• Steve Martin

Here’s to Being “Good Tired”

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

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Harry Chapin is one of my favorite performers – primarily because of his meaningful lyrics and the emotion he put behind every song and every performance.  Most people remember him for his iconic song “Cat’s in the Cradle”.


He told this story about his grandfather.


My grandfather was a painter. He died at age eighty-eight. 


He illustrated Robert Frost’s first two books of poetry.


He was looking at me and he said, “Harry, there’s two kinds of tired. There’s good tired and there’s bad tired.”


He said, “Ironically enough, bad tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people’s battles; you lived other people’s days, other people’s agendas, other people’s dreams. And when it’s all over, there was very little you in there. And when you hit the hay at night, somehow you toss and turn; you don’t settle easy.


Good tired, ironically enough, can be a day that you lost, but you don’t even have to tell yourself because you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days and when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy, you sleep the sleep of the just and you say ‘take me away’”.


He said, “Harry, all my life I wanted to be a painter and I painted; God, I would have loved to have been more successful, but I painted and I painted and I’m good tired and they can take me away.”


You can hear it in Harry’s own words here ( Harry Chapin – My Grandfather (only sound)


This story has always moved me.  It is inspirational and poignant.


It reminds me that we need to have something in our life that is meaningful and fulfilling to us and that we should be spending our time pursuing the dreams and fighting the battles associated with that “thing” that is really important to us.


It’s the effort, not the result that matters the most.  It is all about the process. It is all about giving it our best shot every day.


Here’s to being “good tired” this week!

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