I’d like to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax. I’d limber up. I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip. I’d take fewer things seriously. I’d take more chances. I’d climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I’d eat more ice cream, and less beans. I’d perhaps have more actual troubles, but fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve 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 of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do again, I’d travel lighter.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the Spring and stay that way later in the Fall. I’d go to more dances. I’d ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.
by Nadine Stair
Nadine Stair purportedly wrote the above essay decades ago while she was 85 years of age and residing in Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America. Nothing else is presently known about the author. The essay appears to have been inspired by a 1953 work by Don Herold (1889 - 1966), titled, “I’d Pick More Daisies,” which in turn may have been inspired by an essay by Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986), titled “Moments.” A similar and more recent essay, also titled “If I Had My Life to Live Over,” was written by Erma Louise Bombeck (1927 - 1996). All of the essays were written in answer to the question, “What would I do differently if I had my life to live over?”