I have always wanted to live my life with no regrets; pushing life to the ultimate limit and experience…everything. I recently began wondering how seniors felt about their lives as they were looking back upon it. Did they have regrets and, if so, what are they?
Not Making Amends
Seniors admit that even though making amends could be as simple as phoning with an apology, sometimes words are left unsaid until it may be too late. There are definitely times when toxic people need to be cut from your life, but access each situation to see if holding a grudge is healthy for you. Every so often making amends is not about making the other person feel better, but more about your mental wellbeing.
We all set goals with the intention of accomplishing them, but life tends to get in the way of moving forward. Many seniors surely have regrets when it comes to achieving their dreams, claiming that time gradually slipped away from them. They wish they would have been more proactive and not let fear paralyze their forward movement. It is important not only to write down your goals, but to take one step everyday to achieving them. It can be the tiniest baby step, as long as it is the move in the right direction.
Sweating the Small Stuff
In the grand scheme of things does it really matter if you are having a bad hair day, your dog poops on the carpet or your spouse didn't take out the garbage? Worrying is the number one way of wasting precious time, which in turn severely affects your happiness. Whenever I find myself feeling stressed I remember the image of the sweetest bald 8 year old that I met in a restaurant. Though she was battling cancer, her spirits where higher than anyone else in the place. What she was going through couldn't even come close to any stressful day at work I have ever had…I yearn for her courage.
Words Left Unsaid
"Looking back, I have this to regret…that too often when I loved, I did not say so." David Grayson
Communication is the key to building strong, healthy relationships, yet many times we are hesitant to say what we feel. Fear keeps us from saying "I love you", "I am hurting" or "I am sorry". Withholding words like these can destroy marriages, break up friendships and put strains on family bonds. Choose your words wisely, we don't want to be hurtful, but say what you feel. When you don't you are withholding the truth.
In general, the elderly usually don't have regrets for the things they did, much rather the things that they never did. They wish that they communicated better, made more of an effort to achieve their goals and didn't worry about the little things that weren't important. I hope to learn from them and continue to live a "No Regret" life. Will you do the same?