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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wisdom of Erma Bombeck


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A few years ago, I read this excerpt from one of Erma Bombeck’s columns, when she discovered she was dying from cancer — it was titled “If I Had to Live My Life Over”:
“… 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 sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.”
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. What would I do differently if I knew I had just a short time left to live. 
  • … I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
While I don't have any pink rose candles melting anywhere I do have pretty jewelry that my husband has given me, and perfume I rarely wear. I have serving dishes that are beautiful that I rarely use - instead I use the plastic or the ugly stuff to save time.

  • I would have talked less and listened more.
For me this would read "I would have blogged less and lived more." I know that I spend an unusually large amount of time on the internet. It is my favorite pastime, my hobby, it is where I escape. I am certain that I spend way too much time here and not enough time present with my family.

  • I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I am guilty of needing the house perfect before we can have company. It holds me back. I wish we entertained more. I let the busyness of life keep me from being hospitable.

  • 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.
How often do I nix an idea - recently my husband let the kids make s'mores in the fireplace! That's right the fireplace, in my library, that would be chocolate, marshmellows and EATING in my library room. If I had been consulted I would have said NO WAY, and yet this is a memory that my kids will have long after the mess is cleaned up. I need to make more "s'mores" in my life.

  • I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.
Oh how quickly they grow up. You don't believe it when you are in the thick of diapers, toys, throwup, playdates, and baby/toddlerhood. You still don't believe it when they start school. I am so guilty of not appreciating the age my kids are at now - always wanting them to be just a bit older. But really, if I could have stopped them from aging about 3 years ago - before Dougie moved out - I would do it in a heartbeat.

 We need to live now - use the good china, wear the pretty nightgown, stop and play a game of Go Fish with our preschoolers, video games with our middle schoolers, and stay up late to talk to our teenagers when they get home. It all goes by too fast.

If we don't use the stuff we have we are being so wasteful. If we put things ahead of our families, we are being so wasteful. 

I am ending this with another quote from Erma - one to help us to LIVE our lives:
"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."
Erma Bombeck


This Works for Me!   http://wearethatfamily.com/2010/10/wfmw-entertaining-even-when-youre-reluctant/

9 comments:

  1. So true on all of these!! NOW is the time for everything. Later may never come. Great post, thanks!

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  2. Loved Erma, she was so ahead of her time!

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  3. Hi! I'm your newest follower from the Wednesday link up. Lovely blog:) You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

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  4. Very well put. We all know these things and yet with the craziness of our culture, we need the reminder often to remember what's important. Life is such a gift and it's so short. Thanks for reminding us to make every day count.

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  5. Lovely post. This is exactly why we should live every day to the fullest, as if it were our last.

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  6. great post! I've been wanting to have friends over more often. Thanks for the reminder that my house doesn't have to be perfect.

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  7. Christy, this is really beautiful. I'd say more, but I'm actually crying into my cup of tea. I love you.

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  8. Why do we need the house to be pristine? And yet that is a huge thing for me. Blog much? Oh yes. Here I am. haha. I found myself nodding yes more than once in your post.

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  9. I'm crying. These words ring so true...

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