Let’s see how we make out on the second time around


I don’t believe much in reincarnation. But it comes to my attention that we all have a lot of things to pack into the time we get here on earth, whether it’s 50-75-or maybe even 100-plus years. I mean, there isn’t enough damn time to get it all done.

In other words, it’d be nice to have an extra life in reserve so that we can fit in the undone (or hopefully yet-to-be-done elements) and give them lots of space.

Something that becomes apparent, the older we get, is that our first (and probably ‘only’ go) is remarkably short. When we are young things seem to take forever to happen, but as our days dwindle down we get a chill when we recognize how fleeting it all is. Think back to the events in your life of 20 years ago. Seems like yesterday – no? Then think ahead two decades and feel that aforementioned chill.

1liketobeaniraqiCOLCPBearing that in mind I have decided to make out a list to address for my next go-around. I will ponder the things I want to do and will also ponder the things I would ‘not ‘do that I did this time around. In so saying, I am not offering thoughts that my life has been bad. All things considered and compared with the lives of some others I know of, it has been fairly decent. Yes, it has had its low and bleak interludes, but I survived them, and it has also had moments of exaltation, for which I am grateful. Most of all I am grateful for having been born in the part of the world I was. When I compare life here with some other places on this big ball of mud, it’s better to be here. So, I don’t think I’d change my current venue for the next trip.


I wouldn’t —

– Get married until I was relatively ancient. Too many lovely people to meet and get to know ‘really well’ without the complications of being already ‘connected’.

– Embark on a career path until I was truly sure of what I wanted to do rather than what was ‘expected’.

AluminumCansReincarnate– Forsake travel in order to complete my ‘education’. Travel is education, as I have found.

– be nervous about living in another country. I finally did live in another country for a year. A year that was in many respects the most notable in my life.

– sell myself short. I’d recognize my God-given talents, such as they are, and I would relentlessly push myself.

– be so unselfish. That’s right. I said unselfish. Compromises get made in life, but if those compromises keep me from following my dreams I can only end up resenting the person who put me in that place.

– begin smoking.

– ignore the addictive properties of alcohol.

– be afraid to let a teacher know he/she is an asshole and contributing nothing to my education, and in that context I wouldn’t be afraid to be expelled.

– be afraid to be fired for the sake of a point of principle.

– take no shit from nobody.

I would —

travel more and at an earlier age.

– increase my circle of friends. I mean, I have many friends but sometimes I have missed out on some I’d like to have had.

– go to many more concerts than I have this time around

– learn to play a musical instrument.

– set a bucket-list early and endeavor to fulfil all the criteria. I mean I haven’t seen the Taj Mahal this time around, or the Great Pyramid. They’re right at the top of my list for the next go-round.

– take out a loan when I am very young and buy a Rolls-Royce. Then I’d never need to buy another car. It’d be worth the expenditure.

– recognize the signs of attraction in a female and be prepared to take a chance.

– be braver than I have sometimes been.

– recognize early-on that I have a decent singing voice and sing in a choir. Love good choral music.

play in a rock-and-roll band and cavort with groupies but don’t become kind of a pathetic old horndog like Mick.

– learn to grow up when the time is right.

– gain much more mastery of Shakespeare. He said pretty much everything that needs to be said.

– work harder to get a syndicated column.

– work harder to get a syndicated comic strip.

– be more accepting of rejection and send much more of my stuff off to publishers.

and above all, heed the words of Polonius in Hamlet, and above all to mine own self be true.

Oh, many more things that could be included, but at least what I have gives me a starting point for that wonderful ‘next’ trip.


10 responses to “Let’s see how we make out on the second time around

  1. I liken your list—several of your points can still be done…Have fun with them.

  2. Yes, you can still accomplish much now while you are alive – get cracking!

  3. Whenever I think about a second time around (that would be nice!) I want first of all to be healthy and happy. I have had enough sorrow and difficulties this time, and would like life to hold adventure, experiences and fun in the next trip. I would also like to be loved purely and passionately.

  4. Ah, but if you believe in reincarnation, you won’t know what you learned this time around, at least not in any recognizable form… And I love that quote about fucking up. Like you, I don’t believe in it, though I think it might be nice – of course in my case I’d probably come back as a low caste Indian in Calcutta.

    • Oh, in my scenario it would be similar to this one but with all the shitty stuff smoothed out and mistakes not being made. I know, though, going to Greek mythology, we have to go through Lethe, the river of forgetfulness so we’ll have no connectedness next time. That sucks.

  5. I will ponder this and get back to you.

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