Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 346 – The Exhaustion Of Doing Nothing

“A man grows most tired while standing still.”

— Chinese Proverb

There are nights when I’m so tired I can hardly find the energy to lie down.

People sleeping standing up

There are nights when every muscle in my body hurts.

There are nights when I can’t see straight for fatigue.

There are nights when I’ve given everything I had to everyone I could.

Yet it pales in comparison to the exhaustion of doing nothing.

Put a dollar into every Salvation Army red kettle I’ve seen this year, including the one in front of the grocery store tonight. 

Bonus tonight. Here’s a story by Harry Chapin talking about his grandfather.  I heard this many years ago, and it rings as true for me today as it did then.

Giving is not about living someone else’s days, agendas or dreams. It’s about learning to be so secure with your dreams that you can help someone else reach for theirs.

“My Grandfather was a painter. He died at age 88. He illustrated Robert Frost’s first two books of poetry.

And he was looking at me one day and he said: “Harry, there’s two kinds of tired. There’s good-tired and there’s bad-tired.”

He said: “Ironically enough, bad-tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people’s battles. You lived other people’s days, other people’s agendas, other people’s dreams. When the day was over, there was very little you in there. And when you hit the hay at night, you toss and you turn. You don’t settle easy.”

He said: “Good-tired, also ironically, can be a day that you lost. But you don’t have to tell yourself, ’cause you know that you fought your battles and you chased your dreams … you lived your day. And when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy, you sleep the sleep of the just, and you can say ‘Take me away.’

“And Harry, all my life I’ve wanted to be a painter. And I painted. God, I would have loved to have been more successful. But I painted and I painted. And I am good tired. And they can take me away.”

Now … if there’s a process … in our lives … in the insecurity that we have about a prior life or an after life … if there is a process that will allow us to live our days, that will allow us to have that degree of equanimity towards the end — looking at that black, implacable wall of death — that degree of peace, that degree of non-fear … I want in!!”

— Harry Chapin

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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2 Responses to Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 346 – The Exhaustion Of Doing Nothing

  1. Natalie says:

    A ton of wisdom here today. There is great peace in knowing that you gave it all — it’s like the gravy on top of a hard day.

  2. Eric Winger says:

    Thanks. Gravy does make everything better.

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