Posted by: Joan Spiller | June 7, 2010

If only ..

“If only” (aka “I wish”) strikes me as one of the saddest starts to a statement ever ..

I was reading a blog post the other day and the writer was stating all the things that she wished she had done differently in her 55+yrs on the planet. This got me to thinking about what ‘stuff’ I might regret when I am older and reflecting on the things I did (or did not do), during my lifetime.

For now I am happy to note that I do not feel there will be much need for me to start many sentences with “If only.. ” Moreso, I suspect I’ll be saying: “I am so glad I tried X” or “Yep, that was a new / scary experience” (even if I might have been very glad it’s over!)

Sure there will be some things we all look back on and wince, wondering what we were thinking. But the way I look at it, those experiences can often teach us something even if just to confirm how much we dislike whatever that experience was.

I had a favourite bit of prose that really appealed to me around the time I decided to divorce my husband and get a life.. And it goes something like this:

Risking Freedom
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before them is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair, and to try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he’s forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free..
Attributed to Leo Buscaglia <– for more on him just click the link

I confess I have been known to “blame” this verse for some of the more hair brained schemes I’ve engaged in .. but that’s a post for another day 😉



  1. […] who knows me, knows I have applied the mantra “WHY NOT?” to my adult life. Not able to during my childhood, having been raised in an oddly […]


  2. Excellent poem or whatever it is called. I like your attitude to life and enjoy your blog.


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