I just finished writing my last love notes for all my loved ones. I hugged my dog for as long as I could. I called my mom to tell her I loved her. Oh, dear mother! How will I tell you? I am trembling, I can’t breathe and I’m sweating. This is it: I might not make it. Thoughts are racing through my mind… all those dreams and goals I have not yet accomplished… I had such a short life…. but if I must go, I will go with pride and love. Tears are going down my cheeks.-Why? I don’t know. My time has come. I must face the music now.
-Liliana? Please come with me, the doctor has your results now.
Be brave. I whisper to myself. Ask him to be direct and to tell you the truth without sugar coating it. You need to know, so you can prepare yourself.
-Hi Liliana! You have a mild seasonal flu. Get some over the counter cough syrup and you’re on bed rest for two days. You’ll feel better tomorrow. Have a nice day!
Well…You see, I luckily somehow inherited Thor’s immune system; I never get sick… so when I do, it’s a big deal. That and the fact that I’m slightly overly dramatic… but that’s debatable.
Having lived such a distressing and unique experience in my life really made me question our existence and its purpose. Some of the best advice I’d ever gotten, was from a tiny little kid, with a pure heart and an honest mind. Here are a few.
From the blossoming
Here are a few boss kids we should take advice from, that probably know more about happiness than you or me :
As you get older, things will seem more lame than before. Nothing will change, but you. I promise.
Always tell your wife she looks beautiful, even if she looks like a truck.
Me: I hate bees, they sting. I’m itchy. I wish we didn’t have any bees.
Kid: …But then, flowers couldn’t reproduce.
Burned me: …..Damn you is deep.
If the shoe fits, buy it in every color. (My personal fave 😉 )
When at first you don’t succeed, sit down and eat cake! Then, try again.
Love is when you’re missing some of your teeth, but you’re not afraid to smile, because you know your friends will still love you, even though some of you is missing.
Never put nature aside for television.
From the parting
I heard about a nurse named Bronnie Ware that worked with the elderly during their last moments. She noticed that the same regrets kept coming back, time after time, from her dying patients and she wrote a book: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. There are some things you don’t see until it’s to late, there are some things you don’t consider until you’re facing the monster. Here are the top 5 regret of the dying, along with my thoughts on them.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Honestly, for me, this would be #1, as everything always comes down to happiness. If there is one thing you must remember in life, it’s that happiness is a choice. Highlight it yellow and lime green, write it on every day of your agenda if you need too, but remember this as this is important:
You create your own happiness.
It’s all in your hands. You never “find” it; it’s an inside job you have to do. This took me a while to understand, I’ve searched so long for it. I always told myself I’ll be happy when I’ll have X goal accomplished. When I did, I wasn’t satisfied. I always had the next goal that would make me happy lined up. It was a never ending cycle. While being ambitious is great, the thing that I did not understand back then is: happiness is not a finite source, like water, so you should start harvesting it as soon as possible. If you don’t feel it today, you’ll feel it tomorrow; it’s okay because you’ll never go over the limit. Like sober Lindsay Lohan once said: The limit does not exist. You’re allowed to be happy even if your life isn’t perfect: it’ll never be, that’s not the point. You’ll never run out of happiness, you can create as much as you desire. If you are unhappy with your life despite what you have, you will never be, simply because you don’t know what happiness is.
The purpose of life is not a destination you will magically get to when you’re old. The purpose of life hides in the journey itself. The most important part of your life is your happiness. Don’t wait for the storm to pass, go dance under the rain and enjoy the rainbow.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
This one surprised me. I didn’t think I’d be thinking about my friends on my deathbed tbh… but it makes sense. Life isn’t about the material things. I know, I know, it’s super cliché- and we all want to be financially stable, at the very least- BUT think about it: what are the best memories you have of the first car you ever owned? Mine are the many road trips with friends and the NSFW moments with a special person (Mum, if you’re reading, NSFW means spiritual). It’s the time my friends brought a helmet with them to make fun of my driving, it’s the time I freaked out because I got stuck in the snow and I had no idea what to do and my friends showed up unexpectedly with vodka and a shovel, It’s the time my bestie and I pretended not to know how to back up a drive way to get help from handsome police officers near us. It’s not the radio I had pimped out nor the fancy motor it had.
