Over the weekend I saw a newspaper article that mentioned this post - Regrets of the Dying. It's well worth reading.
The 5 main regrets are:
- Not to have had the courage to live a life true to yourself.
- To have worked hard and missed your children's youth.
- Not to have had the courage to express feelings.
- Not staying in touch with friends.
- Not to have let yourself be happier.
I was surprised by the last one, though ironically it is similar to a comment from one of the characters in my latest work in progress, when talking about his parents.
My last post was about living your dreams, which I see as the heart of the first one in the list. If you've lived a life doing what others expect of you, rather than one that is true to yourself, then you haven't lived your dreams.
That is sad, especially in conjunction with number two on the list.
I think very few of us are able to live life exactly on our terms. We have relationships that generally mean some sort of give and take, to enable everyone to do some of what they want.
The other side of this is having the opportunity to live our dream, and squandering it. Someone once said to me that life is not a rehearsal.
I'm at a time in my life when I can work hard at my writing and not feel I'm letting other people down. I came late to the realisation that: a) I was okay at this writing thing, and b) that it was something I really wanted to do.
There are times I wish I had realised this much earlier, but I didn't. I also believe it's pointless wasting time now regretting the years gone. Get on and do it.
Only we can know whether we are living a life true to ourselves, or letting other people dictate what our lives are. Or making other people the excuse for us not doing things.
What is the point of having a dream, if we're not prepared to work at it?
Live it, don't regret it.