Ever had the kind of dreams where you are about to die then you wake up in a cold sweat?
It spooks me out to imagine what they might mean. And maybe I shouldn't discuss it further lest my younger sister reads this. She hates it when I touch on the subject of death.
I understand why.
I mean - death is scary.
It really is. And mostly due to the unknown-ness that it represents.
But you know what's scarier- at least to me?
Dying with regrets.
I think it's one the worst things that can happen to any human being facing death square in the face.
I certainly don't know when I will die and under what circumstances but what I do know is that there are a number of things I wouldn't want to be "caught dead" regretting (sorry for the dark humour). These are five things I have thought of time and time again every time the idea of how fleeting life can be hits me.
So here they are.
Regrets I don't want to have at the exact moment when I have to bid farewell to this earth.
1. I didn't follow my dreams
It's one thing to have dreams and quite another to achieve them. A lot of people have dreams and goals but most don't pursue them as much as they want to or as much as they should.
Life gets in the way. Something always gets in between them and where they want to be in life.
In my case, I would say I am still not following my dreams to the T but I am trying really hard (like really really hard) to not let life get in the way. That company I want to start, those countries I want to visit, those people I want to inspire, those things I want to tick off my bucket list - I can't just let life dissolve them into thin air. I have to at least try to chase them. Like my life depends on it -which it does.
2. I didn't spend enough time with my family
They say you don't choose your family. But if I look back at mine and what it has added to the person I am today, I would choose it again if I had the chance.
Sure, I'm not the best daughter, sister or aunt in the world. I don't always strive to meet up with my sisters and brother. I don't always volunteer to baby sit my not-so-baby nieces and nephews. I don't listen to everything my mum ever so sweetly advices me to do.
But I do value the family that the heavens gifted me with. So when the moment comes for some family time, I do try to cherish it as much as I can. And if I don't do it right at any particular moment, I strive to get better the next time. Otherwise, I would be wasting precious moments with the ones I love the most in this world.
3. I didn't build something
It's hard to believe that there are some people in this world who don't want to build something for themselves. By building something, I am referring to a legacy. By 'legacy' here, I mean anything from a 'name', to an organisation, to a business empire, to a family.
Year after year, birthday after birthday, I usually sit down to think about where my life is headed and it always comes down to what kind of legacy I want to leave on this earth. I truly believe that I am here for a specific purpose. And though I am still trying to spell it out, I must at least strive to achieve it.
4. I didn't stay true to myself
I take "staying true to oneself" to mean being real, being the person you are meant to be, being the person that you were called to be.
And it is not easy.
Not at all.
Particularly in this day and age that comes filled with marketing messages telling you who you should be, social media telling you who you must be and to top it all off, your own gremlins telling you who you can't be.
But deep in the midst of it all, there's a calm voice that can show us the way. The voice that's inside all of us. It's the voice that tells us to mute everything else and stick to who we are. It's the voice that tells us to be open to being seen as we are.
I want to keep listening to that voice.
5. I didn't stop and smell the roses
We live in a wondrous planet that is weirdly floating around in a Universe that we are yet to fully understand.
We are driven by an exquisitely designed brain that we are yet to fully comprehend.
We are surrounded by miracle after miracle that we are still trying to make sense of.
Yet, we use the finite number of days on this planet to worry about things other than the beauty that's within us or the beauty that surrounds us.
We spend our days on man-made problems, giving no space for gratitude and awe.
On that day when I will be on by deathbed, I want to feel as if I stopped and smelt as many roses as possible. I want to feel as if my life meant something. And that it meant something to someone. I want to feel as if my life was lived to the fullest.
I leave you with my favourite quote of all time. And I hope to read your thoughts in the comment section below.