On Living

"If I had my life to live over again,
I would try to make more mistakes next time...
I'd try not to be so damned perfect;
I'd relax more, I'd limber up,
I'd be sillier than I've been on this trip;
In fact, I know of very few things I'd take quite so seriously;
I'd be crazier ... and I'd certainly be less-hygenic;
I'd take more chances ... I'd take more trips ...
I'd climb more mountains ... I'd swim more rivers ...
And I'd watch more sunsets;
I'd burn more gasoline,
I'd eat more ice cream - and fewer beans;
I'd have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones,

You see, I was one of those people who lived prophylactically and sensibly,
hour-after-hour and day-after-day;
Oh, that doesn't mean I didn't have my moments,
But if I had it to do all over, I'd have more of those moments,
In fact, I'd try to have nothing but wonderful moments, side-by-side.

I was one of those people who never went anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute;
If I had it to do all over again, I'd travel lighter next time.

If I had my life to live all over again,
I'd start barefoot earlier in the spring
and I'd stay that way later in the fall;
I'd play hooky a lot more;
I'd ride more merry-go-rounds, I'd pick more flowers,
I'd hug more children,
I'd tell more people that I loved them,
If I had my life to live over again;
But, you see, I don't."

by Nadine Staff, (age 85), Louisville, Kentucky

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