Battling curiosity and avoiding boredom, I have often borrowed trouble. I was in the midst of a huge project a month ago and scrambling for time to tackle all the little details when it occurred to me that I created this stress. I said I would take a major event on in May when seniors need the most attention, every event in family life converges and a year's worth of work was wrapping up for the year. Two field trips, a creative writing magazine, senior projects Trouble comes in the form of inspiration infused with enthusiasm that sees many a grand scheme to fruition, but this borrowed trouble also leaves me stranded sometimes in the middle of immense projects. If the projects go well, benefits spill over like the ESWA booth for the Maryland Library Conference leading to a new design scheme for the Gaithersburg Fest, book signings where I've met someone who inspires a story, field trips for students to places they haven't seen or theater workshops for kids who need controlled drama in their lives. But when a project doesn't go well, I am left wringing out my psyche like a dish rag. Case in point is the dreadful end of my tenure on one professional board. Lessons learned: don't commit too far from home (I'm still working full time after all and weekends are sacred family time), and if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. It is difficult to cut negativity out of your life if it has become a comfortable habit.
J D Cooper
Author of the Lilac Hill series, The Portia Journal, other novels and countless short stories