If You Had to Live Your Life Over Again?

It’s not been an easy year. I’m sure we can all agree on that.

Today is New Year’s Eve and time to reflect. But it’s also a good time to cast a vision for the coming year.

This poem, written by Nadine Stair, an 85-year-old woman from Louisville, Kentucky, when asked “How would you have lived your life differently if you had a chance?” might be able to inspire us.

“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.”

So let’s leave our thermometers, hot-water bottles, raincoats and parachutes at home—and remember to enjoy as many moments as we can.

Perhaps that’s something that can go on our New Year’s Resolutions list tomorrow.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

(Poem found in:  Chicken Soup for the Soul 20th Anniversary Edition)


  1. This poem is beautiful and very inspiring for me. Many true grains… Although I wouldn’t really change my life so far either.
    I wish you a happy new year with lots of happiness and success, but most of all health for you and your loved ones.

    Thank you for your great newsletters 😀

    • Dear Ruth, Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I would also like to wish you and your nearest and dearest all the very best for the coming year.


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