If I Could Live My Life Over Again Essay

When asked “How would you have lived your life differently if you had a chance?” Nadine Stair, an 85-year-old woman, from Louisville, Kentucky, provided these poetic words as her response…

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it 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 could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.

– Nadine Stair

What beautiful words to ponder. What a sweet and sobering poem. It perfectly reflects the message passed down to me from from my elders when I worked in nursing homes in my early 20’s.

Those wonderful people, who were getting close to the end of their days, taught me so much about what really mattered in life. Their wisdom set me on the path to conscious living and for that I will be forever grateful to each one of them.

In today’s world, the emphasis is on getting stuff done rather than enjoying the unfolding dance of life.

It’s not often we allow ourselves the luxury of being fully present for our precious moments. When we live like this – always trying to get somewhere instead of being here – we are short changing our lives. 

So, ponder this poem deeply my dear friends. Let it seep into every cell and molecule of your being. Let it open you up and break through the belief that the next moment will finally make you happy.

This is it.

This moment.

This is your one wild and precious life, here and now.

-Love Melli

p.s If you like this article and want to explore what it would be like for you to be in Nadine’s shoes you’ll love this one too Hurry Up & Slow Down

If I could live my life again.
Next time, I would try to make more mistakes.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be sillier than I have been.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would be less fastidious.
Accept more risks, I would take more trips,
Contemplate more evenings,
Climb more mountains, and swim more rivers…
I would go to more places where I have not been,
Eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people who lived
sensibly and meticulously every minute of their life.
Of course I have had moments of happiness.
But if I could go back in time, I would try to
have good moments only,
and not waste precious time.
I was someone never went
anywhere without a thermometer, a
hot water bag, an umbrella
and a parachute. If I could live again,
I would travel more frivolously.
If I could live again, I would begin
to walk barefoot at the beginning of the spring
and I would continue to do so until the end of autumn.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would contemplate more evenings and I would play
with more children.
If I could have another life ahead.
But I am 85 years old you see, and I know that I am dying.

This poem is believed to have been written either by Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), an Argentine poet or American poet, Nadine Stair.  Everywhere I looked (desperately trying to give credit where credit was due), gave one or the other – and a few sources listed the author as “Unknown.”

Personally, I think Borges wrote it in Spanish and Stair translated it into English. However, Stair could just as easily have written it, so I’m crediting both. Who said the words isn’t nearly as important as the words, themselves.

It’s just a beautiful and elegant reminder that life isn’t just for living… it’s for living out LOUD.

Filed Under: Daily Quote, General, Must Reads, Self HelpTagged With: poem, quote


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