If I Had My Life to Live Over . . .


for one or more “do-overs” — would I really want that?

These questions remind me of a book a friend recently passed along to me: If I had my life to live over, I would pick more daisies. It’s not a new book but the content is classic, timeless in its truth. Editor Sandra Martz crammed every page with amazing poems and stories written about things the authors might do differently if they had a Do-Over. The stories are rich, poignant and brave.

Memories and stories of things we might want to change are chock full of juicy story seeds, just waiting to sprout. Few topics can provide such fertile beds for spinning tales of truth like regrets, and few topics provide as much opportunity to spin our truth in any of several directions. One thing about the stories in this book that make them powerful for me is that the authors never say straight out that they regret their choices. They just tell the story leaving me room to consider my own reactions.

Some people hesitate to write simple stories, thinking they “should” be writing book-length memoirs. If you harbor such thoughts, be done with them! Find a copy of this book – quite likely it’s in your library – and experience the power of a simple story.

So, I ask first, what would you do differently if you had your life to live over? And also, would you want to have “do-overs”?

Write now: Think of some decision or action you regret and write the story. Take your time and rewrite it as many times as it takes to make it as powerful and poignant as it can be. You don’t have to show it to anyone, but write it as if you will. Who knows? You may change your mind, sooner or later.

Or, write an essay about your reasons to for wanting or not wanting “do-overs” on all or part of your life.


Linda said...

I have that same book--it's right here on the book shelf next to me!--and I've planned for some time to write a blog post about it. The statement "If I could live my life over again..." haunts me, but also it prompts me to have the courage to think more deeply about certain things that I've been unwilling to do so far. Thanks for the nudge that direction.


SuziCate said...

This is one of my favorite anthologies. Sandra did several (I have six) of them (stories and poems) all along the same lines of women issues/aging. I still have all of them and pull them out from time to time. I also have two similar ones done by Marilyn Sewell which I think were actually printed first.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Sounds like I'm one of the last to discover this amazing editor and all the juicy writers featured in the book.

Linda, I look forward to reading the post you'll eventually write.

SuziCate, thanks for the lead to further books by Sandra, and also Marilyn Sewell.

Jamie Jo said...

Thanks for this great prompt. (And I've never heard of the book you mention, but I'm off to search for it on Kindle.)

Do-overs.... Would I, or wouldn't I? The mistakes have made me who I am as much as the successes. Hmmm.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Jamie Jo,
I love what you say about your mistakes making you who you are. Well put! That's the stuff memoirs are made of.

Linda said...

Jamie Jo, I reiterate what Sharon said, "That's the stuff memoirs are made of." :)


kathleen said...

Thanks for this great prompt,Sharon. I want to hop right on my Nook and order it, especially since I seem to be mired in past regrets these days. I really do agree that the mistakes and mishaps do make us who we are today. Lots to chew on here!