Bronnie Ware, in her work with the dying found there were five themes running through their list of regrets as life drew to a close.
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
The list even now provides an uncomfortable reality check with the feeling that I too could get to the final boarding call with a few of those regrets in my excess baggage.
How do you then go about crafting a life that will give you peace and happiness while living and the certainity of ending with no regrets?
It seems the odds are stacked against us in the modern world. We now operate on a 24/7 cycle. Shops open 7 days a week late into the night. The internet (and we love the internet) demands immediate attention with little sympathy for those who step away from the keyboard (even for a short period of time) and fall behind in the information game. Two incomes now seem a necessity (although perhaps we have just structured our lives to incorporate two incomes creating a strait-jacket for ourselves).
Time seems rushed. Money seems less. Friends live further apart. Work seems more demanding.
My perfect life would look something like this:
- Everyone healthy and happy.
- Enough money to comfortably pay the bills, finish and furnish the house and enjoy some special holiday experiences.
- Flexibility in our working lives.
- The opportunity to write, and write and write and see where that ended up.
- Many, many more meet-ups with friends local and distant, with lots of photos and some great blog posts to come out of it.
It’s not outside the realm of possibility, and I have taken steps to get there. I work part-time. I’ve got my Project 44 I’m working on. I’m blogging to get myself into the habit of writing. Although it still feels challenging with road blocks often appearing to getting what I want.
How would you picture your perfect life? How will you avoid regrets?