him to have manners overnight.I make long To Do lists for work and home and become frustrated when I can’t complete 1-2 weeks worth of work in a single day.I just re-wrote my business plan because I had crammed too much into it.

I’m overly optimistic and dare I say unrealistic  about life and it spills over into how much I expect of myself and others with oftentimes me becoming  disappointed.  I have never hit my projected income goal yet every year there it is.  I haven’t seen my targeted goal weight yet and I’ve been “trying” for a decade.  

I tell myself just to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  True, but I also need to work smarter by saying NO more often.  I need to value my time more and stop taking meetings that cost me too much of my valuable work hours. I need to focus on my future but realistically. The next year is going to be tough. No vacations, few dinners out – very frugal and I am going to have to work longer hours 50-60 hour weeks.

The Hunter is helping me and doing an outstanding job doing a task I despise – cold calling.  He excels at it with his beautiful deep authoritative voice and quick thinking, but I know it is wearing so I only ask for 100 dials.  My client’s job for the Hunter didn’t materialize and his unemployment hasn’t begun, so he is dead broke.  He doesn’t feel well today and has a colonoscopy next week, so he was moody.  The puppy’s demands can sometimes stress us. Our idea for his new business seems brilliant but how long is the ramp up time? We have 2 meetings this week to pick the brains of some of my colleagues to see if our idea is as brilliant as I think. 

Life is tough right now.  My commute is long and when school starts in a few weeks it will become even worse. I arrive home tired and need time to decompress but that is off-putting to the Hunter. I find myself sitting in the driveway for 5-10 minutes wrapping up a call, listening to NPR and procrastinating. 

My boss’ disrespect and lack of support are clearly evident even to blithely optimistic me.  I am suppose to be his “partner” yet my contact info on our webpage is his phone & email.  That was a slap across the face.  First he didn’t tell me it was being overhauled, then I discover the contact info.  I haven’t said anything – what’s the upside? He told a vendor that he wouldn’t expand a service I need because he thinks I’m just going to “dabble”. It just confirmed what I already knew– he no longer trusts me.I thought he had my back, but he only sees me as an income stream.  

What have I done? I wasted my money over the past 3 years.  I lost my focus and mojo which will take me 2 years or more to recover. Yes 2 years.  It’s like starting from almost zero. i can do this.  I have done it before and I can do hard things, but tonight I’m tired and feel defeated. The Hunter went to bed in a snit and here I sit with a worn out pup on my lap watching the convention.  Even the news defeats me so I’m taking a break. I’ll write something more uplifting in a couple of days.  I’m fine – just looking at the boulder I need to roll up the mountain.


Comments on: "The Unrealistic Optimist" (7)

  1. Maggie you are awesome! You critically analyze the problems and go straight to the heart of the issue. No bull shitting around nor foisting the blame on everyone else. And you’ve come up with (or will shortly) the responses and actions required. Gee, maybe everything doesn’t happen as quickly as you planned? No kidding … it never does. But you’ve got the smarts, and the drive to get it done. So take a short well deserved break. The march to victory can wait until tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I may, if you know you expect instant and unrealistic results and see the flaw inherent with this, why do you keep doing it? Sometimes, when you push too hard, you accomplish little and/or nothing. Early in my career, I learned a valuable lesson: Work smarter, not harder. Make goals that are realistic and doable and ones that won’t stress you too badly to implement and complete.

    I also learned that the people you either work for or with are assholes who say they got your back but what they mean is that the moment you’re not looking, they’re gonna slip the knife in. Don’t ignore them – watch them and watch your own ass – but worry about doing your job and meeting those goals and, if you have to, have an exit plan just in case.

    Sometimes, you just gotta take a moment to get a deep, cleansing breath and stop beating your head against a wall trying to realize the unrealistic; it’s self-defeating and will wear you down and burn you out. So, breathe, get your head squared away, and get to working on results you can produce by working smarter and not harder, okay?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your sage advice. Last night’s post was my rumination of self-discovery about my nature. I am re-structuring my routines to work smarter – I was just talking to the Hunter about not taking certain meetings because in the long run it costs me $$ because time is money.

      As for the boss – our profession is one of sharks. I had overlooked his drive of self-preservation. My bad. My exit plan is teed up and ready to go.

      I think last night’s post was a great head-clearing exercise. I want to finish the week strong and remember that my time is incredibly valuable so I need to spend it wisely.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I know firsthand how demoralizing financial and professional setbacks can be. I could kick myself that I didn’t start my retirement savings when I was in my 20’s — or even 30’s and that I didn’t focus more on my career when I was younger. However, you have always struck me as a woman who has a keen business savvy and a good head for common sense on your shoulders. I have no doubt that you will come through better and stronger for this.


    • Thank you! We have 20/20 hindsight, don’t we? I’m in a shark-infested profession, so I have grown accustomed to rough & tumble ups and downs. I just need to stick to my plan and work it doggedly. My coach always says she has clients give up too soon and if they had just stuck with a little longer, success was right there.


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