I’d Pick More Daisies
By Nadine Stair, age 85
If I had my life to live over,
I’d try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic.
I would take more chances, I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives
prophylactically and sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I have had my moments
And if I had it to do 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 each day.
I have been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a
raincoat, and a parachute.
If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things.
I’d travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hooky more. I wouldn’t make such good grades
except by accident.
I would ride on merry-go-rounds.
I’d pick more daisies!
Another Equinox, another Spring, another Sunday….I have missed a couple of weeks here and there have plenty of reasons for that. Busy doesn’t begin to describe it. But, underneath all of the activity, I have been thinking….
…about renewal, recharging, balance and equilibrium – and not taking any classes this summer! Just typing it here has given me a sense of relief. I need more ‘light’; sunlight, lightness of spirit, and a lightening of the load. Right now it feels as if I am crawling away rusty from the strangely cold and exhausting winter, and I’m not talking about the weather. Task follows task and there is no room to truly enjoy the things that normally give me pleasure. The need for a little wiggle room in my schedule has reached maximum urgency. Recent news makes my resolve even stronger. Life is temporary and fragile. We can be here one moment and literally gone the next. There is no time to waste on bullshit or futility. There is no room for the excuses that prevent life from being as fulfilling as it can possibly be. There are times to work hard, but there must also be time off to enjoy being alive. That’s balance. Without it, life can be a royal drag after a while. Even Mother Nature knows that, which is why we have Spring, and daisies!
So, this summer, I will be taking ownership of my free time to do the things that have recently lost their luster because of exhaustion or the lack of time and space to be creative. There will be more time spent on romantic walks with Tom, time to care for my health and well-being, time for yoga and planting seeds, time to be creative, and time to do some ‘nothing.’ There will be inhaling and exhaling in equal and steady increments, and more stopping to smell the flowers on the side of that road I’ve been hyper-vigilantly marching up and down! My garden misses me and I miss her too, so there will definitely be more time for that. Just looking forward to the end of this semester is breathing new life into my spirit and outlook. That tells me I’m doing the right thing and I believe Spring agrees with me.