What Would You Change?

We all have a timeline and it seems like such a shame to waste it on procrastinating, holding grudges or letting insecurities get in the way.

I think the worst mistake we can make is thinking that we still have time. Our lives can change so quickly and unexpectedly ~ and the time we think we have is ticking away.

A few weeks ago, I was driving home from work and decided to stop at a favorite “specialty” grocery store and pick up a few items I don’t find at my “usual” grocery store. New next-door neighbors have recently moved in and I wanted to buy a “welcome to the neighborhood” treat to give them when my husband and I go over to introduce ourselves.

After purchasing something I hoped they would enjoy, I began my drive home. Since it was a gorgeous day I decided to drive a more scenic and relaxing route that runs parallel to the lake, so I could enjoy the beautiful views. I felt happy, relaxed and looking forward to getting home.


All of a sudden, I experienced very rapid heartbeats with one strong beat in particular that felt like a definite misfire.  I immediately realized I had shortness of breath (which I had never experienced before) and I felt like I was going to pass out  – the episode continued for several minutes.  During this time, I gripped the steering wheel and prayed that I would not hurt anyone by losing control of my car as I tried in vain to find a place I could pull off.  I kept telling myself “it’s okay, you’re fine, it’s okay, you’re fine” over and over all while fighting the urge to give into the light-headed feeling.  After a little while the palpitations returned to normal and my breathing became more regular. This has happened to me off and on all of my adult life with no identifiable triggers, but never ever, not ever with this intensity. All I could think of was I just wanted to get home!

Update: I went to my doctor who referred me to a cardiologist. Long story short the EKG as well as the more advanced echocardiogram plus the treadmill stress test indicated nothing was abnormal nor any indication of heart disease. I am so thankful!

This experience (although blessedly minor) has been a real eye opener for me and as fate would have it I ran across If I Had My Life to Live Over written by one of my favorite authors, Erma Bombeck.  She wrote it after she found out she had a fatal disease.  If you have not read it, please take a minute to skim it.

Erma’s heartfelt words remind us that life is short as she expresses what was or should have been important in her life.  For some of us the wake-up call comes when an illness hits, a relationship ends, or when you begin to realize your immortality.  These events can force us to slow down and stop to really feel the warmth of the sunshine, deeply inhale the sweet smell of fresh cut grass, gaze at the beauty of the wind as it slowly dances among the leaves or really listen to the sound of your children’s laughter. It is not often we allow ourselves the luxury of being fully present for our precious moments.

This is it.  This day.  This moment is really all you have for certain ~ your one precious life.

I have spent way too much time and energy worrying about things that did not turn out nearly as badly as I thought they would.  If you had your life to live over, what would you change?

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax. I’d limber up. I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances, I would eat more ice cream and less beans. If I had to live my life over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances, I would ride more merry-go-rounds, I would pick more daisies.”  Nadine Stair

Also posted on:  #SeniSal  Take a look at some of the other bloggers on this site.

27 thoughts on “What Would You Change?

  1. I had a similar experience (mentally, not the heart) when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 16 years ago. I did change my life. I stopped doing activities that I didn’t want to do. I got more cats (which I wanted to do!) I have tried to continue to live as if I only have a week or so left. I also have a heart irregularity that is non-life threatening but scares the crap out of me when it happens. Some day I will get used to it…maybe.


    • I am happy to learn you are a breast cancer survivor. My BFF is one as well and was diagnosed about the same time you were. Glad you made some positive changes so that you can enjoy your life. I have had the irregular heartbeats since my 20’s and I am still not used to them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get them periodically but not often. Sometimes years go by without them but when I do get them, they are terrifying. Multiple tests, multiple times only show an extra heartbeat which isn’t unusual.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That was scary, I’m so glad it was not a serious issue!
    I have Erma’s poem in my journal… 😀

    After I lost my two children & husband, life took on a new perspective.
    Then chronic health conditions added a spotlight to that perspective…

    I live life to the best capacity I can on any given day & the things that seemed so important once upon a time have completely faded into the background.
    I concentrate on each day in enjoying it for what it is…In my relationship with the Lord, hoping to be a blessing to others along the way.
    Bless you,


  3. I echo the sentiments already mentioned above, especially that your heart is okay. Whew!
    Thank you for a timely post…
    I’ll answer your question a bit sideways: I really try to be mindful of the phrase, “no regrets” in living out our limited time on this earth.
    Easier said…


    • I agree, it truly is easier said than done. I am in a situation at the moment that I am trying to put into practice my statement about worrying too much about something I cannot control knowing that (in my experience) it will probably not turn out not to be as bad as I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First, so glad you are OK. My husband has had 2 similar episodes and in both cases he did pass out. One someone else called 911 while I got him to the floor and once I called myself. Yes, those are defining life moments. (I recall both in extreme detail.) He’s fine – had all the tests and not sure what happened either time (which can be more unsettling I think). And yet, over time, we’ve gone back to living life “normally”, not as if tomorrow it will all be gone. Sometimes I think we need these reminders to grab hold of every day and live it fully.


  5. I’m so glad that you’re ok after this disturbing incident. If I could have my life over, I’d spend more time with my daughter when she was little. I didn’t realise she’d grow up so quickly and you can’t get that time back no matter how much you wish it. I’d also eat less sugar and more fresh fruit and vegetables. I’d be kinder to myself and make better choices in friends and partners (except for my husband of course!). I hope I’d do life better if I could have my life over. Visiting from Esme’s Salon. 🙂


    • Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I know what you mean about spending more time with your daughter. I wish I had spent more time with my children too. We just get so busy with our duties during those years that before we know it they are gone. I am with you on the sugar aspect and am trying to make up for it now by really watching what I eat. Thanks for sharing!


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