What Would You Do If You Could Not Fail

I read the words, ‘What Would You Do If You Could Not Fail’ and made a list of all things I would do if there were no ramifications, if I was free to float back in time, and into my imaginary world.  I only had a few minutes for thought dumping before my critic woke up and started screening.  Here it is my list unedited.  I’m certain missed important things, like learning the hula.

  • I would go back in time and talk to my great grandmother, Hinueva, an Apache woman who I like to believe lives inside of me, pushing me forward
  • And since I was back in time I would track down the rest of my family on both sides, and interview as many as I could find.  I would especially look out for the woman who passed me the genes for my Herman Munster Size ten feet
  • I would invent a cure for Cancer and Aids
  • I would be there in the wings to push Abraham Lincoln out of the way
  • I would convince JFK not to ride along in the motorcade
  • I would prevent Wounded Knee
  • I would be a fly on the wall during the signing of the Declaration of Independence
  • I would sing an Aria at the Met in a gown designed by Edith Head
  • I would fly the skies with Captain Kirk
  • I would bake a soufflé
  • I would invent a pill that eliminates a woman’s issues with body perfection
  • I would convince our ancestors that we could live alongside one another in peace, without walls, or borders
  • I would play the guitar with Jimmy Hendrix
  • I would write a song with Johnny Cash
  • I would ride the Orient Express, the first one
  • I would learn to spell
  • I would talk to my Dad again, tell him how much I loved him, and how much I appreciate the gift of words that he gave me.  I hope he knows because I never found the words as he lay dying those last few days
  • I would share the secrets of area 51
  • I would never doubt myself
  • I would love without hesitation or examination
  • I would learn to Tango and play Tennis (the ancestor who is responsible for my big feet, is also responsible for my lack of coordination)
  • I would host a dinner with all my favorite fictional characters and ask Giada De Laurentiis to create and cook a meal to delight us with stories of her family
  • I would share the plane with Beryl Markham
  • I would rewrite the ending of The King and I
  • I would take back those words I said – I’m sure in my life I have said something to someone that was misunderstood and caused another pain.
  • I would sing on the Grand Old Opry with Patsy Cline
  • I wouldn’t unravel the mystery of life –it’s too much fun sleuthing
  • I wouldn’t be a Chef because after reading Anthony Bourdian’s delightful book, Kitchen Confidential,  I know I couldn’t cope
  • I wouldn’t change much about my life (even though I think about all the stuff I’ve done wrong, or too right, or without thinking). I think, and it might be presumptuous of me, that if I am still here writing about my life then it I have to have done something right

What would do if you would not fail?


Note:  this is a repost from my first month of blogging.  I am responding to a theme post ‘Make a list at name it’. I try not to repost, but this was a fun write for me.  Thanks for sharing.   Group, GBE 2: Blog On.


56 thoughts on “What Would You Do If You Could Not Fail

  1. What a great list – and such a long one, too. I'd need time to think about my three things. In the mean time, I'll just say that I read Kitchen Confidential and it's wonderful, isn't it. I had no desire to be a chef, either, after reading it.

    • Thank you kindly ( my train was delayed so I had time to think). Yes, I loved that book. I enjoy cooking, it's how I relax, but after reading his dark tales of kitchen hell, I decided to stick to writing. Have fun at BEA.

  2. Brenda, what an enjoyable post! I would avert the disaster of the Titanic, I would prevent Antonio Banderas from marrying that horrifying Melanie Griffith, I would prevent Javier Bardem from marrying Penelope Cruz, hee hee, (couldn't resist these)I'd invent the Post It, and buy shares in Google and Microsoft, I'd find a cure for breast cancer…oh my, there's so many things I'd do! I could be here all day! :)

  3. I'm gunna stick to semi-present day so my brain doesn't explode: Tap-dance with Gregory Hines and Keep Up! Round up every drug addicted parent and drop them off on Alcatraz, while simultaneously canceling all tours to the island. Round up all animal abusers and drop them off in Indiana Jones' snake pit. Start a rehab farm for anyone, human or animal, who wants to be there. Grow a coffee bean plantation. Land a triple axel to thunderous applause. =)

    • Actually, those are rather lofty. I have two left feet ( as previously noted) so dancing is out of the question. I like that your list is expansive. I was only thinking about my own cheap thrills. Coffee bean plantation made be think of Isak Denison. Did you ever see or read the 'Out of Africa' story? Funny how the mind wanders. And yes, Bella has think about Melanie and Antonio, but I tend to agree with her on that topic. I don't get it. He could have me.

