Am I too much of an optimist?

Am I too much of an optimist? Am I realistic? I’m starting to wonder.

My wife recently told me that I overcommit. I’ll say I’ll do all these things, and they don’t always happen, which in turn can lead to disappointment. It made me think, because I do think I may be overly optimistic about my abilities and energy level. It’s happened a few times last year at work where I misjudged / underestimated how much I could get done.

I never really thought about it whether it might be a problem before. I’ve always considered myself as full of boundless energy, able to do anything. Countless times, I’ve been challenged by people telling me I couldn’t do X, so I worked my tail off to get it done.

Sometimes it worked — taking the American History and English Language AP classes in high school, projects at work when I worked nights and weekends, catching flights or getting somewhere in my car and defying all odds, doing some crazy all-night home project, or biking 100 miles.

And sometimes it didn’t work — chemistry in high school or college, all those times I didn’t make that flight, and some project deadlines missed in the past decade.

I think I’m an optimist. I’m a dreamer. My wife will be the first one to attest that living with me requires listening to both short-term and long-term types of plans on all sorts of topics. Stuff I want to buy. Vacations I want to go on. Things I want to do. And I’m gonna do them all. How? When? I don’t have a clue, but it’ll happen because I’m dedicated to ensuring that it does. I gotta have a plan.

But maybe being an optimist is not being realistic. My energy levels have dropped in mid-30’s, and it secretly frightens me. For a guy who thinks he can do it all, but the flesh is beginning to betray him? It’s scary. And there is a lot going on home and work that needs more detailed planning, and just throwing myself at the problem isn’t going to work anymore. My sheer will won’t make it happen.

I have a choice. I can choose to be a fool and continue to doing what doesn’t always work. Or I can start planning a little better. I can stop before committing to something that may not be realistic.

I have to make a choice.

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