Mind your own

Not to support this side or that in chariot-racing, this fighter or that in the games. To put up with discomfort and not make demands. To do my own work, mind my own business, and have no time for slanderers.

~ Marcus Aurelius, med. 1.5

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I recently had a run-in— well, to be accurate, I drove off the road… But I’ll call it a “run-in” with reality. (No injuries, no serious damage, just a bit of unexpected adventure in what should have been a boring car ride.)

First, as I touch-typed that previous sentence, I ended that parenthetical note by typing, “…a boring car die.)” If that’s not a Freudian slip, (where you mean one thing but say your mother,) I don’t know what it is. I stared at it for a moment and then corrected it, as it now appears above. Driving off the road didn’t scare me, but it has clearly been rattling around my thoughts recently.

Second, after more thought in the days after: Yeah, I’m ok with what I’m up to these days. Doing my own work. Working on minding my own business. Not making demands. Putting up with discomfort. …and that last one is not a passive-aggressive, “that’s ok I’ll just sit here in the dark.” (How many grandmothers does it take to change a light bulb? in case you didn’t catch that.) I mean simply putting up with discomfort; it’s hot, I’m sweaty and the gnats are annoying, sort of discomfort.

Anyway, I’ve just added this wonderful reminder from Aurelius to my collection of daily reflection prompts. There were 57, and now there are 58. It also becomes quote number 652 in my growing collection. If you’re curious about how these posts are created, it’s a mixture of scheduled posts and daily writing. Instead of scheduling this one out somewhere in the future—which does have the advantage of surprising me when they do pop out… Instead, I’m opting to drop it here to give me some room for more thoughts.

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Make haste slowly

Diligence is quick to carry out what intelligence has lingered over. Fools are fond of hurry: They take no heed of obstacles and act incautiously. The wise usually fail through hesitation. Fools stop at nothing, the wise at everything. Sometimes things are judged correctly but go wrong out of inefficiency and neglect. Readiness is the mother of luck. It is a great deed to leave nothing for the morrow. A lofty motto: Make haste slowly.

~ Baltasar Gracián

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Well enough alone

Some take nothing into account, and others want to take account for everything. They are always talking importance, always taking things too seriously, turning them into debate and mystery. Few bothersome things are important enough to bother with. It is folly to take to heart what you should turn your back on. Not the least of life’s rules is to leave well enough alone.

~ Baltasar Gracián

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