1. …I lived closer to my brother. He’s the only brother I have and he’s my closest friend.
2. …I hadn’t spent so much of my life unhappy when I have been surrounded by beautiful things all my life.
3. …more people thought more often about their mortality. We’re all running out of time. If we lived in light of that fact, we’d live differently.
4. …I had gotten to know my mother-in-law better than I did.
5. …I were more naturally disciplined.
6. …I had gotten into counseling sooner. It has made a huge difference in my life.
7. …for my daughters to be more confident and peaceful than I was as a kid. I can already see that happening.
8. …there were words to really express my love of life.
9. …for a wonderful next 20 years with my wife.
10. …to find a publisher for my children’s book.
11. …to be a successful writer.
12. …to teach ever-larger crowds of people and to have the biggest influence I can in this world.
13. …I handled criticism and stress better than I do.
14. …I had dealt with my temper earlier in life.
15. …I did not go through life feeling as awkward as I usually do.
16. …my parents weren’t getting older.
17. …people really took time to listen to those they disagree with.
18. …people didn’t feel the need to argue about stuff. There’s not really much worth arguing about.
19. …I could get through the winter even one year without sinking into depression.
20. …we lived in a state without snow and cold (but where it’s not too hot!)
21. …I had more time to write and record music.
22. …I could go back to school for my doctorate.
23. …I had made better financial choices when I was younger.
24. …sports did not exist. Except ping pong.
25. …I had run track in high school (okay, except ping pong and track?)
26. …I were the kind of person who prioritized spending more time with friends. Instead I’m the kind of person who misses it but never does it. When I do it, I usually feel awkward. Which is why I never do it.
27. …I could relax.
28. …I could explain to my wife how much I admire and envy and love her.
29. …there could be 1000 people at my church this weekend.
30. …I could speak to friends casually as well as I can speak to crowds (when I have taken time to write it down first).
31. …success for our new president. The country has pinned unrealistic hopes on this man. I’d like to see him succeed.
32. …I could ditch my house and live in a condo.
33. …my daughters were not growing up so fast.
34. …I had not lost the friend I lost two years ago. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that.
35. …I had more time to hang out on Facebook. There’s something comforting to me about being “surrounded” by so many friends – especially when I don’t actually have to feel like I’m in a crowd.
36. …I had treated some of my ex-girlfriends better than I did. For that matter, that I had treated the girlfriend better who became my wife.
37. …I could find a way to preach the perfect sermon. The one that could convince every hearer than there’s nothing more important than living to know and please God.
38. …I were more outgoing, more comfortable in crowds, and more extroverted. When I take my wife to a party, people say, “Wow, she’s amazing.” When I go to a party (not that I go to parties), I’m pretty sure people say, “Well, he must be a good guy – after all, he married that amazing girl.” (Of course they’re right on both counts. I’m a pretty good guy, and I did marry an amazing girl.) I just want to disappear when I’m in crowds, and I’m realizing at age 40 that this is never going to go away.
39. …I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up.
40. …there could be peace in our time. I know, it sounds trite. But I really do pray for it, nearly every day. “God, bring peace to our world – peace to the hearts of men and women everywhere.”
One more wish, but it’s longer. Sometimes when I’m driving in my car listening to my iPod, a song comes on that perfectly captures how I’m feeling at that moment. I wish I could live in those moments forever. Kind of like how I used to feel when my girls were small and I’d watch them playing, but they didn’t know I was watching them. I would stand there frozen, aware that I was on holy ground. I wish I could have bottled that feeling. If I could have, I’d be using it to help me get through these long Michigan winters.
Originally posted 2009-10-01 00:04:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter