The Guardian published an article about the top five regrets of the dying recorded by a palliative nurse. Among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. For my Dad, his older brother's death was a wake-up call and when he firmly decided that he would not work himself into the grave but rather do everything he could to ensure more time to spend enjoying life. And I think he succeeded pretty well. I guess I was not that surprised at this being number one. Regret number 3 ("I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings") also makes a lot of sense - I can totally relate to that. It's in our culture to be polite, restrained... It takes courage to express ones' feelings and face disapproval or hurting someone's feelings or even rejection or isolation but I think bottled up/ non-digested emotions do damage us physically in the long run.
I am sure a lot of people regret not telling close ones they love them despite all the day to day hassle. And also taking it slow, taking the time to pause and savor the moment.
But regret number 5 is what hit home the most; "I wish that I had let myself be happier" - or perhaps I wish I had made it a priority to be happy.
Anyway, what would be your regret if you were dying right now?
I especially like the fact that happiness is a choice. In my opinion, we don't stress this enough when teaching children. I think teaching them that it is important to be happy, to listen to your gut, to go after your dreams (and support them in getting there) is paramount. I think it's important to actually TELL them that true happiness is the most important thing in life. It's important to teach them that happiness is a choice and something to go after just as much as, if not more, good grades or a good job.
I make it a point to ask Emma what makes her happy or if she is happy and now she sometimes spontaneously just tells me she is feeling happy before saying nightie-night. Even if she tells me because she senses it is important to me, she is learning that it is important in itself. I think that's just the bees-knees!