Do you ever go to bed with the “if only” list running through your head? I do. Almost every single day.
It usually goes something like this. If only I had a little more money, I’d pay these bills on time. If only I were a whole lot thinner, I could buy cute jeans online. If only there were more hours in the day. If only my child <insert one of their names here> could just find his (or her) way.
If only the dishes washed themselves. If only I could go on a shopping spree at Lowes. If only I never said the wrong words. If only I could prove how much I care. If only I had the courage to try something completely new. If only I didn’t hate seafood.
If only I was an extreme couponer. If only I could stand on my feet just a little bit longer. And here’s one that I always say to the too-tired-to-sleep version of me, if only I won the lottery.
If only I had three wishes… for I’d surely make them in compound sentences! I’d cram three wishes into one, because that’s the way it’s cleverly done. If only I could speak three or four languages. If only my grandpa wasn’t gone. If only I could ask him one more time- about the oranges. He knows which ones.
If only my son’s stomach didn’t ache. If only my kids didn’t have bones that tend to break. If only I still had my great-grandmother’s ring. If only the whole world could hear my daughter sing.
If only I didn’t feel like I let my parents down. If only my house was a place where no one ever yelled. And while I’m dreaming up fairytales, pure unadulterated fantasies, if only my laundry magically gathered, sorted, washed, dried, folded, and put away itself for me.
If only my walls didn’t have so many holes. If only my car didn’t have so many miles. If only my smile never seemed to wear a little thin. If only I had been a better friend.
If only my prayers were answered in black and white. If only I held on a little more tight. If only I knew when to let go. If only all of this didn’t have to be so hard.
If only I could write the book that’s in my head. If only I’d been an artist instead. If only I could take back the wrongs I’ve done. If only I had taken a chance, just one. Or maybe I did, but if only I could remember when.
I guess “if only” is just a way to fret over things left undone, or things already done. And if that’s case, it’s too late to undo them. “If only” isn’t real. So why do I lay awake all night making lists of all the “if only” sentiments I feel?