I’m a big fan of Erma Bombeck and one of the most poignant things she wrote was “If I Had My Life to Live Over”, an elegy to wasted time and opportunity. It reminds us that life is short and we should seize every moment.
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If I had my life to live over… by Erma Bombeck
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa was faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realised that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later…now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more “I love you’s” and more “I’m sorry’s”.
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it…live it…and never give it back.
About Erma Bombeck
Erma Louise Bombeck was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s.
Erma famously said:
“When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”
“Never have more children than you have car windows.”
Over to you now. What’s your take on Erma’s advice? What would you be saying if you had to live live over? Share your thoughts in the comments below.