My hope is to get to the end of this life without regrets.
That may not be completely possible, but I want to live in a way that makes it a bit more attainable. I’ve failed at this often, and I’ll slip up again, but it sure doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.
Imagine if you were told that you had only one week to live. What would you do? Who would you spend those precious 10,080 minutes with? Wow, right? My daughter, Erin, and I had a conversation last week about something similar. She said to me, “I’ve been thinking a lot about my legacy.” When I asked her for clarification we got into a discussion about what we leave behind, and how we spend our lives.
Let’s consider some ideas for lives lived without regret—lives that use the moments we do have in ways that counts.
I like to say,“never turn down an invitation unless it’s inappropriate”, and I practice that adage. I’m not talking about corporate functions, networking events or committees. I’m talking about invitations from another human who desires to spend time with you. How blessed are you that people want to do things with you?
Turn off the phone; better still, leave it behind. It hurts my heart when I see a family, at a restaurant, and the parent(s) is/are on the phone and the children are playing with their electronics. There’s no conversation, there’s no connection. Slow down. Look at each other when you talk. Be present. Be grateful. Be in the moment.
Chase Your Dreams
If you dream about doing, creating or being something, go for it! If you can, take the job that “speaks to you” instead of the one you “should” take. If you want to climb a mountain (literally or figuratively) do it. If you have an idea, see where it goes. You may not be successful, but you won’t live out your days saying, “what if?”
Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
Life is an important matter. I get that. There are plenty of times when we need to be serious, diligent and responsible. That doesn’t mean, however, that we need to be in that mode all the time. Learn to recognize when you need to be serious. The rest of the time, go with the flow. Be flexible. Take a breath and laugh.
Change is inevitable—how we deal with it is up to us. We can’t always predict when a career will end, our health will decline or life will change. So many people dread getting older, or get depressed because they’ve turned 40, 50 or 60. I say, “bring it on”. I’m here; I’m growing; I’m evolving. Try to look at change as a growth opportunity.
Live with Less Stuff
The acquisition of things is something that’s highly regarded in our culture. We are amazing consumers. We often even define ourselves by the possessions we have. “Stuff” can weigh you down; it can cause you to feel closed in; it can separate you from life. Give yourself more breathing space by living with fewer possessions.
Speak Your Mind
I’m not suggesting you believe your opinion is the only one that matters. What I mean is don’t be afraid to speak out when it’s important; let others know what you think and why. Don’t hold back to “keep the peace” or because you’re afraid of the opinions of others. Living with the resentment of not being heard is bad for your spirit.
Trust Your Inner Voice
Believe in yourself. Listen to the still, small voice inside you. If you have a nagging feeling that you “should” or “shouldn’t” do something, heed it. I wouldn’t be writing this blog today if I didn’t choose to be open to the inspiration I received, on a beautiful summer morning, that whispered “Peace Full Home”.
I’m pretty confident that, at the end of this life, I’m not going to wish I had one more sweater, or worked 200 more hours. I know I won’t regret not spending more time on social media or watching TV.
My prayer is that I’m going to remember the laughter and joy, and be grateful for the experiences and love I was blessed to have. Tomorrow, I’ll share some more thoughts on how we can all get to the end of our time here without “would have”, “should have” or “could have” being part of our vocabulary.
Talk to you tomorrow,
©2016 Peace Full Home/Intentional Living