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 relatable he is with his 313-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 we have pet names for each other. His ghost calls me Sassafras.) 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.

December 2019 REBOOT-ARAMA!!!  That makes abject failure sound fun, right? I’m going to have to start again with some changes, the main one being that I am going to tackle one virtue a month and double up during one of the months since I’ve never figured out how to cram an extra month in there somewhere for recreation and binge-watching.  Thirteenth month would not be a good choice for Industry month.  Related: Thirteenth month sounds lame.  I shall rename you Euphrosyne after the Roman god of joy. Aren’t you glad I wasn’t in charge of naming your children?  Here are the 13 Virtues:














Frankie’s method was to put a tick mark for each time he failed to live up to one of the virtues.  I will be targeting one per month and drawing them from a hat to add to the suspense.  Who knows, if I keep it up this year perhaps next year I will try to do all thirteen simultaneously.  Now for the big question–do I start now, or on January 1st, 2020?  I shall decide TOMORROW!  Duh-duh-duuuuuuuhhhhhhhh.

January 1, 2021 it begins

If I title a blog post that then it makes it true, right future Stephanie? Cross your fingers mysterious international blog post viewers from 2019. Quarantine-while, we found out yesterday that Biden had won the election. They had videos streaming in from all over the country of people literally dancing in the streets. I’ve never seen anything like it! I was at the Seattle victory party for Clinton his first term and of course we danced there, but the streets were danceless that year and every other election year. Now we all hold our breath and hope for a seamless and peaceful transfer of power.

I suck, period.

What I’ve learned is that I suuuuuucccckkkk at blogging. I kinda feel like I suuuuuucccckkkkk at everything right now. It’s COVID time. It’s, “my learning disabled kids (now with free ADHD included at no extra cost!) are trying to learn from home”, time. It’s, “my husband has taken over my office and working from home”, time. It’s, “two days since the election and we still don’t know who won”, time and don’t forget, “I have very little confidence that we will get through this pandemic without losing one or more of our parents”, time. So, yeah… All of that plus it’s rainy and cold and getting dark at 5pm and will it ever be summer and not socially distanced again? I’ve tried for the two past years to get this blog up and running–maybe this is the year I finally do, but I doubt it. Past behavior is the best predicter of future behavior and my past behavior is flaky af. See you in 2022-ish, probably? =P