Come sit with me, let's visit

Come sit with me, let's visit

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ben Franklin

He that can compose himself, is wiser than he that composes books.

I have had Ben Franklin's list of 13 virtues in my calender for the last 5 years. This week it is Temperance which, according to what I see is: "Do not eat or drink to excess, only consume what is necessary.  Drunken states serve no purpose.  Gluttony will feel great for awhile, and take forever to work off. He does not allow himself to lose his balance in life, such as by easily losing his temper when stuck in a traffic jam.  The temperate man will not let his emotions or passions control him.  He will not devote himself wholly to the pursuit of pleasure, to the neglect of his duty to himself and to his family."

That is a lot to swallow in one single day. So I have read this, which I constructed from many sources, and I review what I may have done recently, and how I can conduct myself more appropriately in the future. I think I can say I have seen a change in a few things. I do, on occasion gorge myself on something delicious, but it really is a temporary pleasure, with the occasional gall bladder attack to bring me back to reality. My drinking has lessened considerably. I can count on one hand the times, in the last year I indulged deeply. The weekend my son got married only counts as one, by the way.

My temper is something I have fought with for ages. I did learn that I need two things. I place to vent, and a place of solitude. There are days when I simply MUST call out in rage my colorful and often selfish anger. I have had a few sounding boards and they are a wonderful resource. They tend to be some of my closest friends, because they will call and share their pain with me. It has created a few very nice bonds in my life and I am deeply grateful for each. But I have long since stopped throwing things and swinging at stuff.

Neglecting my family... ah, that is an interesting one. I have deeply complicated relationship with each of my children. I love them both unconditionally, and am so very proud of each. I have learned many things about being a parent, often the hard way. But that's my style. Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda. But we get wiser with age.  I still have them both, and the rest of my family is getting more of my love than they have in a long time. I have taken those walls down. I have learned that honesty, forgetfulness, with a dose of forgiveness is the key to strong family ties.

And that is just one of the Virtues Ben discusses. Five years I been working on this. Ben did it his whole life, I wonder if I will. Next week may be good, it is Silence, perhaps we wont have a blog... :)  

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