Category Archives: Appreciation

If I Had My Life to Live Over (Aimee’s Version)

I came across the wonderful verse IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER by writer Erma Bombeck:

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 the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

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

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

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

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

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 sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

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

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, ‘Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.’ There would have been more ‘I love you’s’ More ‘I’m sorry’s.’

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it .. live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!! (© Erma Bombeck)

Inspired by her words, I decided to write my own version. Perhaps reflecting on my past regrets will help me re-evaluate how I want to live my life from this day forward. And to stop sweating the small stuff!


I would have told my overly anxious teenage self to lighten up and stop worrying so damn much about everything and everyone. She carried around so much baggage and let other people’s expectations weigh her down far too much. Lighten up girl – you are young, have more fun!

In fact, I probably would have said the same thing to myself all throughout my 20s. A common theme for me in my life seems to be “I should have lightened up and had more fun.” Especially in my 20s, I should have stayed single more, travelled more, spent more time alone finding out what made me tick, instead of chasing dead-end relationships.

I would have wore less makeup, spent less time on my hair (and NEVER bleached it) and focused so much less overall on my appearance and weight. I would have focused more on being fit rather than just skinny.

I would have wore more sunscreen and hats, and NEVER visited the tanning salon. All the damage I did to my skin I am now paying for by having to get frequent checkups for skin cancer (which I first had in my early 40s).

I would have focused less on getting ahead at work and more on getting ahead in my own life.

I would have gotten a dog way before the age of 37. I can’t believe how many years I missed out on the love of dogs, they are the most magical of creatures. My first dog Bandit showed me the precious bond that can exist between humans and animals, and I am forever grateful.

I would have started my writing journey much earlier in life. I have always loved to write, but because I didn’t think I could make a go of it professionally, I put is aside. But it doesn’t matter if you can turn something into a career or not. Writing and other art forms is about creating, passion, something you do because it makes you happy first and foremost, not because you can necessarily make money at it.

People always remarked how much time I spent with my family. But I would have spent EVEN MORE time with my Mum and brother Robbie had I known how soon they would both be gone. When you lose two of the most important people in your life far too soon, you will ALWAYS regret the times not spent with them. The times you could have and chose not to. Those unspent times will haunt you forever and a day, and I wish I could bring them both back to me now and never ever let them go. I would hug and kiss them and tell them over and over again how much I love and miss them so much I ache inside most days.

If I am lucky I will have the second half of my life to make amends for the first. I want to live more fully in each moment, instead of merely existing in it.

We only get one trip around the sun. We all need to live our lives. NOW. Before the light burns out.

The Slowness in Between

We run around being busy,

And call it a life.

But real life is the slowness

In between.

It is the morning cuddles with your daughter

As you lay in bed.

It is noticing the five different colours of the sky

During sunrise and sunset.

It is walking through the woods,

Seeing the beauty of freshly fallen snow

Linger in the trees.

Life’s best moments don’t appear when you are

Busy running races.

They are found when you stop to smell the flowers

Along the way.

Don’t Take Everyday Routines for Granted

Tonight I was walking our dog Roxy down by the school and suddenly felt a pang of sadness. Since we had turned back the clock a few days ago, the nights were now getting dark at suppertime. This was the second day we weren’t able to do our nightly after supper ritual – playing at the school.

After supper, you would grab your little pink purse, full of animal finger puppets and a few Fisher Price Little People, and we would “skip” down to the school (note: fun for kids; embarrassing as hell for adults). It was always the same routine – you climbing up to the top of the slide for a game of “Get” (a.k.a. throwing everything in your purse down the slide, and instructing me to “get” them and give them back to you). Then you’d run around the school and make us chase you. Then back to the slide. Then you’d hide in the big rubber tires and I’d have to “find” you. Then you’d run down to the big, colorful, painted rocks at the end of the soccer field and point to every one (“red, yellow, blue…”). Then, if there were puddles, there was splashing and throwing rocks in the water.

Finally, you’d get tired and say “home,” meaning you were too tired to walk, so your dad or I would have to carry you (all the while, muttering, “Why didn’t we bring the friggin’ bike?”).

Seeing the school surrounded by darkness, and knowing it was the end of our nightly ritual, just reminded me how I can’t afford to take all of our little “routines” for granted – they are so short and fleeting, and change in a heartbeat. Of course we’ll be back at the school again when the days are longer, but the routine will inevitably be different, and will keep changing.

You have always been one to follow a very exact routine for weeks, sometimes months at a time, then abruptly shift and start a completely new one. There was the “running back and forth between mommy in living room and daddy in kitchen” phase, the “take me everywhere in my little red wagon” phase, the “mommy has to take me to the swings every day on her lunch break” phase….etc…etc…

It is hard as a parent to realize how fleeting your time is with your child, and that someday they will be gone, and you will be left with the memories of all those little “routines”…and wish you could do every single one all over again.