REFLECTION: As a youngster growing up, I was lucky enough to have both of my grandfathers in my life. Grandpa Ole was a soft spoken Norwegian with the clearest blue eyes, a sweet slow smile, and an endless garden offering up the tastiest raspberries ever. Grandpa Jack’s eyes twinkled in perpetual amusement. With a smoldering pipe always at hand, he was quick with a quip to lighten the day.
I enjoyed my Grandfathers then; but I know I would enjoy their company even more now, were I able to share a visit and a cup of tea with them today. Too late, it seems, we come to the questions we might have asked about what really matters and how to make the most of the life that lies ahead.
I thought about the conversations I might have had with my grandfathers as I read the writing of Bronnie Ware, an Australian woman who spent many years working in palliative care. Bronnie recently published a book titled, The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying. Her message is based on what she learned from seniors looking back from the end of their lives.
It’s a message worth considering, wherever we find ourselves along life’s path, as a guide for how we might choose to spend the time yet in front of us – whether that be 10, 20, 50 years or more!
These are the top five regrets:
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.
ACTION: What does this suggest for us today? This week? This month?
You and I might be well served by: expressing a true want or preference, taking a moment to play, letting others know how we really feel about something, reaching out to connect with a friend, or simply tapping in to the pleasure of a moment as it unfolds around us.
Simple actions with significant consequences. Try one today to minimize the regrets of tomorrow.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The inexorable horizon awaits. Make the best of the distance that remains.” – Alan Weiss
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: See this link for a more complete article on Bronnie’s findings.
READERS WRITE: In response to the first message of 2012, Savoring, Pause reader BF writes: “Coincidentally, or maybe not, your savor message and a promotion for seed catalogs arrived in my in-box at the same time. Now seed catalogs are the very epitome of savoring in anticipation. What a delight.”