If I Had My Life to Live Over


This is a well known column by Erma Bombeck, a very popular writer who was syndicated back in the days before the internet and died in 1996.. (Yes children, there once was a world without it when people couldn’t live without their paper newspapers!) 

Anyway, I thought I’d post it for anyone in younger generations, or other countries, who missed it. Its quite wonderful, I think. Hope you will too. Its called “If I Had My Life to Live Over”.  She writes:

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and 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 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 burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

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 have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

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 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 realized 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 yous”..  more “I’m sorrys”…  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.

by Erma Bombeck 

About Erma from Wikipedia: “Erma Louise Bombeck (February 211927 – April 221996), born Erma Fiste, was an Americanhumorist who achieved great popularity for hernewspaper column that described suburban home life humorously from the mid-1960s until the late ’90s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became best-sellers.

From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife with broad, and sometimes eloquent, humor. By the 1970s, her witty columns were read, twice weekly, by thirty million readers of 900 newspapers of theU.S. and Canada.”

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6 Responses to “If I Had My Life to Live Over”

  1. viv66 Says:

    I think there are many things I might have done differently but I didn’t. I do try to live more for the now than I used to, but once I was told a Swedish proverb that has been at the heart of how I live.
    It goes, “Live your life as if you will die tomorrow, but farm your land as if you will live forever.”

    I’m in the same place, being present, in the now more than i used to. I love that proberb! Sure do wish, at my age, that I’d farmed more…

  2. shivya Says:

    I know our generation can’t imagine a life without the Internet, but some things never change, like the things listed in Erma’s column. I’m 20, and I already identify with a handful of them! Thanks for sharing them 🙂

    You are very welcome, shivya. Thanks for visiting!

  3. fibi Says:

    What a great reminder.. Thank you for sharing..

    You’re very welcome, fibi.

  4. viv66 Says:

    I’m just starting to think about getting back into gardening. I used to be a great, even passionate gardener but the pain of creating one garden after another, planning how it will look in five years time, and NEVER staying there long enough to see what I envisioned, put me off. Especially as the first thing the new inhabitants did when moving in to one of our old houses was to rip out almost everything I had planted.
    I have planted many trees in my life, but I guess I will see few of them at their best. BUt then, when you look around great parks and gardens, I guess few gardeners ever lived to see the trees they planted at their best. We live for today but maybe we plant for the future.

    You know, Viv, that phrase : “few gardeners ever lived to see the trees they planted at their best ” is very cool and quotable. May I quote you in my psychscribe quotes?

  5. SanityFound Says:

    Wise wise words, ones to keep and ones to hold – the sadness is in the things we learn as we grow older… when we are younger, even if there was a manual on life available, not many of us would pick it up in our rebellion.

    San, did anyone ever tell you you are one hell of an old soul??? I know, I know, about a million people 😉

  6. cordieb Says:

    I remember her well. . . Thanks for sharing her wisdom once more. So true are her words. . . but it’s not too late. We still can strive to do these things!!!!

    PLL, CordieB.

    I would never have guessed you’re old enough to remember her!!! 😮

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