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11 February 2012

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. By Erma Bombeck

If I Had My Life to Live Over

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.

My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.

Erma penned "If I Had My Life to Live Over" in 1979 at age 52, but she died in 1996 at the age of 69. Seventeen years elapsed between those two events, and while at 52 Bombeck wasn't in the pink of health (she had kidney disease from the age of 20 onwards), she also wasn't lying at death's door, as the many books and columns she wrote from 1979 onwards, as well as her humor segments and celebrity interviews on Good Morning America from 1976 to 1987, attest.

Bombeck was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and underwent a mastectomy, but her death was the result of complications following a kidney transplant, not cancer.

In 2003, Bombeck's original column was republished with illustrations in a small gift book called Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life From Erma Bombeck.

Barbara "bombeckoned" Mikkelson

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