May 2008

Good day, my friends.

Every year, I review a brief musing from the late Nadine Stair from the hills of West Virginia. Below is an extraordinary reflection from a woman in her 90s who was asked the question: What would you do if you could live your life over. This piece was given to me a decade earlier, by John C. Whitehead, friend and former Chairman of Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. He liked and valued it. I feel similarly.

Read this short piece and ponder yourself the important question central to her words. Life is brief; A notion that should energize us to make the most of our moments by constantly reflecting upon its meaning. Ironically, yesterday I received a gift from a friend in Florida. It was hundreds and hundreds of marbles. He urged me to have two bowls, one with all of the marbles, the other empty. Each day, he urged, put a marble in the empty container. This exercise should remind me that life is short, make the most of it. Interesting exercise. Not certain I will join his program, but appreciate his urging to remember to regard each day as precious, a gift and important...and finite. Now, I introduce you to one elderly woman's perspective as she looks back.

Carpe Diem.



If I had my life to live over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time.

I would relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip.

I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would make more trips.

I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets.

I would do more walking and looking. I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.

I would have more actual troubles, and fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live life prophylactally and sensibly hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it 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've been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, aspirin and a parachute.

If I had to do it over again, I would go places, do things, and 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 more merry-go-rounds. I’d pick more daisies.

Nadine Stair, age 91


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