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Thursday 1 January 2015

Another Year Over......

...... And a new one just begun.

I've written about, or at least referenced, New Year resolutions quite enough over the past few days. But there's always room for at least one new angle on a particular topic and this is one I personally think is very relevant to most, if not all, of us.
It concerns a blog post that I became aware of a few months ago and I know it's one that has generated quite a lot of publicity since it was first written back in 2009.
That blog post was written by an Australian ex palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware, and is called "Regrets Of The Dying".

When I first discovered it I shared it via social media, but at that time I only saw the headline list of those regrets. Those being:
1 - I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2 - I wish I didn't work so hard.
3 - I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4 - I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5 - I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Although that list stayed with me, it wasn't until recently that I actually read the complete post which expands on those five main points and explains more about the reasons for the regrets of those patients in Bronnie Ware's care.
As she writes in that original post "For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives..... When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again." Hence that list above.

If you've not read the full post, I suggest you do.
When you have, I've no doubt that at least some of those five regrets will jump out at you and make you ponder, they certainly did for me.
I consider myself to be very lucky in that I have done quite a lot in my life that I am proud of, and have done things that many others haven't. But that doesn't mean that I don't have much that I still want to achieve, or at least try to do, in the future.
I also know that there is one point on that list that requires attention.....

I think it's probably unrealistic for anyone to do everything they want to do with their life, however hard we try, for a variety of reasons. But if you at least have the courage to try, even if you fail, those ultimate regrets will be fewer in number.

None of us can change our past, as much as we may want to. But we do have an opportunity to change our future, so why not do it and what better time to start than now? It is a new year after all.

Bronnie Ware's post ends with these words, "Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."

What are you waiting for?

PS: Bronnie Ware has since expanded on that original blog post and written a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

1 comment:

  1. #2 is not a problem for me. Being quite lazy, I'll never regret having worked too hard. I supposed that's one benefit.