Friday, January 04, 2008

"Lay long in bed, having been busy late last night. . . "

{The signature and seal of Samuel Pepys, from the National Archives.}

I'm still traveling so no real post today. But in case you need more post-New Year's commiseration over disarray, personal failures, and already broken resolutions, how about this, from Samuel Pepys's diary entry of January 1, 1665:
After dinner to my office again, where very late alone upon my accounts, but have not brought them to order yet, and very intricate I find it, notwithstanding my care all the year to keep things in as good method as any man can do.
So take heart: it's not just us harried late-modern types who start the new year already behind on everything except Battlestar Galactica--even a very well-regarded, organized, hardworking Chief Secretary of the Admiralty found himself confronting similar problems.

And yet the next day Pepys would record fooling around gaily with two women (with one of whom he did "ce que je voudrais avec," the insertion of French always an indicator of illicit pleasures), making plans for an assignation with a third, and, at day's end, being incited to jealousy about his wife by the sight of a pair of rutting dogs! While we surely should not, if we wish to be able to look ourselves in the mirror, imitate Pepys's behavior, as we open a new year we could hardly be faulted for hoping to approach our days, whatever their complexities, with some smidgen of his unbounded energy, enthusiasm, and dauntlessness.

The Daily Pepys online diary remains one of the joys of the Internet. If it's not in your blog reader, put it there; you won't regret the time you spend with the man.

1 comment:

  1. exactly how i felt revisiting flat discount and projection formulae after the holiday hiatus--j.