Hi all! This is a life or life post. Or as a wag said once - 'Is there a life before death?'
I was reading an article by Nikki Gemmell, Aussie author who just returned from London to bring her kids up in Oz, and it really spoke to me. She wrote of a palliative care nurse who stated that there were five main regrets people voiced as they lay dying. (Bronnie Ware has since published these!) The following is the deepest regrets people have...and my spin on them...
No 1 Regret
I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself - not the life others expected of me.
Did you say ouch to that? I do a bit. Women have a certain role thrust on them - they're often everyone's carer and nurturer, especially the Baby Boomer generation - 'a woman's lot is to give and give and go on giving'...from the '60's song, Born a Woman, by Sandy Posey. At some time we might wake up to ourselves and wonder who we are, what do we want? So how do we tackle this regret?
- Don't be bound by fear of failure - the only true failure is in not doing anything at all.
- See setbacks as a need for more courage to keep going.
- Try to say 'I will' not 'I should'. Will you get that ms to the publisher/agent/Amazon/Smashwords this year? You will? Great! So will I!
- Appreciate change. Our life is made rich by risking.
- Stop worrying about what others think of you. 'Arm me, audacity', as Shakespeare, that pretty successful scribe, said.
So much of our lives is spent on the treadmill of just scraping by. Our ambitions are often reliant on the great god Mammon. Sure, we can't live without money, but some of us take the money-making gig a bit too far!
A life driven by love is preferable to one lead by greed for an obscene accumulation of coin. The best pleasures often lie in the simplest moments - a walk by the ocean, sharing a glass of wine while watching the sunset, a barbie with family and friends - none of these need a huge financial outlay (unless you like to sip your wine and watch your sunset in Capri in Italy, lol, and you live at the other end of the earth.)
Live life your way. As Emily Dickenson said: 'Friday I tasted life. It was a vast morsel. A Circus passed my house. Still I feel the red in my mouth...The lawn is full of south and the odours tangle, and I hear today for the first time the river in the tree.'
No 3 Regret
I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Do you have trouble saying 'no'? Hard not to. We love people and want to help, but Sartre said an essential freedom is the ability to say no. Is it only strong people like Sartre who have the courage to say no? If you're a pleaser, the yes person (hmm, I know someone like this) it can be depleting.
Do you say yes then fall into festering resentment, corrosive bitterness?
DON'T SAY YES WHEN YOU MEAN NO!
No 4 Regret
I wish I'd stayed in touch with friends.
'No man is an island...I am involved in mankind...' from 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' by John Donne.
No 5 Regret
I wish I'd let myself be happier.
Have you lost your sense of fun in the seriousness of daily life? Or are you simply a pessimist?
Have you let worries and responsibilities define you? We all have those; it's what we do with them that makes the difference.
Keep your heart light even in the face of the trials of daily life. It's a great armory for living. Don't wait till you're dying to learn that.
Here are the lyrics from the old warbler himself, Frank Sinatra, who said he didn't have many regrets. Lucky guy! You might have heard it a thousand times, but let it speak to you today...
And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.
I've lived a life that's full.
I've traveled each and ev'ry highway;
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.
I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.
I've loved, I've laughed and cried.
I've had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.
To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
"No, oh no not me,
I did it my way".
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!
So our lives are like a short story - with a beginning, a middle and an end, but with variable word counts (think days.) On average we have 25,550 days to live. Live each day to the full!
|No matter your calling in life, live life to the full!|
To finish on a writerly note: *If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. ~Isaac Asimov*