If I Had My Life to Live Over

If I had my life to live over,
I would dare to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax, limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously and take more chances.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets.
I would be crazier.
I would be less hygienic.
I would take more trips.
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but I would have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I am one of those people who live sanely, sensibly, prudently;
hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I have had my moments!
And if I had to do it over again, I would have more of them.
Maybe I would have nothing else?
Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I have been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had it to do it over, I would travel lighter on the next trip.
I would start going barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I wouldn't make such good grades, except by accident.
I would have more sweethearts.
I would go to more dances.
I would sing more songs and play more games.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I'd pick more daisies.

If I had my life to live over.

Written by an 85-year old Nadine Starr

(Note: This poem has been printed in a number of publications through the years showing the author as Don Herold, Nadine Starr, Jorge Luis Borges, and many others.)


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