Many of us wish we could turn back the hands of time and live our lives over again. To step back into the past with the foreknowledge of the future and do things different again. I know there are things I would do differently if God were to send me back to start all over again-especially if I knew then what I know now. The new choices we would make and paths we would take are endless.
Tonight, I read this little gem by way of Change for Good written by Erma Bombeck when she found out she was dying of cancer entitled, “If I Had My Life to Live Over”. It’s definitely worth a read.
“In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.” -John Lilly
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.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa 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 just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my 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.
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.” 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. Stop sweating the small stuff.
Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.
“It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.” – Helen Walton
Sad to say, it took Erma to face death to realize this. In fact, many people had the same attitude only after they faced death, or near-death. I thought about this post when I was in worship service, thinking on what I’d do differently. However, my pastor’s sermon and Erma’s words made me realize that instead of pining over lost opportunities, we could be focusing on the things that matter the most-love, relationship, living our lives now.
Just now, my son Carrington woke up and asked me to hold him for a moment to help him sleep. I would have usually said for him just to go to bed. However, Erma’s words came to me and I realized that I may never have that chance again. So I held Carrington on my lap for a bit to help him transition to sleep.
I’ve decided to take the opportunities to do things differently now. I refuse to wait until it’s lights out for me to make the realization Erma did. With God’s help I will live, laugh and love more. I will stop sweating over dumb shit and let it go. I will stop “majoring in the minors”, and instead focus on what’s really important in life. I will risk looking the fool and jump in with both feet. I will live so that when it’s my time, I won’t have the same regrets Erma did.
Let’s not wait until we’re our deathbeds before we realize what’s important. Let’s quit pining over “if I could do it all over again” and do it while we have the chance.
It may be the only chance we’ll ever have.