Mike Bellah

If I Could Live Life Over

What would you do if you could live your life over? I've been thinking about the question, and, though I know it doesn't help to anguish over things I can't change, perhaps jotting down specifics would be useful for planning the future, some of which I can change. So here's my list:

If I could live life over, I would . . .

  • start a personal journal earlier and write in it more frequently.
  • ask more questions from people older than me.
  • give more time to reading books and less to watching TV.
  • hang on to things that would be important 30 years later: letters, photos, special gifts.
  • learn a foreign language before I was 12.
  • learn a skill using my hands (maybe woodworking).
  • be more aware of the fragile self-images of others, especially when I was a teen-ager (see next point).
  • try to see people not only for who they are but for who they might become (see next point).
  • champion the underdog.
  • never say never (as in "My child would never do that").
  • beginning as a teen-ager, save a little money every week and not tell anyone about it until I was 50 (when the whole family would be treated to a special vacation).
  • record the stories of my grandparents while they were still alive.
  • study more geography and history.
  • gain a greater appreciation for classical music and art.
  • after formal schooling ended, take at least one class or workshop per year in something.
  • become pen pals with someone in a foreign country.
  • keep in touch with friends when they move away.
  • hug my kids more, especially when they were teen-agers.
  • take more mini-vacations (a short trip when I had neither the time or money for a longer one).
  • spend more time in the out-of-doors.
  • watch more sunrises and sunsets.
  • work to be genuine rather than popular.
  • treat my body better--more good exercise, less junk food, less unprotected exposure to sunlight.
  • walk away from more arguments.
  • be more relaxed, less impatient.
  • be more spontaneous, less predictable.
  • be more content, less restless.
  • listen more and talk less.
  • smile more and frown less.
  • compliment more and criticize less.
  • pray more and worry less.

Offer more "Thank you's," more "I'm sorry's," more "I love you's."

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