i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

What good have I done today?

We built a fort.

This is my year to live like Ben Franklin. I don’t want to invent electricity or a new way to send mail. No need for me to sail to France to get money for a revolution. What I am looking for is a more productive life.

Ben Franklin went to bed at 10:00 p.m.and woke up at 5:00 a.m. On the top of his daily diary he wrote: “What good shall I do this day?” and on the bottom of the page he wrote: “What good have I done today.”

Yesterday afternoon I had a choice. I could clean the kitchen or build a fort with my ten-year old daughter in the backyard. The dirty dishes are always there. I wash them, dry them and put them away. And when I turn around, they are dirty again.

I will always have dirty dishes. I won’t always have my children living with me.

I built the fort.

I built the fort.

What good will you do today?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • another great post (sorry – will just continue reading and not comment from now on – i feel my ‘wow’, ‘great’, ‘love ya’ comments aren’t really adding much, but my enthusiasm got the better of me (or, rather, the enthusiasm you sprouted within me got the better of me…)

    • Thank you Helen for taking the time to comment.
      And hopefully today my comment forwarding system will be fixed so I don’t miss any again.

      • Hi Pamela, thanks for your reply (!)…hoping your comment thingy is working now (and that you weren’t offended by my message)….

        • Hello Helen,
          The comment thingy is still broken. I looked in the dashboard of my blog to see if I had missed comments again.
          And I wasn’t offended. I was delighted you told me.

          • Sorry it’s still broken and “phew” that you weren’t offended 🙂

  • I taught my butt off, and some of it was good and some didn’t work, so I thought about what I’m going to do differently tomorrow and the next time this unit rolls around, so more of it is good next time. I bought pizza for students who stayed after school to watch Hamlet, while I wrote the sonnet I posted for slice #14, which I hope gives a few people a moment of fun. Now I’m marking student writing and commenting on writing here, both of which I hope is doing some small good in some small way. It’s been a great day, and not even over yet.

    I have dishes to wash too, but I will always have dishes and I won’t always have a classroom to work in every day. And the mass slice experience only lasts for a month.

    • pamelahodges

      Your comments are always an encouragement. And it was the March slice last year that gave me the confidence to believe I was a writer. Especially the comments from the Canadian poet.

  • I am beyond jealous of your fort! I like the questions you mentioned Ben Franklin asked every day. I think they might be something I start asking as well 🙂

    • pamelahodges

      How was your day today? Did you start your day asking a Ben Franklin question?

  • You did a good thing…the best for that moment!

  • I want to build forts, but instead we went out for frozen yogurt. My daughter is 28. But I still enjoy spending time with her and I’m so happy she is living at home. I love Ben’s philosophy. Such wise words.

    • pamelahodges

      What a fun way to spend time with your daughter. Maybe you can build a fort with her this weekend.

  • That is an awesome looking fort…..great decision, Mom!

  • elsie

    You know you made the best choice. Live your life like there is no tomorrow.

  • Love the post, love the picture, love the choice you made, and of course I love the fort. I want to live like Ben Franklin too:-)

  • Love this post! My post today is also about the good. I am asking more specifically to young adults today…what good are you putting into the world? I loved reading this post because it made me switch my focus to the good I put into the world…including things like building forts with the kids 🙂

  • I love this! Sometimes it’s so hard to remember that building the fort is waaaaay better than doing the dishes or … whatever. Good choice.

  • You chose wisely.

  • writekimwrite

    Those are good questions to begin and end the day with. It frames the day with the task of doing good which is something worth reflecting on. Your daughter will always remember you choose her and the fort. The fort looks very cool. I am wondering will you search for tadpoles this year?

    • pamelahodges

      Yes, we will look for tadpoles this year. We did a tadpole rescue last year, so hopefully they survived. Thank you for asking.

  • Excellent choice!

  • Wonderful, Pamela. What a good choice. When you little girl grows up, has children of her own, she’ll probably tell her kids a story about the day when she and grandma built a fort.

    Now to edit your header: I paint. I write. I build forts. 🙂

    Yesterday, I helped my son hang two hammocks, bunk bed-style between two Oak trees. Once I laid down, I didn’t want to get up. My kids give me a good reason to, in some ways, still be a kid. Then we rode bikes in the street. Hopped our bikes up and down curbs.

    • pamelahodges

      Hello Shannon,
      Riding bikes and jumping curbs. Sounds like you had a great day.