Living Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues for One Year

Image-1 (7)In a moment of “What should I read next?!?” angst I picked up Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography.  Picked up is probably a misnomer as I read it on my Kindle, although I DO have to pick up the Kindle, so there’s that.  I was shocked at how likable, charming, and relateable he is with his 311 year old self.  Who knew?

In the second section of Benny’s autobiography (I feel we are in a long distance friendship–the distance being time–so I call him cute nicknames) which he penned in his 80s he detailed a system he had devised in his youth for self improvement.  He initially chose 12 areas to work on and eventually added a 13th after a Quaker friend pointed out that he struggled with pride.  He continued using this system for many years and found it quite useful and I got it in my head that I should try it, too.  What does one do after making a decision like that?  One starts a blog, of course! Ack!  I know, I know, I’m the worst.  Nevertheless that is how this blog began and I will be posting once a day about my progress with my old pal Benny’s system.


Day 12

Well we’re going to have a family adventure tomorrow and go see a doggy at a shelter about an hour away and see if he’s the one for us.  I’m excited, but nervous.  Our beloved dog, Splinky, died in November at age 18 1/2.  We got him when he was 1 1/2 and I’ve had him nearly half my life.  Still miss the little dude.  =(

Temperance: 0 for diet decaf pop, 1 for too much cheesy bread.

Silence: 0

Day 10: Sick again

Slept a lot today. Also played a lot of the new Professor Layton game: Layton’s Mystery Journey that features his daughter Katrielle as the detective.  It’s pretty fun.  My 12 yo also loves PL games and went as Luke for Halloween this year which was ADORABLE.

Temperance: 0 ticks.  Prolly much easier to achieve when you’re sick.

Silence: 0 ticks.  This one is coming much easier to me.  I spend a lot of my time on social media just sending people pep talks or congratulations.  I feel like it’s going fine with my kiddos and husband as well.  I think the timing of this virtue works out well since I’m still struggling with Temperance on the daily.

Day 9: Not Feeling Fine

Ugh! Sick with a stomach bug today—fever and pukey pukes.  Planning to rest tomorrow and try to get over it.

Temperance: 0 ticks for diet decaf soda, 1 tick for almond rocas. Worth it…until I started throwing up.

Silence: 0 ticks. I regretted talking to my 12 yo son about the fact that MS and HS were pretty awful for me (the context being that I’m glad it’s going better for him). I thought it didn’t benefit him because I don’t want him to feel sorry for me or worry about teenage me—he’s a worrier, but later I realized that the benefit is getting to know me better, and that life got much better for me after HS, and also that I believed it would, even as a teen.

Day 8: I Can Hardly Wait

Today is finally Day 1 of Week 2, which means in addition to continuing to work on Temperance, I will be adding Silence this week.  Here’s what silence meant to BF:

Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.

Personal news: Feeling really anxious the last few days.  Hoping to feel more zen tomorrow.


Temperance: 0 tick marks for diet decaf pop consumption. 1 for over indulging in Cheetos–actually let’s make it 2 ticks, there were a LOT of Cheetos involved.

Silence:  0 ticks today.  I feel like what I said to my kids was of benefit to them even if it only made them laugh or we were playing a game together.  Words today spoken to my husband were mostly of benefit to me, not him, but that still counts as okay under Benjy’s definition.  I needed to talk about how I’ve been feeling anxious lately and to try to work out what is bringing this up in me and try to come up with some ideas for coping with it.  As you may have guessed from the blog so far I am not someone who likes to sit around complaining about problems whilst (bonus points for ye olde timey word) doing nothing to try to fix them.  See you tomorrow!  Have a great day!

Day 7: Bloggings not Heaven

Ugh! I’ve spent a few hours learning the ropes, but I will need to put in a few more before I get things looking better.  Good thing this upcoming week isn’t Industry or Resolution, but I am tired and this is all your getting tonight! So what IS next week, you may ask?  SILENCE!  This will be interesting since I LOVE to talk!  More on what Silence meant to Franklin tomorrow.

In personal news I did a lot of catching up on paperwork and old email debt. Riveting blogging material, I know!  Also did some very messy science experiments with my nine year old daughter and husband and broke out my 12 year old son’s new copy of Snipper Clips for some family video game time which was a nice change after 3 straight days of Charades.  We have no idea where our kiddos get their passion for Charades.  It sure wasn’t from us!  Also landed my first two Spike tricks with my Kendama which is looking pretty battered already due to my lack of athletic prowess.

Daily Tally–

Temperance:  0 for decaf diet sodas, 1 for eating more than a serving of Swedish fish type candy whilst gaming (I threw in that “whilst” in your honor, Bennyman).