If I Could Do it All Again

If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t have believed I’d stay young forever and that time would never get the better of me. And I would have never sized up my parents, when they were in their 50’s, and thought, “Now that’s old.”

I’d have gone into marriage with my eyes wide open and made sure to keep the channels of communication going. I would have sought counseling long before any problems emerged.

I would have kept separate bank accounts. And I would have never given up my last name for his. While I’m at it, I’d have given my daughter my last name as her middle one.

I would have spent the $400 it cost to travel to Russia with my high school classmates.

I’d have spoken to my kids in Spanish right from the start, so that they could have grown up bilingual.

I wouldn’t have let vanity overtake me and dump my high school sweetheart just because he was a year younger, forever relegating him to, “The one that got away.”

I would never have let my mother’s broken English embarrass me. Ditto for her heavy accent.

I would have appreciated my college education more, studied hard and not skipped out on class. Ever.

I would have invested in Apple when they first came out with the iMac.

I would have gone to Europe in my youth.

I would have practiced piano daily and stuck with it. I also would’ve mastered ice skating and had a flair for figure eights.

I would have gone to Russia with my high school classmates on a two-week trip that only cost $400 per student.

I would have learned how to repair things around the house and change a tire. I would never have fallen for the old axiom that a husband would one day take care of me.

I would not have been irrationally terrified by Patty Duke, for her portrayal of Helen Keller, in “The Miracle Worker,” and I would not have convinced my seven-year-old self that she was lurking in the shadows of my childhood home.

I would have regularly eaten broccoli and acquired a taste for the nutrient-rich veggie.

I would have taken singing lessons just for fun, learn a third language like French or Italian, and started tap classes at age four. I would have joined a Girl Scouts troop, too.

I would have devoted myself to writing and be working on my sixth novel by now. Better yet, I would have come up with the idea for the Harry Potter saga first, leaving J.K. Rowling in the dust. And maybe I would have even written an eighth Harry Potter novel.

I would have called my parents daily and visited them every summer. Even holidays.

I would not have voted for the 2003 California Governor Recall simply because said governor had tripled the vehicle license fee.  I’m pretty sure the repeal of that fee increase is what led to the downfall of the state’s economy and helped put California in the dire straights it’s in today.

If I could do it all again, I would have hugged my kids more often when they were little and when they still loved hugging back. I would have held them tightly and treasured their childhood years, knowing that all too soon they’d be all grown up.

If I could to it all again, I’d memorize each joyful moment of my life, to relive over and over in my golden years.

If I could do it all again, there would be no regrets. No fuss, no muss. I would recognize the frailty of life and savor, while I can, the company of those who matter most to me. If I could do it all again, could I? Would I? Would you?

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19 thoughts on “If I Could Do it All Again

  1. Pingback: Dear Daughter | Monica's Tangled Web

  2. Excellent post. You got one thing wrong though, Mom…I STILL love hugging you back. In fact, I wish I could fly home right now just to get one of those amazing hugs that only you can give me. 🙂

  3. This made me tear up too. And I’m in the middle of an open office, so I can’t hide it. Thanks a lot, Monica! 🙂 (Did you notice? You’re sitting right next to me.)

  4. My mother is still alive and I’m 2,000 miles from her, on the West coast (not in CA Monica!). I talk to her almost daily and wish I could have her closer. The thought of losing my mother is what I fear most and it’s difficult for me to imagine this world, my world without her. I don’t think that we can ever be prepared for the day our mother passes regardless of the circumstances. I certainly can’t. But I know in my heart of hearts–and I will remind myself of this when the time comes–that she will remain with me each and everyday. In the meantime, I enjoy her and cherish her.

  5. Wow, Monica! I learned about the fragility of life when my beloved mother passed away five years ago and I made a vow then, even if it was 47 years late, to live the rest of my life so I would not have regrets. Your posting was a powerful reminder of the importance of that vow. Thank you!

    • For years, the thought of losing my mother was the thing I feared most. It’s been 17 years and I still can’t believe I’m living my life without her in it. If I could have one thing, if I could do one thing all over again it would be to spend another day with my mother. The whole day. Just one.

      I’m so happy you’re reading my blog!

    • Yeah, I can’t shake the memory of her in the dining room scene. She deserves top honors for her portrayal and for scaring millions of children so effectively. When are you going to play the film for Sophie?

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