Yesterday morning SM and I were sitting at the table waking up with our caffeinated weapons of choice. I was perusing the internet hitting some of my favorite sites when I came across an article on HuffPost 50 about The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying.
After reading this article myself, I then read it aloud to SM and we engaged in a nice conversation of "What If's".
First off, neither SM nor I share any of the top regrets in the article. As a matter of fact the concept of regret is a difficult one for me personally to recognize. I tend to look at my life as a series of choices that I've made. Regardless of whether the outcome of the choice was good or bad, I absorb the situation and move on generally with a shrug or a shake of my head that things just didn't (or can't) work out.
That doesn't mean I don't go through a lot of angst and emotional distress. It's just that I've accepted my role in the process and have moved on.
SM and I agree that not having kids has simplified our lives tremendously. I've always considered myself more "selfish" than most so not having the responsibility of raising a family has allowed both of us to do things we might not have because of the risk to our family.
IMHO, most of the regrets listed in the article factor heavily on whether or not you live a selfish life or a selfless life.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I think the fact that SM and I didn't have kids plays VERY heavily into this.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I agree with the author that this is common with men. I can TOTALLY understand the "provider" mentally. SM and I both contribute and we enjoy our work. It's part of who we are not what we need to do. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't quit tomorrow if I didn't need to work.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Ha! No problem with this one.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Maybe it's because we moved a lot when I was a kid but (to me) friends come and friends go. I'm always on the lookout for a new friend. But my best friend, SM, is still with me.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This one's just not in my vocabulary. I'm as happy as I can be given any set of circumstances. My favorite days are when someone comes along and turns my otherwise "bad" day into a good day. With just a smile or a laugh or a comment or two.