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Life

Sometimes it helps to imagine yourself, all wrinkled, wise and grey, sitting in a rocking chair in the gentle sun, thinking back at your younger self. What advice would you give yourself? Which life lesson would you hope to convey?

I, for one, would tell my 32 year old self, who just had her first baby and lost her mother 3 weeks later, to not rush back to work after 3 months. I would hug her and tell her it was ok to grieve. Ok to take time. Ok to just be. I would feed her tea and let her talk and then hold the baby while she slept. I would take her for long walks on the beach and share a chocolate bar. I would encourage her to write and take long baths. But that was then, and this is now.

This poem by Jorge Luis Borges reminds me to live life to the fullest…

“If I could live again my life,
In the next – I’ll try,
– to make more mistakes,
I won’t try to be so perfect,
I’ll be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously,
I’ll be less hygienic,
I’ll take more risks,
I’ll take more trips,
I’ll watch more sunsets,
I’ll climb more mountains,
I’ll swim more rivers,
I’ll go to more places – I’ve never been,
I’ll eat more ice creams and less lima beans,
I’ll have more real problems – and less imaginary ones,
I was one of those people who live
prudent and prolific lives –
each minute of his life,
Of course that I had moments of joy – but,
if I could go back I’ll try to have only good moments,

If you don’t know – that’s what life is made of,
Don’t lose the now!

I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umbrella and without a parachute,

If I could live again – I will travel light,
If I could live again – I’ll try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn,
I’ll ride more carts,
I’ll watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live – but now I am 85,
– and I know that I am dying …”

…and you? Would you do anything differently? Which life lesson would you tell yourself now?

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