By Robert McCormack
I read this about 30 or 40 years ago in a book. Maybe it was What Color is Your Parachute? Maybe not. I do however know that it has had a profound influence on me from time to time particularly when making big decisions. I lost track of it somehow and just tried to remember it as best as I could. Over the years I have paraphrased what I remember from it to people only to discover this again recently on someone’s website. The funny thing about it though was I ‘remembered’ it all wrong. I have been eating beans like they are going out of style for years and years. Just a slight alteration of the original thought. Below is my supposed guide since I first read it. I hope it guides you in difficult times as it has me and that you at least remember it or as I should have done, kept it close.
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.
According to Wikipedia: Moments (Spanish: ‘Instantes‘) is the title of a text wrongly attributed to Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. It was widely spread through articles, compilations, posters and email chain letters, mainly in Spanish.
Or it could have been written by Don Herold: [see also Wikipedia]
The first known version of the text was authored by American humorist and cartoonist Don Herold and published by the Reader’s Digest on October 1953 under the title “I’d Pick More Daisies”. Herold’s text is in prose and it lacks the melancholic tone of the Spanish poem.
But who ever was the real composer of this I would like to say thank you. These are inspirational words that have guided me at difficult times. I still know that I often take life and what it hands me too seriously, but without knowing there is another view I might never have made the mistakes I have. I might have always played it safe. Hell I might not have made any mistakes.