"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success, in spite of poverty." Mrs March, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
There are a lot of lessons imparted to the girls by their mother Mrs March in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women series that stand the test of time, including the above, which resides in a chapter titled 'Experiments'. The girls are excited to be on vacation and each muse on how they will while away the hours unencumbered by duty, work, study or chores. Only after the first week, they find they are miserable – the ennui is too much to bear. Lounging about, "resting and revelling" in life's pleasures – shopping and sewing (Meg), reading till your eyes give out (Jo) and picnics, tea parties and drawing, particularly in one's finest clothes, as young Amy discovers after soling her best dress, isn't all it's cracked up to be ("she soon found that accomplished and important little self a great burden"). Even the tranquil Beth is disturbed. Indulgences and play-time, muses Mrs March, should be enjoyed in smaller doses as a reward for one's toils, as "Satan [will find] plenty of mischief for idle hands to do".
Girl With a Satchel