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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dare Mighty Things



Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

I love Theodore Roosevelt. A lot. Like stalker-hide-outside-his-house-in-the-bushes a lot. (Yes, I've been to his house. And his grave. I can't help it- I'm a history nerd.)

I have a series of recorded lectures about all sorts of topics in U.S. History and in one of them, a professor mentioned some new psychological disorder they think TR had. I don't remember the name, and to be honest, I'm not going to sit through the hour long lecture again to find out. Suffice to say, the disorder was summed up as Can't-Sit-Still-Always-Has-A-Million-Things-To-Do-And-Drops-Dead-At-An-Early-Age-From-Exhaustion.

Roosevelt was a poster child for the disorder. He dared a lot. The man wrote 30 books, fought in the Spanish American War, went on Safari to Africa, explored an uncharted river in South America (Rio Roosevelt), was Police Commissioner of New York, Governor, Vice President, President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, trust-buster, National Park creator, yada, yada, yada.

Now, I'm no where near as accomplished as Roosevelt, but I sometimes think I suffer from the same new-fangled disorder. (Only I hope to not drop dead at a young age.) I have a hard time sitting still. I make to-do lists for myself on the weekends. I have a gazillion things I want to accomplish before I die, or better yet, before I turn 30. (Yeah, that's coming up soon. Ugh.) I try to dare mighty things.

But I need a break. So I'm taking a few days off from blogging. It's my first non-vacation related blog break so I'm going to test out how much more I can accomplish without the internet. I have a feeling it will free up a fair bit of time.

Of course, I'll still be at the Secret Archives of the Alliterati on Thursday, but otherwise, I'll see you Monday!

17 comments:

Dominique said...

See you Monday. Have fun on your break. :)

Amalia T. said...

Enjoy your break! You've certainly earned it!

Have you thought about cutting back so you aren't posting every weekday? When I switched to a two days a week, it was such a relief!

Lisa and Laura said...

Enjoy your break! Hope you get lots done!

Lola Sharp said...

It must going around...I made a similar post around the same exact time of day Tuesday. (great minds and all that) And I'd been off line since Friday.

I need to finish the revisions on my WiP.

But, here I am. I hadn't been online in 4 days, so I before I disappear for another 4 days, I wanted to visit my friends.
I'm glad I did, because I am not a history nerd, and I did not know all that about Teddy. Fascinating!

Have a wonderful, productive time unplugged

Aubrie said...

I used one of TR's quotes in my year book as a senior. It went something like, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse to have never tried to succeed." I love his quotes!

Vincenzo said...

Consensus seems to be that Theo. Roosevelt was bipolar. He suffered from depression and there was a history of mental illness in his family. Lots of people (and their families) suffer from bipolar disorder. I don't think it's something you'd wish for yourself or anyone else.

L. T. Host said...

I have this hilarious image in my head of you waiting by TR's grave in the bushes a la Buffy for him to rise again.

Enjoy your break-- you've earned it!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I adore Theodore Roosevelt! And I absolutely loved this post. Have a great rest of the week, and I'll see ya on Monday! :-)

Voidwalker said...

Good quote.

No breaks.

Back to blogging! :P

Stephanie Thornton said...

Dominique- Thanks!

Amalia- I'm considering a schedule like that, at least until school gets out.

LiLa- I hope I get a lot done too!

Lola- I pretty much love TR. I'm glad I could share!

Aubrie- I use a lot of TR's quotes in my classroom for the Quote of the Day. He's got some good ones!

Vincenzo- I've read a gazillion books on TR and have never heard the idea that he was bipolar. He was certainly depressed after his son died in WWI, but I don't know of any evidence for the mood swings that often characterize that disorder. The historian I watched had a different disorder she believed TR was a candidate for.

L.T.- There were bushes at his grave, but I didn't hide in them. Man, if TR came back to life though- all the questions I would have for him! Wowza!

Shannon- Isn't TR fabulous? *Swoon*

Voidwalker- Crack that whip!

Bane of Anubis said...

Good on ya. love that quote... I can empathize w/ the suffering aspect.

Vincenzo said...

T.R. was never diagnosed with bipolar. I was referring to the consensus among various professionals based on biographical accounts. For example, Nathan Miller, in his book, "Theodore Roosevelt: A Life", mentions on p. 166, "As usual, his mercurial temperament alternated between elation and depression." That, and the accounts of his amazing activity and prolificness can be typical of bipolar disorder. That's not to say T.R. was bipolar; no one will ever know for sure. But if he did suffer from a true mental illness, I hope you really don't suffer from a similar one as well, because mental illness isn't something to make light of.

Elana Johnson said...

I think we're twins or something! I love TR too. Like a lot. Unfortunately I like to lounge around, watching TV and reading. So I don't have that disorder. But I know what you mean.

Hope you have a relaxing few days!

Imola said...

A bit like Robert Browning's 'I choose never to stoop'...

Julie Dao said...

This is so inspiring! What an icon. And I hope you have a good break from blogging!

Cynthia Reese said...

TR rocks ... he is one of my most favorite biographical characters. There's a pix of him as a child in a window overlooking Lincoln's funeral procession, if I remember correctly.

Libbie H. said...

I also have a gazillion things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. I turn 30 on Sunday. I'd better get crackin'!