In 1933, F. Scott Fitzgerald ended a letter to his daughter, Scottie, with a list of things to worry about, things not to worry about, and things to think about.
It’s a pretty good list. I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing to worry about personally is horsemanship. I ride English saddle, and my knees might just fall off after I hit the second hour of posting.
That said, many of the items on all three lists hit home with me. I do think about courage and efficiency early and often. And I shouldn’t spend much time reflecting upon the past, the future, anybody getting ahead of me, failure, disappointments, or mosquitoes. But I do. In my defense, I’m a mosquito magnet.
Perhaps the biggest question: What am I really aiming at? That’s a tough one, for sure.
From F. Scott Fitzgerald —
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:
(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,
(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters)