May your mailboxes (and e-readers)
be filled with lovely, lovely books in 2013!
Everyone gets crazy thoughts from time to time, it’s what you do about them that counts.
She spent quite a lot of time thinking about which particular project would give her a real sense of achievement. What she finally decided was that this was the ideal opportunity to read Proust’s masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu, in French. The amount of time lightning rods were typically expected to be on duty would be just right for working through a French text. On the one hand she wouldn't be reading a lot at any one time, so she wouldn't get discouraged. On the other hand, it was quite a long book, so by the time she finished she’d probably have enough money for Harvard Law School. She could look at the volumes on her shelf and see how far she had to go. So she went to the university bookstore and bought the complete set, and she started at page one, paragraph one on her first day on the job. Sure enough, the idea worked perfectly. The fact that she had to struggle with the French meant she didn't have a lot of attention to spare for anything else that might be going on. She’d go through as much text as she could, underlining words she didn't know with a pencil. At night she’d look up the words and read through the passage again. The next day she’d read on. Within a month she was having to look up fewer words. Within six months she was reading the French almost as well as she read English—and that was entirely the result of doing it on a daily basis.
All work is coloured by the spectacles worn. Look on it as fearful drudgery and it will never be anything else. See it as a job supremely worth doing, some of it creative, some more humdrum, but all demanding one's best, then running the home without help becomes a challenge and rewarding in itself.
Before you call it a day, replace furniture and ornaments, re-hang pictures and mirrors, make up the bed and put up fresh curtains. You can sleep well tonight, knowing that even the Victorian housewife wouldn't have done a more thorough job.