October 11th, 2009
07:14 AM ET

Dear President Obama #265: 100 days until Obama-mas!

Reporter's Note: President has been in office 265 days. That’s a lot of days and a lot of letters to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations! Everyone made so much noise about your first hundred days, let me be the first to wish you the very best of luck as you head into the final hundred days of your first year in office!

I’ll bet you didn’t even notice. That’s how it is with new jobs. When you first get one, you keep track of every hour, then every day, then every week, then suddenly you’re packing a box, moving on to the next opportunity and wondering where all the years went.

I used to work in a grocery store as a stock boy, and let me tell you it could be miserable sometimes. The cardboard boxes would cut the edges of my fingers as I reached in for cans of peaches and beans. The old milk I had to dispose of in the back room sink was so vile it made me gasp for air. My arms ached from mopping up spills on aisle four, and five, and six…and you know the rest.

So I came up with a trick. When I was scheduled for a particularly long shift, like 12 hours, I would imagine precisely what it was going to feel like when I was done. I would briefly close my eyes, blocking out the smells, sounds, and the buzz of shoppers; and I would think about how the night air would feel on my skin, how the store lights would flicker out behind me, and how the farm fields would roll past as I went home. And how the hours, once safely put behind me, would feel like no time at all. It worked and helped me through some awfully long days.

Over the years, however, I’ve found that this mental time machine runs both directions. Just as it can help you pass difficult times, sometimes I find it makes it impossible to hold onto and savor times when they are wonderful, because I know soon enough they will be behind me, and seem like no time at all. So on this sort-of anniversary day, my advice to you is the same as I give to anyone our age: Don’t take even one of the next hundred days for granted. Or the next hundred after that. Or the next. Wake up every morning ready to make the most of the day in front of you. And as Ben Franklin said, “Do not squander time. That’s the stuff life is made of.”

Hope your weekend is lovely. Call if you get moment.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. STACY

    Here is a question, why is it we expect President Obama to resolve the economic crisis in so many months when it took Bush 8 years to destroy it?

    October 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  2. sally

    Dear Mr. Foreman

    That was such a nice letter to the President. That was such a nice letter to all of us. Full of wisdom and opportunity and caring. I like it better when you write like this.

    October 11, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  3. Norma Labno


    Dear Tom:

    Some superb advice in today's Letter to the President!

    I particularly like your remarks about imagining yourself getting
    thru a difficult shift at work & how you did that thru the aid of
    your imagination!

    I like the acknowlegement – the reverse can be true so don't
    take the next 100 days for granted, nor the 100 days after that!

    And, best of all – though sometimes difficult for me; as Ben Franklin
    said – "Do not squander time. That is the stuff life is made of." So
    Indisputably True!


    norma from nv

    October 11, 2009 at 9:19 am |