  4. kemi

    I would end world hunger (and stupidity); I would travel the world and live off my travel blog; I'd move permanently to Spain or Croatia; I'd proposition Joe Manganiello (True Blood)…. Or, more in the vain of the deeper purpose of your blog post, I would've said yes to that boy in college I could have fallen in love with; I would tell my parents they failed as parents but I love them anyway; I wouldn't work and make money blogging while traveling…

    • Can I visit you in Spain? I too will be famous and living off my blog to book proceeds because Oprah reads my blog, and not yours. Ending hunger, yes. Stupidity, hmm, might rob the world of amusing moments.

  5. Jo

    Oh my oh my oh my….I fear my list would never end. No possibility of failure makes the list just simply endless! Since above people have already solved many of the things I would’ve chosen, I’ll move on to 9-11, the terrorists would have been stopped at the gates and perhaps a trigger happy security person would have blown them all away.
    Elvis would insist on meeting me leading to our eternal love and of course, I would have gotten him off the pills.
    There are many more……♥

    • Jo – those are very good adds to the list, excellent in fact. I’m certain Elvis is absolutely mad about you but he never had a chance to share his love for you.

  6. Brenda, I think the “trying” is more important than the outcome. If I knew I could win the Nobel Prize and not fail, It would remove that element of trying my hardest. To me, it really is the journey, not the destination.

  7. If I could not fail….hmmm. I wonder if it’s a fear of failure that keeps us from doing what we want, or if it’s just not what life has in store for us. I love all the noble things you’ve chosen, esp. the JFK and cure for AIDS. But I think if I knew I would not fail I still wouldn’t jump from an airplane, or fight in a war, or send my kids out into a world without 18 years of my words hanging in their ears. I’m not sure it’s a fear of failure that holds me back…I need to think about this one. Thanks for filling up my brain, once again!

    • Jennifer.. it’s amazing after writing the list how many other things have come to my mind. I suppose it’s like wishing on a star, we make the wish with what’s closet to our heart but as the star falls we think of a million other things. Always glad to share my thoughts with you…it works both ways, the thought provoking.

  8. Brenda,
    Love this post! Really makes you think of all the possibilities. I would prevent the Holocaust (daunting, but yes, I would). I’d help you stop JFK from even going to Dallas. I’d buy Apple stock as soon as their first computer was off the assembly line. I’d spend one more day with my mother and…like Bella says, I could keep adding to this list forever!

    • Rita, thanks for visiting. Being a mom is not a job we are perfect at, failing and making mistakes is innate. :-) The trick to to keep moving forward.

  9. Ooh, I love this! I’ll second curing cancer and AIDS and throw in MS and Alzheimers. On a more fun note, I’d sail around the world, write a NY Time Best Seller 😉 , go back in time to meet my great-grandmother… oh, the possibilities are endless.

    • Kelly, you and me both on the NY bestseller list. I have not problem visualizing this.. must be the writer in me creating positive scenarios.

  10. Kat

    This list is so fun! The sky is the limit if we knew we couldn’t fail. How fun would it be to be able to go back and talk to long lost ancestors?

    • Kat – I do wish there was a way to know more. I love writing stories and drag tidbits from my life into them all the time. I do wish I thought more like writer back when they were alive.

    • Savira – I sense one of your wonderful posts coming. I confess great joy in stopping by your site. Your words are thoughtful and find a way to calm.

  11. I’d make my mother love me more. (Gosh, that sounds pathetic, doesn’t it?) Maybe these instead: I’d play ice-hockey; I’d be a detective for cases involving children & women; I’d bake again; I’d do the painting for my picture books; I’d study and write more poetry; I’d write for a humanitarian group; I’d spend more time with my deceased maternal grandma. (I still have a chance with my paternal grandma and I’m spending whatever time I can with her.)

