Thursday, September 14, 2006


Do we gain from a day when absolutely nothing got accomplished?

I had a friend who, after reading my annual Christmas letter, said "It must be nice to have such a perfect life."

I was astounded. My life is far from perfect, and that year it was near disaster, but when I reflect on life and write about it, I don't believe in pointlessly regurgitating the pain. I think, too, with this blog, I don't want to commemorate negatives. In a "Junk Sorting" article, and in much of Flylady's writing, the guideline is that you should only keep what you love, those things that bring you warm feelings. So, I apply that to my memories, and to my musings and ramblings here. I don't want to forever recall and retain a documentation of my failings.

However, much can be gained from not succeeding. Edison, in attempting to invent the light bulb, tried more than 10,000 times before he succeeded. An acquaintance asked how it felt to fail that much. He relplied "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Other quotes I've uncovered on the subject:

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
~Bill Cosby

There is no failure except in no longer trying.
~Elbert Hubbard

Supposing you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh
start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling
down, but the staying down.
~Mary Pickford

and my personal favorite - because I and many of my friends always seem to be so busy.....

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
~Thomas A. Edison

So my purpose for today was to sleep as much as possible and eat whatever I wanted. In that respect, I succeeded. I wasn't busy, I accomplished my plan but I certainly don't intend to do it again soon, if ever. In the arena of "ways to spend a day," I believe I may have learned one of those 10,000 ways that won't work for me.


  1. I've taken to writing a new to-do list every day. Somehow the few minutes of visioning my day and writing down the things I'd like to get done helps me avoid those destinationless detours I so easily find myself on when I navigate by instinct.

  2. Yes, lists are necessary for me. If it's not written, it doesn't exist - my memory is very selective. However, there are days... even with lists... where I simply need to shut down for a while. If they become too frequent then a more serious life-style adjustment would be in order. Keeping it manageable each day is the goal - a sustainable pace.