Last Tuesday I had no tool to offer you—I had no tool to offer myself. It was just one of those lousy days that I had to sit out.
Mama said there’d be days like this. Actually, my mother rarely had a day that wasn’t like this. She always said that only stupid people can be happy in life.
Fortunately, I don’t agree. I like the free-floating joy that I can usually find inside me if I go deep within. Just a genuine feeling when I don’t let my brain get in the way.
Happiness is an inside job. We can focus on what we have—not what we lack. What we were given, even if that was too soon taken away.
This is easy to say…hard to do when we’re in the thick of sorrow. Sometimes we just have to sit there and do nothing, remembering that our feelings aren’t facts. A bleak view of the world will always pass. And, force ourselves to get busy. Do something. One thing as George Eliot says in her amazing poem, “Count That Day Lost.”
I helped a student memorize the poem the other day and I’m reprinting it here:
Count That Day Lost
If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went —
Then you may count that day well spent.
But if, through all the livelong day,
You’ve cheered no heart, by yea or nay —
If, through it all
You’ve nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face–
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost —
Then count that day as worse than lost.
Tool For Tuesday: We can do one act most small, as George Eliot said.
- Revisiting George Eliot (sgbasu.wordpress.com)
- Backblogged: Our Five Favorite Sentences of the Week (newyorker.com)