A friend of mine shared a link on Facebook the other day that I found interesting. It was about a nurse giving the top five regrets that people have on their deathbed. I found it to be an interesting read. Being that she works in the medical profession and was one of the people I met while at Winthrop Hospital during Timile and Cydney’s extended stay it made sense that she posted this. I wanted to share these five regrets and my take on them. Thanks Diana for the inspiration.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I could see how this is a very popular thought. Along the way, we all spend way too much time people pleasing and compromising what we want for what we think is best for ourselves and others. Many times my family and friends have asked me personally about decisions and choices I’ve made. My father was very wary about me going to Morehouse ten years ago. Atlanta is far away from New York and he didn’t want me to be six figures into debt before my life began. I owe Sallie Mae a lot of money, but I know that my father is pleased with my decision and happy of the man that it was made me. Many times people won’t understand; but it’s not for them. My choosing to be a writer may have some short term adverse affects on my pockets, but it won’t forever. It’s helped a lot of people somehow somewhere…
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
When it’s all said and done, no one will wish that they spent more time at work, or at the office, or spending more time on whatever they were doing to earn income. Yes it’s important and your family will thank you for putting food on the table, paying bills,and hopefully something behind for them when you leave. But the truth is when you quit or retire people will miss you and within three weeks someone else will be in that same slot doing the same job you did. We spend more time at work than we do with our families. Yes, it’s about quality but quantity is all that we think about when we don’t have much time left. Make time. I sold cars for a little while. I worked close to eighty hours six days a week. Never again. Even when I did, I made sure to find the time to spend with Timile. Recently I’ve dated really busy people. I can relate as a single parent. However, when I’m never too busy because I will always find time.
I’ve written two articles and close to 2000 words this morning. I probably won’t think twice about either one of them once I’m done… I gotta wake my little girl up and start her day.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I am notorious for not saying what I think or what I really feel to loved ones. My time with Timile taught me a very valuable lesson to not do this. Despite how things ended, I had no regrets. I don’t even regret getting to say a proper goodbye to her. I told her every day that I loved and and made sure she knew how I felt about her. Sometimes it came out when we would have arguments. But I take solace in knowing that she died knowing I loved her and wasn’t leaving her until one of us passed on.
My “love language” is doing. I’m not much of a talker in this sense. It’s something I’m working on. Everyone doesn’t understand that language and just expressing how I feel through actions can be abstract to some. If someone means something to me, I’ll let them know. If I’ve been seeing someone and I felt the urge to tell them I love them, I’ll tell them. I’m not afraid on what their response will be. They could freeze up, not saying anything, or whatever. I’m not deterred. It’s not about how I feel by telling them as much as it is letting them know that they are loved. We’d all be surprised how much that can come in handy when someone is feeling low and they have that little reminder in the back of their mind that someone loves them.
I let my daughter know all the time that the sun rises and sets on her.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Being that most of my friends are somewhere between twenty-five and thirty-two, everyone is getting married, having kids, or are knee-deep into their careers. My married friends are almost all newlyweds who act like they’re the first people ever to get married. We all get so bogged down with our life, but other than spouses who do you have? You can’t vent to your spouse about them. That’s just asking for a fight. Sometimes you need an ear to vent to, give you advice on how to handle circumstances, or let you know what may be a better approach in handling your child or how to handle adversity. Sometimes the best advice comes from a source on the outside looking in. I try to stay in touch with all of my friends. We all have live we’re living and are at the age where we’re trying to figure things out, reconcile our ideals with reality, etc. Everyone doesn’t have the time to talk and many times over the response is “Man I’ve been busy. My bad.” Young people act like they have all the time in the world to get back to people. I’ve lived an experience that has shown me that this is not the case, so I try to treat all of those around me like I may not see them ever again.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Happiness is relative. I think that most happiness can be achieved by keeping the first four thoughts in mind. The truth is that the most valuable asset is time. Like I said, being young, we all think we have forever. We put off our dreams, people we love, friends, and family over and over again. “I got you another time” becomes weeks, and then months. I’ve gotten mad at people over this. Not just because I’ve felt like they’re blowing me off; but because of how serious I take the concept of time. That time I’ve been getting put off for work or something else could have been the time that I really needed someone to just talk to other than my daughter. That time we could have just talked on the phone or grabbed a beer could have been a chance for them to open up on something that they really needed. You never know. You could be twenty-five years old thinking you have your whole life to raise your family and be in love with your spouse and be diagnosed with stage four cancer days after your child is born, and die nine months later. You don’t know and it’s that serious.
Be blessed. Be a blessing to those who are on your mind. Let others be a blessing to you.
Here’s the link to the original article by Sina.