Regrets, I've had a few.
We all have them but the folks who are most present to them are those who are out of time. Those that are nearing the end of their life. So the topic may seem bleak but there is value in exploring it as we examine our own lives.
A caregiver for the elderly recently laid out the top 5 regrets she hears from her patients and they are worth reflecting on. Her full post is here. The cliff notes are below.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
One would hope in this day and age this is less and less of a reality.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
This one I get but boy is it hard making it a reality.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
The ever-present issue...do you say how you feel and offend or cover up to preserve the relationship? We are a weird species.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
And not in the Facebook / oke way but in the picking up the electric telephone and talking or actually meeting them. Often. Dinner parties. Road trips. You know the drill.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have sillyness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
As we collectively toil away at work for longer and longer hours generating income to give our kids all the opportunities we think they need / want to get a head in life, some interesting research by the Children’s Society and the University of York reveals what kids ACTUALLY want reported here!
Quoting from the article:
In fact, only one essential item among the top five (a personal music player #4) is a ‘possession’ – according to a survey by the Children’s Society and the University of York.
The children aren’t saying they want to go to theme parks, or that they want expensive toys to play outside with. They have not said that the holiday needs to involve planes, hotels or being entertained by underpaid staff dressed as cartoon characters. What they say they need doesn’t have to be costly.
To me, they seem to be asking:
a) to get out of the house
b) with you and me
A spokesman for The Children’s Society reached a similar conclusion: “There is lots of stuff about wanting to spend time with their family and playing.”
Maybe we can’t measure deprivation using only factors such as family income, the number of adults in paid work or free school meals. It’s not just about money and how you spend it; it’s about time – and how you spend that.
Top of the list is ‘money to save each month’. Wow! Not money to spend each month – but to save. Here’s to a generation of financially savvy children who appreciate being outside.
Last Friday - 11.11.11, the gTeam cut loose from gHQ and headed to Sky High with all our kiddos for 2 hours of intense trampolining to celebrate 6 years of gDiapers and the launch of our new website. I flicked back through this blog and our gJournal and like all entrepreneurial endeavours, we have had plenty of ups and downs but it's all been worth it.
(Nearly) the whole team (we missed you Gillian, Tyler, Marty & Dawn):
Jeff's son Adam getting a ton of air!
Schooner (Michelle), Heather & Kelli!
Upside down Heather!
Schooner in cheerleader mode.
Zephyr and Keagan!
Hadley and Heather.
Karen and Delilah.
Harvey, Maggie & Pilar.
Jeff choosing a target.
Old friends catching up with Kate & Karen looking on!
Kim & Jolynn
Schooner & Keags
3 old mates - Kynton, Will and Fynn grew up at gHQ.
Macca and Harvey taking a breather.
The 'stache, me and Jolynn.
Karen & Kim.
Jeff & Kim.
6'5" Dale marking Adam, one on one...
Kelli with a tired Tim!
Per my post below Kim and I really enjoyed attending the premiere of Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein's movie "More Business of Being Born" in LA this week. gDiapers does very little sponsorship (we're tiny!) so this was kind of a big deal (as my 9 year old says a lot).
The trailer is here:
Our logo - up in lights!
Abby, Kimmy, Ricki, Trucker 'stache and me here (see Ricki working furiously to get away from it?):
Derek Hough, Ricki's "Dancing With The Stars" partner joined and much fun was had by all.
The film is also being distributed on iTunes so go check it out there!