My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday was filled with the usual variety of appointments and, in the late afternoon, I went rather sadly to see my daughter and her husband off for Seattle, Washington. These are such uncertain times one cannot help but dislike all goodbyes.

I devoted the evening to my mail and, at midnight, went in to find the President still deep in the accumulation which had greeted him. I protested that no secretaries should be at work at midnight, and she picked up almost as big a bundle of finished mail as that which remained unfinished in the basket and went home. The President has another evening of work before him without counting any of the additions which are pouring in every day.

Today, two sessions of a conference called by Miss Katharine Lenroot, of the Children's Bureau, are meeting in the White House. The members of the conference are discussing children in wartime and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the morning session, and hope to be at most of the afternoon session.

I saw an amusing little scene in the train the other day. A white haired, charming woman, came in with a slightly hurried, flustered look. All her tickets were bunched up in her hand. She was followed by a gentle looking white-haired man, who saw her seated and then left. I surmised he thought her hurry might upset her, but once outside, he stood looking up at her window.

She settled herself and I had time to notice her charming gray hat with magenta and gray feathers, which gave just the right touch of color to her softly waved hair. Then she caught the man's eye, leaned forward eagerly and waved her hand. A smile of understanding and affection spread over the woman's face and I thought to myself, "One of the blessings of age is to learn not to part on a note of sharpness, to treasure the moments spent with those we love, and to make them whenever possible good to remember, for time is short." Time is never long enough for happiness anyway. I wonder if this is one of the things youth might learn from age.

I was struck by the fifth in a series of war time conversation pieces by Bonaro W. Overstreet, which appeared in a paper last Sunday. The following lines seem to be good advice for all of us:

"Don't stop wanting, but make your wants so big

They cover everybody—Not so little

They cover just yourself."

This is the advice of his mother to a little colored boy who was finding it hard to face some of the frustrations which come to minority groups. But these aren't the words which should be said just to one group or to one age. They should be said to all of us. We must want for others, not ourselves alone.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 5, 1943

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.