I made a pretty drastic change in my life, recently, and feel inspired. This poem has helped me know I made the right decision, or to say it better, if I didn’t make the right decision, I’m not going to worry about it. Or, to say it even better, still, I’m going to do what I need to do to make it the right decision. Not everything in the poem applies to me, but most does.
The poem is attributed to Nadine Stair, and she wrote it at the age of 85. If you Google it, you’ll find many versions very close to this, many have been altered. You’ll even see it attributed to Don Herold because he plagiarized or modified it slightly for Reader’s Digest in October of 1953.
Live is meant to be LIVED …not dreaded over.
If I had my life to live over,
I’d try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic.
I would take more chances, I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives
prophylactically and sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I have had my moments
And if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another.
Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
I have been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a
raincoat, and a parachute.
If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things.
I’d travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hooky more. I wouldn’t make such good grades
except by accident.
I would ride on merry-go-rounds.
I’d pick more daisies!