Most of us do not believe in our own conviction. We remember and tell of every slip we have made. If we forget to mail a letter, keep an appointment, deliver a message, we spread the news, giving all our friends the impression that we are not reliable, forgetting that the world takes us at our own valuation.
We have stayed out late at parties, because we hadn't the nerve to break away, and then have been so tired the next morning we had not time for the bath and careful dressing which would have fortified us for the day's happenings, but instead had to dash out for the 8:20 car with the sense of guilt that comes with soiled cuffs and an unwashed skin.
We are so busy and concerned with our own and other people's affairs we have not time to choose our food wisely, and so we eat what is handiest and acquire indigestion and gloom and a sense of impending disaster. We know that whipped cream does not agree with us, but when we go out to a luncheon and it is there on the salad, satiny-white and billowy, we eat it, because we do not want to appear rude. We haven't time to walk, to read, to relax, nor to take the hair treatments we know we should have. There are so many parties and bridges, sometimes we feel we can't face another one, but we do—poor, over-worked slaves that we are!
We haven't even the grace to let ourselves forget the unpleasant happenings of life. When someone slights us, we feel so badly over it we simply have to tell someone, and so write a full account of it to our friends, thereby engraving the whole matter on the tables of our memory; and then we grieve over it, and stupidly say we wish we could forget it! When we lie awake at night, we torment ourselves by picturing how wretched we will feel the next day, instead of turning on the light and pleasantly reading the story we had intended to read the day before.
We are clever people, efficient and high-powered, but in our zeal to get things done we are forgetting the simple art of living.
Let us make a resolve—that we will begin to-day to relax, and loiter, and potter around, and be lazy if we feel like it once in a while, and take time to meditate, and watch the sun go down behind the hill.
Let us be good to ourselves.
Nelly Letitia McClung, Be good to Yourself, 1930