Many years ago I read a story that impacted me so much that I wrote it down in my journal. Recently, while going through old notebooks, I read it and it hit the cord in me again. I have to share it with you.
It originally appeared in Reader’s Digest.
The writer Nardi Reeder Campion describes a time in her life when she was down in the dumps and discovered a diary that had been kept more than forty years before by a maiden aunt who had gone through some bad times herself.
Aunt Grace had been poor, frail and forced to live with relatives. “I know I must be cheerful,” she wrote, “living in this large family upon whom I am dependent. Yet gloom haunts me. Clearly, my situation is not going to change; therefore I shall have to change.”
To help her hold her fragile world together, Aunt Grace resolved to do six things every day:
- Something for someone else
- Something for herself
- Something she didn’t want to do that needed doing
- A physical exercise
- A mental exercise
- An original prayer that always included counting her blessings
These six things help change Nardi’s life as they had helped change Aunt Grace’s life many years before.
“Can life be lived by a formula?” Nardi asks herself in the article. “All I know is that since I started to live by those six precepts, I’ve become more involved with others and hence less ‘buried’ in myself.”
Ever since I read this story Aunt Grace’s motto, ‘Bloom where you are planted’ has become my motto too.