A Thought For 2019 from the Wisdom of Erma Bombeck

Many of you didn’t have the privilege of knowing Erma Bombeck or reading her newspaper column.  She lived in Scottsdale, AZ as did I, and I had the honor of meeting her and hearing her speak on a number of occasions. I loved her.  Here words are still more than relevant and I’d love to share her humor and wisdom with you as we begin a new year.

About Erma Bombeck

She was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. She published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. with titles like I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression and When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It’s Time to Go Home.

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From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife. By the 1970s, her columns were read twice-weekly by 30 million readers of the 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. She was wonderfully funny about the things we experienced on a daily basis back in those days.  

While she was brilliant with her humor, she touched the nerve of what women experienced in the latter part of the 20th century and made life better for us all.  It was a sad day when she died.  A bright ray of sunshine faded. She was funny, yes, but very real and very down-to-earth.

To begin 2019 read and ponder those things she would do if she had her life to live over. What would you like to do in this New Year so you have no regrets if this is your last year?  Here’s what she writes:


I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rambling about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment, realising that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”
Erma Bombeck, Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck 

I know that if I could live my life over, I would certainly do a number of things differently. What about you?

Happy New Year to each of you.

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