A previous article 5 choices you’ll regret, looking back prompted further thought and a surprising amount of discussion about what other choices, made prior to the wisdom of midlife giving us a whack on the side of our head, we might regret when looking back on our life from the comfort of our rocking chair. Bottom line? Don’t deprive yourself of a life well lived in the here and now.
Here are 6 more potential regrets for you to ponder, then plan to do differently:
1. Spending more time online than being present, IRL – I appreciate this one’s ironic, given you are reading this article online right now! But are you addicted to the online world? Do you rely on Facebook to communicate with your friends and family when it’s actually possible to see them face to face (even if it is via Skype or FaceTime)? Are you one of those people who take photos instead of absorbing the image through your pores? Do you think that what you read online is more real, more compelling, more desirable than the life you actually lead? if so, try weaning yourself off your online dependency. Remove Apps, reduce online time gradually – or go cold turkey if you’re that way inclined. But don’t miss out on real life. It passes by too quickly.
2. Ignoring your dreams – Have you lived your life enabling other people’s dreams? There are always reasons to do so and many of them come from a place of love, of wanting to ease others discomfort, to create opportunities for them that perhaps you didn’t have. So when is it your turn? When do you say ‘If not now, then when?’ When do you open the door that your soul keeps knocking on and let your dreams fly?
3. Sticking with relationships that are past their use-by date – Be honest with yourself. You deserve to hang out with people who have your back, encourage you, ‘see’ you for who you are, warts and all, and love you anyway. As we change and develop, so too can our expectations of others. Tough call – maybe. Worth it – for sure!
4. Wrapping your identity up in your job – Do you know who you are without your title, your standing in your workplace, your industry’s recognition? Retired friends tell me that describing yourself by using your final job title pre-retirement (i.e. I used to work for … I was Head of…) is good for about 6 months. And that’s usually while you are trying to figure out what your new identity is and where you fit in the pecking order of life after work, as you knew it. This also figures in the appalling statistics of late life divorces and people dying within months of finishing work, because they don’t know what to do with them selves.
5. Ignoring getting your health tests done early – Ignorance is NOT bliss if early detection, and subsequent action, ups the odds of survival and quality of life. Get on to it NOW!
6. Thinking there’ll be another time, day, opportunity – By midlife you’ve figured out that your days are numbered, right? Maybe you’ve got 30 more summers, maybe more, maybe less. The point is we don’t know. Don’t deprive yourself of a life well lived, in the here and now. Because, as we are reminded all too often at this age and stage, we are not in control of our end date. Nor do we know whether we will get there with the full kit and caboodle of faculties, so planning to do whatever, later, only works if you can be assured that your mind, body and soul are up for it. And if you can do that – bottle the magic potion and make your fortune selling it to all the rest of us who don’t have the recipe!
What other choices might you regret, if you don’t choose differently now?