Saturday, March 21, 2009
Old Nonsense: Dismiss The Stress
I recently recommended Thoreau's WALDEN to my son, who had to read nonfiction for his English class. In doing so I happened upon some other work of American Transcendentalists, and it came at a perfect time. The last two weeks have been particularly stressful, mainly in the fact that my tasks were unrelenting: always a new chore to check off the list, a new place to go, a new contractual obligation to fulfill. Even Friday not was not a time of relaxation, because I had promised to teach a class early Saturday morning.
I was pleased, then, to see this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, king of the Transcendentalists, written on the blackboard of a fellow English teacher:
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it with too high a spirit to be encumbered with old nonsense."
How freeing these words are! How refreshing to be able to dismiss the day's mistakes or problems as "old nonsense" and move on, re-energized.
There are so many mantras to choose from; in the unrelenting present, I think that being able to rise above my concerns is just the ticket. I choose Ralph Waldo for the time being, since I can't head to the woods just now (sorry, Thoreau).