To Worry or Not To Worry

6 Feb

F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the major American writers of the twentieth century – a figure whose life and works embodied powerful myths about our national dreams and aspirations.  The American writer battled many demons in his day. The father of one struggled openly with alcoholism, a schizophrenic wife, and the overarching suspicion that he was never really talented.  You may know F. Scott Fitzgerald most for, “The Great Gatsby“.  A near-masterpiece.

My love for reading is one of the lesser known facts people know about me.  I will give just about any book a shot as long as the first three pages hold my attention.  One of these days I’ll post my top 10 books on my blog.  I think you’ll be surprised at what I have on my list.

Anyway, as I was doing some research on the internet about books, I came across a list.  Well, a letter and then a list.

In 1933, F. Scott Fitzgerald ended a letter to his 11-year-old daughter, Scottie, with a list of things to worry about, not worry about, and simply think about. It read as follows.

Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,

Daddy

———————————

I’m thinking about writing my own list for my boys.  Especially for Cash, my little worrier.  Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.  It’s also a saying that I, myself, need to embrace.

(Source:  F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters; Image: F. Scott Fitzgerald with his daughter, Scottie, in 1924.)
(Source:  List of Note:  Things To Worry About)

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