A recent post on Time Goes by offers this list of top five regrets among a survey of dying people. They wish they’d:
- stayed in touch with friends
- had let themselves be happier
- had the courage to express their feelings
- had not worked so hard
- had lived life more true to themselves rather than what others expected of them
It’s interesting that all five involve a road not taken, something not done. Interesting because I wonder exactly how do you miss or regret something you never had?
This list is not so much about not having Done something as much as it is about not having Been something. Or rather, someone.
Some one who made the extra effort, someone who loved more expressively, someone who put work in the proper perspective,someone who realized how unique they really were.
Not all of us will be granted lengthy ‘last moments’ opportunities. Some of us are taken quickly. While a lenghty drawn out illness has the benefit of time , providing the patient this opportunity for reflection, how unwise to hope we will have that time.
This attention to time is likely the reason for the proliferation of ‘bucket wish lists’, including those of young people. Forty things to do before I ‘m forty. How I wish. Forty is long past for me.
But life can only be lived forward not back.
So instead of regrets ,what promises can you make to yourself today, that will make you be someone, with few regrets?