    A cure for Aids & Cancer. Nice! A pill to resolve women’s body image issue. Would be very helpful, indeed. I’m thinking if there could be a pill to resolve self-esteem issues, too …

    • Claudine – not really, I often wish my mother was more like Harriet Nelson and not like a bartender in a longshoreman’s bar! My own two kids tell me all the time that I’m not like their friend’s moms. So I’m different. We get what we get. I don’t think I could be a detective solving cases for children. I LOVE being a mom, even if I am not like all the other moms, but one thing I can’t handle are tears, hurt, or broken little hearts. The book ‘Lovely Bones’ I through it across the room, I can’t handle it when kids are hurt. I don’t understand for the life of me, why adults hurt helpless children. I could never do that job. I am a wuss. Me, too on talking to my grandmothers.. I wasn’t a writer then and regret not thinking like a writer back when I could talk to them… You my dear, are a romantic in the shadows.

  12. June O'Hara

    I’d say I’d quit my job and write full time, but I don’t know if that’s true. I’ll have to give it some thought.

    Wonderful, creative, thought provoking post.

    • June when we are famous we will have a villa in the Tundra or Barcelona… then we won’t have to worry about little things, like day jobs.

  13. What a fun list! I used to think I would do over my life between 18 and 22, but now I wouldn’t trade it. There is a lot of inspiration for my current writing that originated in that time!

    • Nate – play any way, you never know, you might be part of your destiny, or it might just be a way to perpetuate the dream of possibility.

  14. I’m hesitant to wish I was a fly on the wall, anywhere. Because what if my wish came true and I became an actual, literal, fly on the wall? There I’d be, trying to watch history being made and somebody’s trying to squash me with a rolled up newspaper.

    I like your list, but I think the only thing I would seek to do is take back certain words said harshly, bluntly, or to hurt.

    oh, and I’d go hang out with my mom when she was young. I would be nervous to change bad things that happened in the past, because what if what happened instead, because X didn’t happen, was worse? Like what if somebody had prevented Hitler from being conceived when he was, and born a year later, Augustus Hitler have managed to *win* WWII?

    I would so “do” Thomas Jefferson though. Redhead and with a fine, fine pen, yummy.

    • Bev – You don’t have to be a real fly.. maybe a tinker bell! I wonder, have you ever thought of writing a story of about talking to your mom.. even if it were imaginary, what you would have asked, what you imagine she might have said?? I often wonder what I might have said to my dad.. I never could speak to him at the end because I’d start crying. I wonder.

  15. This list tells so much about you, Brenda – but then I already know that you are warm, passionate and a fantastic writer, who I know will not fail! Dream on and keep inspiring all of us to dream big too! ♥

    • Corrine, you always make me smile with your kindness. I am touched by your words. Trust me, I am inspired by you and all the others I found through you. Hugs, my sweet.

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  17. What a wonderfully diverse and imaginative list. I love this! If you don’t mind, I would like to think up a slight twist on it and put it on my blog with a link back to you for the inspiration!

    Btw, I totally believe our ancestors live on in us. I call it fragmented reincarnation because I believe we all can get a little part of the spirit or soul of those who came before us or loved us dearly. I think one of my daughters got a LOT of my paternal grandma!

    • Alana – that would be wonderful, please do. I am keen to explore connections and meet new writers. Please do.. I hadn’t quite thought about my connection to the past in this way, but it makes sense. I read a book a couple of years ago (can’t recall the name) but it as about how we run with the same packs of people from one life to the next, it was a fascinating read.

  18. Hi there! I made my way over from your comment on my blog to your blog. I’m so glad I did–what a great list! I’m with Amber—I’d write my first novel. I’ve been working on it on and off, and then I put it down. For me, free time is at a premium and I feel like why am I wasting all my time on something that’s never going to get published? Then I work on my blog and dabble in freelance writing. I want to be a writer rather than doing what I’m doing now (lawyer, temping) but I get so afraid of failing and discouraged when I get rejected/negative feedback. Anway, GREAT POST!

    • Cristina – sadly rejection is part of a writer’s life. I hate it, wish it were not so, but it is. I have my ‘why’ moments too, but then I remind myself the reasons I write, which is an extension of my creative self. I have finished my first book and seeking an agent – it’s not a pleasant experience, because most of them are overwhelmed with submissions and don’t have time to read – so the send form letters. I have a good book. It’s not YA, it’s a grown up story. I am not going to stop believing in it or me because someone is too busy. I’ll build my own dream. In the meantime I am on chapter 5 of the second book. So, keep going woman. You are doing this writing thing for you…

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