“A good conscience is a continual Christmas”

I spent a lot of this weekend reading Benjamin Franklin. I have been noodling around the idea of creating a reading guide of sorts that would contain half a dozen ready-made "to be read" lists based around a theme. One of those is self-help (well, "your best life" sounds better). I'd remembered reading part of Ben Franklin's autobiography and liking it, and so this weekend I picked it up and read all the way through the first volume. While the book is memoir, many of the stories end with Franklin learning some lesson. It is his project for living the good life. Then I decided to get a Kindle version of Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733-1747. It is astonishingly funny in places, and I suppose people in the 1730s picked it up in part to see how Richard Saunders would mock the competing almanacs on the market, including his running joke about predicting the exact date of rival Titus Leeds' death. He ran an obituary of the man, who was very much alive, then when Leeds protested, accused the printer of impersonating Leeds in order to keep publishing his almanacs. The title of this blog post comes from one of Poor Richard's aphorisms. Some other favorites:

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."

"Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure." (My version of this is that time discipline leads to time freedom, but of course Ben Franklin says it better.)

Other events: Thursday I went to the 9-year-old's choir concert (see photo). It was cute. It was also short! We were out of there in about 45 minutes, which is just about right for this sort of thing.

Friday night we went to "Family Fun Night" at our elementary school. I gave the 9-year-old and 7-year-old a fistful of tickets and let them go where they pleased. This worked quite well. The 5-year-old stayed with me, and then my husband came with the 2-year-old, but we managed to keep them relatively contained, and it was not a horrible experience.

Saturday I went with the 9-year-old and the 5-year-old to karate class. They had a Mother's Day thing going where moms took class with the kids this time. So I did two back-to-back karate classes. I quite enjoyed punching and kicking. This was after running a 5k on the treadmill in the early AM (the little guy slept until 7:45 — apparently family fun night tired him out!)

Grandma and Grandpa have been on the East Coast visiting my siblings and me. They and my little brother came on Saturday. A portion of the crew went to the Museum of the American Revolution during the toddler's nap. I stayed home, and then watched golf with my dad and the 2-year-old for a while. We had fajitas for dinner. We had ice cream cake for my soon-to-be 10-year-old and opened presents. Then my husband and my brother proceeded to stay up watching Vikings (and I presume drinking) until 3 a.m. Not good, as this meant that I wound up getting up with the 2-year-old at 6 a.m. on MOTHER'S DAY. Fortunately, my father came downstairs a bit before 7 a.m. I went upstairs and crashed until almost 9 a.m., which made getting half of us to church (and half of us to swim lessons) at 10 a.m. challenging. We were a bit late.

After a rainy Saturday, Sunday turned out to be pretty nice. We spent quite a bit of time sitting outside on the back porch, looking at the trees and chatting. My brother and I went for a run on the trail by the river. He set a brisk pace. We grilled steaks at night — the grilling interrupted by a bit of rain — but they were very good! It is not quite summer, but we are getting there.

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4 Responses to “A good conscience is a continual Christmas”


  1. Kristen says:

    Haha, I love your low expectations for the family fun night: It was not a horrible experience. 😉

    We had depressing weather Saturday but like you, we had Sunday weather that more than made up for it!

    • @Kristen – another great Benjamin Franklin quote: Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. Totally my thought about Family Fun Night!

  2. Carolyn McNulty says:

    Thank you for the Ben Franklin quotes! I’ve printed them to put on the cover of the notebook I use to track my work hours and keep my priority lists. I started the notebook after reading your books and setting a goal of working 45 hours per week during the school year instead of 50. This school year is still at 50, but some of those hours are prep for working less next fall.

    • @Carolyn- Ben Franklin is a veritable font of good quotes. And many of the Poor Richard ones are short enough to tweet!

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