Home > Kev's Blog > 20-May-2012 Sunday Round Up

20-May-2012 Sunday Round Up

Monday 21 May 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Up early for the girl’s soccer at Gymea. They thought it might be called off as it was tipping down with rain here, but old heads guessed that maybe it wasn’t raining in Gymea. Turned out to be true. Jazmin played especially well. Went and had a coffee with them afterwards in  local cafe. Kody was dead keen for some reason to go to Wanda Greenhills and she persuaded the older two to go, except it was raining there by then so we didn’t hang around for too long.

Back home I went back to bed for a couple of hours as I was tired !!

In the afternoon I went for a standup paddleboard and swim. It was very beautiful – saw a rainbow, and there were threatening clouds, but the sun was trying to come out. There were no real waves or wind so it was very pleasant – I went over to Darook Park near Cronulla. Had a quick swim afterwards – the water is strting to feel a bit nippy but would have to be approx 18C I think.

Reading the paper this evening there was an interesting article that I enjoyed : How to live without regrets :

Top regrets of the dying

  • “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”.
  • “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”.
  • “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings”.
  • “I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends”.
  • “I wish I had let myself be happier”.

When your time is up, will you be happy with the life you’ve lived? It’s time to make those changes now.

If you are not familiar with the term “bucket list“, it refers to a list of the things you would like to do before you die (kick the bucket). But do people who are dying think about whether or not they have done these things or might they have a deeper agenda: a bucket list of the soul, perhaps? “Non, je ne regrette rien“(“No, I regret nothing”). So went the words to a popular French song sung by Edith Piaf in the 1960s. If we were to imagine our last days, would we be able to say the same thing? Or would we have regrets about how we lived our lives?

Some may think it is morbid to dwell on death, but it is actually extremely life-affirming. Death puts things into perspective. It makes us think about what is really important in life. When something is going to end we begin to appreciate it. So, again, if your life were to end, would you have regrets about how you lived?

Palliative care nurses tend to people in their last stage of life and they are in the unique position of being able to talk with patients who may be confronting what life has meant to them. One of these nurses, Bronnie Ware, wrote a blog, then a book, called The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying (Hay House), about her experiences. She found that people did indeed have regrets before they died and these had little to do with their bucket lists. Ware discovered the dying have five common regrets. If we were to take heed of these regrets, we would have a head start in life. We can deal with the issues now, so we don’t end up with the same regrets when it is our turn to kick the bucket.

Be true to yourself

Ware found the most common regret of dying people was not being true to themselves. Many of us care too much about what others think and let society’s expectations influence us, when we have the freedom to make our life what we want it to be. If you were truly yourself, what would you be like? What would your heart be telling you to do? What would bring meaning to your life? Try making a list of small changes you could make that would head you in the direction of more authentic self-expression.

Work less

So many people work themselves to exhaustion, yet Ware found that many of the dying wished they hadn’t done so. They were from a generation where men were the breadwinners, but now that women work just as much they too are at risk of missing out on other important things in life. Do you let a stifling work culture dictate priorities in your life? Have the courage to tell yourself you want something better. Then begin the search. It might take time but it will be worth it.

Express your feelings

I have lost count of how many people have owned up to me about never speaking up because they “want to keep the peace” and they “don’t want to make waves”. Others don’t do so because they are afraid of the feelings it might unlock in them. But this is a damaging way to live. Ware found many of the dying regretted not having spoken up in life. They feared others’ reactions and this kept them mute. Ultimately, though, they would much rather have said something.

In reality, there is little risk if you speak up. It can help you move through difficulties and if someone doesn’t like what you have to say, you don’t need to stay in a relationship with such a person. If the person responds, you are on the way to creating a healthier relationship. You also rid yourself of the resentment and bitterness that might otherwise contribute to ill health.

Keep close to friends

A busy lifestyle can see friendships drop by the wayside, but Ware discovered that when people are dying they really begin to appreciate the relationships they had. However, they are too ill to do anything about it by then. So make time to keep in touch with people. You won’t regret it!

Let go

The dying told Ware they wished they had let themselves be happier in life. Instead, they had limited themselves by trying to keep up appearances and by ensuring life was comfortable and controlled. But our comfort zone is not necessarily an enjoyable place. We need to step out every so often and take a risk. When was the last time you were silly? What would make you laugh more? Whatever it is, let it into your life more often.

Be guided by love

The theme of all the regrets Ware encountered is love, especially self-love. This does not mean selfishness. On the contrary, it means taking responsibility for creating the circumstances of a loving life. Do you make decisions based on duty, finances or other people’s rules or is love, including self-love, the fundamental principle for how you live? Each of these things leads to a particular quality of life. And the message from the dying is loud and clear: stay in touch with love and there will be less to regret later. Maybe then you too.

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