Wow, don’t those girls look happy? They are my lil’ sis, my lil’ cousin, and myself. And don’t we look free of regret? Of course, we were all super young in the early 80’s…what would we have to be regretful about? But think about it…if you left your life right now, would you have any regrets, or would you be as happy as these smiling little girls?
As I approach 40, and watch my parents age as well, I find myself thinking more and more about how we’re living our lives. What is truly important? Will I leave life with any regrets? Then I read an article one of my friends posted on her Facebook wall: Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed.
Three of those rang especially true for me:
1. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
Working hard doing things I don’t want to do, that is. This is HUGE for me right now, since I just quit my job of 10 years. This is the first time EVER, that I have not worked for someone else. I was tired of spending so much of my life working for an employer that didn’t really value me or my talents. So what am I doing now, then? Figuring it out. Whatever it ends up being, it will involve something I enjoy and find meaningful.
This also applies to my work at home. Really, why am I making myself work so hard to dust all these knick-knacks in my house, when I don’t even use half of them? So I’m tossing all the bath & body products I don’t use, that do nothing but collect dust on the bathroom counter.
And why is it that I’m constantly picking up my family members’ dirty clothes off the floor? There should be a BIG difference between being a mom and being a maid. So, now whenever someone leaves their clothes on the floor, NO SCREEN TIME. In our house, this means no TV, movies, computer, or phone. (I’m pondering what the effects will be if I apply this to my husband…)
Therefore, two words that begin with the letter D will be in full force in my house – Declutter and Delegate.
2. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I’ve always been one of those people that hates to be hated. And to make sure that everyone likes me, I may have been known to suppress my true feelings when talking to people. But I’ve never been much of a talker anyway, so verbal communication is not really an issue to me.
My problem is how perfectionism inhibits my written word. I may or may not be a perfectionist, but I am most certainly a planner, and if something is not planned out to the T, I probably won’t publish it. Paralysis by analysis.
This blog post is the first of my many therapeutic steps to learn to hit the Publish button. This post is most certainly not perfect, and I’m sure the editor in me will want to go back and add/remove/tweak content. I am learning that I just can’t continue that mindset if I want to courageously publish my thoughts. It’s time for me to create content, not just consume it.
3. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is the most powerful one for me. I have been stuck in the status quo, staying in comfortable confines of familiarity for a long time. But now I have a powerful longing to be creative and to spend time doing things that I enjoy. For me, that means carving out more time to sew, visit my parents, listen to new music, go on dates with my husband, make mosaics, teach my kids, go out dancing, learn new things, start my own business, and make meaningful memories with my family.
I am very excited to change my life and prevent these 3 regrets. I can’t wait to get started!
What regrets are you afraid of having, and how are you going to overcome them?