I get a sense we are on the verge of enjoying a robust year economically. As our businesses pick up, our natural tendencies may be toward working longer hours. There is the old farmer tale that “we need to make hay while the sun is shining.” While none of us will find fault in catching up with what we feel may have been lost in the failed economy, there is something we need to have on the forefront of our minds as we once again gain momentum.
If we had a chance to interview ourselves at any point in our lives, what age would you choose? Would you pick your teenage years preparing to leap into life, or after your years of experience at a time in your 80’s? My dear sister and sweet daughter have elected to serve in the health care industry with patients who are near the end of life. My daughter is an oncologist nurse in Michigan and my sister the head of hospice care here in Utah. Knowing both of these ladies as I do, I am comforted to know their spirits of love and service are shared with families in their time of need.
Those with a terminal illness often reflect actively on their past lives. This perhaps is similar to what we experience when “our lives flash before our eyes” as some type of danger appears before us. When patients share feelings it isn’t uncommon that there are thoughts of regret. These, of course vary, yet have some common themes. Those I want to address are meaningful to the hurried pace of how I see our life becoming. 1) I wish I didn’t work so hard, 2) I wish I would have spent more time with family and friends, and 3) I wish I would have laughed more, been silly or allowed myself to be happy.
On our way to living a life worth living, doing our best to succeed in what matters, we must be aware of regrets if we are to avoid them. I won’t be the one guilty of saying don’t work hard while the sun is shining; I do it too. I will, however, advise us all to honor our hopes as we pursue productive lives by prioritizing the message we would receive from interviewing ourselves, or understanding others who have lived and are nearing the end of life.
Make sure you do every day what matters most; no regrets!