It’s not her birthday, or anything, but I was thinking about Mrs. Roosevelt today. I have a refrigerator magnet that shows a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt, and a quote from her: “Do something every day that scares you.”
That’s not such a hard philosophy for me to follow. I’m usually pretty scared of everything. I’m scared of everything staying the same, and I’m scared of things changing. I’m scared of my past, and I’m scared of my future. Hell, I’m scared of sock monkeys. I just need to remember that if some decision I face or some circumstance frightens the daylight out of me, well then I’m probably doing something right. Life shouldn’t be too easy.
Momser read me this quote once, where she said: “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
I can only be myself. I cannot be what people need me or want me to be, unless what they want and need me to be is just myself. I struggle with being myself. But I know that I, myself, sometimes have to do things that other people don’t understand or wouldn’t do. And if there’s something in the way of me being as me as I can be, well I guess it’s my duty to break it down.
That all got me to thinking quite a bit more about Mrs. Roosevelt, and so I started going through collections of her quotes, and here are a few more that have some meaning to me.
She said: “A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”
I need to take a step back, and look around. Nothing needs to be this complicated. It is. I am.
She said: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
I need to stop worrying so much about what others think of my actions. I have to do what I have to do. There will always be someone who disagrees or who would do it differently. They’re not looking my reality in the face.
She said: “I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role.”
I should try to find some more pleasure in being different. I can’t always agree, and I don’t want to. It wouldn’t be much fun. Life wouldn’t be as much fun if we all agreed about anything. From the big things to the little things, I need to find a way to say, “I don’t agree with you.”
She said: “Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
And finally she also said: “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”
So I’m going to live my life, be myself, cut the fat, voice my unpopular opinions, scare the crap right out of myself. And if I do this, if I follow the advice of Eleanor Roosevelt, well, I think I might not be too bad off. And I think if Eleanor were here, she’d give me an encouraging smile and tell me to get to it. Because …”It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
And as always, I’m just sayin’.