Will You Have Time For Your Family? Making Life’s Choices
This blog came into existence after I spent time this January in a hospital holding vigil for my dad. I’ve been struggling for the past three weeks to find the words to talk about how important it is to simplify your financial life and your work life so that you can focus on the important things: living life with the people you love. I am now writing this post as I sit in another hospital room watching over my mom and praying that she will recover from pneumonia.
I’ve been simplifying parts of my life so that new projects I take on such as this blog would not eat up time that is meant to be spent with my family. I find that over the years, my needs have been stripped down to the essentials. Nothing else is that important. It’s just stuff that I accumulated.
The important items have been reduced to a few things, among them is the bracelet that my grandmother and I picked out together when I was ten years old. Most everything else is replaceable or unneeded.
What was truly important to me was to not have regrets. I and several other members of my family have been given a second chance at life. We know what it’s like to run out of time. I’ve been making changes to take advantage of my second chance but I still have a long way til I reach my goal.
I’m reminded today that time is not in my control. I need to live life every day as though it is my last chance. I’m not talking about things like the bucket list.
Frankly, if I’m on my deathbed, my regrets would not be about climbing Mt. Everest but about whether the people in my life knew every day how much I loved them. The priorities may be different for someone else.
What will you regret?
This is the list of daily activities that I strive for but fall short in executing perfectly.
- Tell everyone I care for that I love them. Tomorrow may never come.
- Forgive and let go of anger before I sleep. Arguments can be discussed again the next day. (This is a tough one sometimes. I do hold grudges overnight even though I shouldn’t.)
- Say thank you for every act of kindness or courtesy.
- Tell the people in my life how much I appreciate them and why at least once a week. This helps me not take anyone for granted.
- Have an experience with someone I love each day so that the days would not blur into a haze but would be distinct as memories.
It takes time and practice for me to make these actions into an ongoing habit but it’s not something I want to do by rote. I want to do them with awareness so that they help me connect with the real me. I want the actions to be from the heart and with thought and love.
I will never be perfect and I will never do my best because one can always do better. However, I will try every day as best I can for that moment.
What I have come to accept is I will always have regrets about things not done. I will always fail because life is unpredictable but it will not stop me from making the effort to live consciously every day and show my love.
Life is busy and chaotic. We all get sucked into the daily routines and make excuses for things we know we should do while do we things that are not so important in the long run.
I like to ask myself one question, “if I’m out of time, is this something I will regret not doing?” This helped me set my priorities.
Don’t make my mistake and take life for granted. You may not get a second chance.
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