Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Ben Franklin's schedule

This is Benjamin Franklin's daily time table, or perhaps it qualifies as a "was", but since it still exists as an image, perhaps "it" is still an "is"? Ah the metaphysical conundrum of reproduced materials still floating about in the modern world.


I came across this exacting schedule quite some time ago, and was thinking about it recently in the glut of New Year's Resolutions blogposts I've read out there. Isn't it inspiring? Isn't it something you want to grab onto and emulate, engrave into your brain? Why yes!

And then the guilt sets in. Why doesn't my own life feel as organized and full of deeds? Look at his beginning and ending questions on the left, be inspired, and then a week later after your resolution has dissolved a bit feel guilty or re-energized. It depends on who you are. And why can we/I not always be like this?

HERE'S WHY: because I simply don't have the mental constitution that he did. He invented from dawn to dusk and pondered, and wrote, and probably buzzed around like the Energizer bunny straight up until his deathbed. Some people are like that. Some people just aren't. He was a genius inventor-writer-selfmade-man, and despite all my fierce resolve and good intentions, I cannot remake myself into that. 

I'm just not him. I get tired fairly easily and get anxious quite frequently. I have temporal lobe epilepsy (not as bad as it sounds! and almost fully under control) which either causes some jitteryness or jitteryness can set off the epilepsy (I repeat, it's not that bad anymore). And, to be honest, I'm just not a powerhouse genius go-getter. This does not mean I am a lazy bed-ridden bonbon-eating mom! I am limited, and after decades of pushing my boundaries and my health I have found my boundaries and accept them. Well, I still push at them a little, which is why I still get jittery, but I don't push myself into a seizure and I get a lot done.

Hey Ben—that's right, I'm talking to you! Did you cook for yourself? Did you clean the house? Did you pick up your children from daycare and clean their butts? Maybe you did. But I doubt it. You were a strong, energy-filled genius and I envy that. But I'm pretty cool too. Even though I am not able to accomplish your brilliant morning and evening questions.

Here is the question I would like to ask myself in the morning: what act of magic shall I do today? (that takes some explanation which I'll do next time)
And here is the question I would like to ask myself in the morning: what act of magic did I do today?
And here is the sentence I will tell myself: it is okay if you did nothing but watch tv all day and take care of yourself, if that is what you needed to do. Take care of yourself. Live your life. You are not Ben Franklin, and that's that. Do your own thing.

I like TV. Currently the british show The Misfits. 

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