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C'est la Vie: Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst

This saying reminds me of a dear friend of mine who is a self-proclaimed "optimistic pessimist." Basically this boils down to the concept that she is hopeful, but at the same time fairly certain things or people won't turn out the way she hopes. (If she reads this and corrects my interpretation I will gladly write a retraction or correction.)

Today I can tell you of several instances where I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

We are having our roof replaced and the workers were scheduled to arrive between 7am and 9am. I was hopeful they would arrive early (I did, after all, set my alarm for 6:30am so that I could be dressed before workers started hammering away.), but was pretty sure they wouldn't get there until later. (FYI, it was 9am on the dot.)

Later in the day I was very hopeful for a new recipe I was trying out. They were some kind of cookie bar and I had all the ingredients I needed right there in my cupboards (I love when this happens!). I followed the directions exactly and I said a little prayer (I sometimes have trouble with new recipes... especially those that require baking.).  By the time they cooled they were as hard as a rock. I had a feeling about that.

Then tonight, after the sun went down, I was about to walk my kids to the car after an event at church. As we headed for the door I saw a man with a dog lingering on the sidewalk. I stopped and grabbed the kids. We turned around and I said we needed to double-check to see if I had forgotten something. Several minutes later I looked back out the door. The man and the dog were still there. I sent a male friend outside to scope things out. The man immediately continued his way down the sidewalk. I'm hopeful this was just a coincidence. But by expecting the worst I may have avoided harm to myself or my children.

So what is the proper amount of "expecting bad"? At what point are we creating a negative in our lives that doesn't need to be there? I much prefer hope, so how do we live in hope while being sensible?

In case you were wondering, I do not have the answers to these questions. But I do think it is worth considering for yourself, especially if you lean more toward the pessimist and less toward the optimist.

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