On your deathbed, do you imagine that you will lament not having spent enough time at the office? Absurdity! Of course you won’t. If anything, you’ll lament how much damn time you spent there. How many minutes it took away from your relationship with your children or your lovers or your friends or your passions. How many minutes do we all spend staring into somebody else’s projects? Putting our priorities on a burner so far back that they go cold.
An Australian nurse who recorded the final thoughts of her dying patients over twelve years says just this in her compiled Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
But I doubt any of us need a study to know this. We know this now. We know this every time we look at the clock on the office wall and sigh. We know this every time that the alarm goes off before we’ve finished resting. We know this every time we miss someone or something because we were at the office. Even if that something is just one sunny day.
We could all take a page from the book of the dying. “Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice,” that nurse found. “They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”