DECEMBER 30, 1943
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Someone has pointed out to me that I was a little abrupt in saying that we must make a great effort to keep well. Of course, every one of us wants to keep well, but too few of us consistently keep ourselves in good condition.
I am the last person to suggest that one should be afraid of picking up germs, or of doing anything because one might run into some kind of contagion. I have never found being afraid of anything did one any good. I have always gone on the theory that if one could be useful, one took whatever risks were incurred and was glad of the chance to do whatever needed to be done. One learns to take risks sensibly and takes as many precautions as possible.
Don't get overtired unless you have to. If you do get overtired, take the first chance that comes along to catch up on sleep and rest. Eat and drink sensibly. See that you get your quota of fresh vegetabbles and fruit, and that you don't eat too much. See that you get a certain amount of fresh air and exercise every day. The rest of the time, work as hard as you like and keep as interested as possible in your work—that is what I mean by making an effort to keep well.
If you are in good condition and become ill, you have something to help you fight the little bugs—some reserve that can be called on if you've kept in good condition. The less we add to the doctors' and nurses' burdens these days, the better it is for the communities in which we live. Remember, however, that if you or anyone in your family runs a temperature, it is better to see a doctor as soon as possible and follow the doctor's directions, otherwise you may have a serious illness instead of a slight one.
We saw "Winged Victory" last night and enjoyed it. It is emotional in spots, particularly these days, when so many people see situations on the stage through which people they love are passing. I hope it leaves every person in the audience with the thought that the sacrifices are only worthwhile if we learn something from them and do better in the peace than we did before—otherwise we have no right to waste hundreds of young lives.
The show is well written, acted and produced. I am sure the audiences will increase in magnitude wherever it goes. The house was crowded and enthusiastic last night.
Now we are on our way back to Washington. Two grandchildren, Sara and Kate Roosevelt, are added to those who will be with us for the next few weeks. Over New Year's we shall have seven grandchildren in the house, which is a good way to begin the New Year.