Next month, 9 years ago, I noticed my first MS symptom. I was on vacation in West Palm Beach, Fl and noticed a small numb spot on the bottom of my right foot. I cannot believe it has been NINE years! Time sure seems to be jetting past me these days. One thing I have been thinking about is how different I am now compared to that time in my life. The memories appear in my mind, but feel as though they are from another lifetime.
I encourage you to take time and evaluate your place in life compared to your life 8-10 years ago. Many times we relate to a specific event or a city we lived in to recall memories. Or maybe a song or a movie sparks the emotion of a certain time. So I want you to stop and think about the person you were 5, 8, 10 years ago. Where did you live? Where were you working? Who were your friends? What was your income? Take a full inventory and then compare to your life today. Are you better off now? Relatively the same? Are there things you need to accomplish that have been avoided?
Time is an interesting topic and can serve as the catalyst for many amazing philosophical conversations. But when all is said and done, time keeps on a tickin’. Don’t be that person that looks back and says “I wish I had done _______.” Do your future self a favor and become a person of action and avoid the regret syndrome.
I was reading about a nurse named Bronnie Ware on Huffington Post. She is a nurse that worked with patients that were in their last days/moments of life. She wrote a book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing and here are the five regrets with excerpts from the book:
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 realize 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 had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
2. I wish I hadn’t worked 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.”
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.”
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realize 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.”
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize 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 silliness in their life again. – Bronnie Ware