Life is about the relationships you build. At the end of the road, you will have nothing left but love and memories to cherish. I never remember the fancy location of a dinner, but always the conversations we had and laughs we shared in there.
How shitty must it feel when you can’t track down your friends that were such an important part of your life, to see them one last time, before you go. I know everyone gets caught up in their lives but remember: You won’t cherish that expensive new stereo system when you’ll evaluate your life, you’ll smile at the time spent with your friends listening to its music. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying; no one misses their expensive dinner table.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Living and sharing genuine feelings is the most beautiful part of life. What is the beauty in life if it’s not about the laughs, the hugs, the holding hands and the kisses? Don’t let those precious moments slip by, enjoy them to the fullest. Let yourself feel. The consequence of sharing happiness is only more happiness.
Shared joy is a doubled joy,
Shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
We are all guilty of having kept shut when something bothered us at one point, to avoid an argument. It’s perfectly healthy to pick your fights; the problem is when something that bothers you stays unresolved. You shouldn’t start a fight for any tiny small thing, that’s as draining as it is toxic. However, do stand up for yourself when you are being disrespected or something makes you feel sad. Don’t settle for a mediocre relationship, life, friends, existence. In her book, Ware writes that some people suppressed their feelings so much, they developed an illness related to the resentment they carried over and over again, their entire lives. Don’t slowly poison yourself, it’s not worth it. As the legend Whitney Houston so beautifully says, To love yourself is the greatest love of all. Let your feelings go free.
Resentment is like drinking a poison, hoping it will kill your enemy.
Wtf. That doesn’t even make sense. Yes. Yes, it does. Took me a while, but I get it now. The other person doesn’t care for your resentment; it doesn’t affect them and their lives. It only affects you; it makes you upset when you think about it, it’s you it’s bothering, it’s your days it’s ruining. Stop drinking that poison. Let go. As an ex-rancorous person I can tell you, letting go of resentment and holding grudges improved my life in such a drastic way, only to realize then, how much of an impact it had on me before.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
In her book, Ware wrote that this came from every male she nursed. :O Since her patients were mostly an older generation, the breadwinners were men, which explains it. However, nowadays it’s fair to believe this regret could come from both genders. Working is great, working a job you love and are passionate about is essential to a happy life… but work is work, not life. Your children aren’t going to stay young forever. Your partner isn’t going to put companionship, their feelings and important moments of their own life on hold for your boss. Life doesn’t stop when you’re working, it’s going by just as fast. Missing your kid’s youth or moments with your family isn’t something you can take back. It isn’t a damage you can fix. You can try to make up for it, but you can never rewind life.
At the end of the road, your clients aren’t going to be the ones caring for you and wiping tears, your family will. As harsh as this may seem, as an employee, you are a number in a corporation, but you are a loving soul for your family. You may have a great friendship with your boss, or love your job, but at the end of it all, will you regret not doing enough overtime at the office or missing a family birthday dinner? Has anyone ever said I wish I could have stayed longer hours at work, and not spent so much time with my friends and family. Think about it.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
The most common regret of all. Once everything is said and done, and there’s nothing more to look forward too, it’s finally clear and easy to look back on past mistakes and see what we could have done better. Only then, we realize how many of our dreams have gone unfulfilled. Some people lived a life to make their parents proud, some only for the money. It’s okay to want to be successful, but it is more important to honor your dreams. Ware states that most of her patients hadn’t accomplished half of their dreams while they were healthy, and deeply regretted it when it was too late. Stay true to yourself. Life is not about being miserable living a routine you never wanted. Are you happy? Do you love your life? Do you laugh often?
This advice was given to me once, and it is now the way I take all my important decisions.
Imagine you are your old future self, thinking about your past. What would you wish you would have done differently?… Well, this is it. The moment is now. You have the chance, right now, to turn your life in any direction you want. Do it.
It’s never too late, you’re never too old. Many people take their health for granted, not realizing the freedom and peace of mind health brings. Most of us don’t realize how lucky we are to be healthy, until we no longer are. Live now, live fully; you’re lucky to still be healthy enough to do so.
– alive L