A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about having few regrets as a dad.
I came back to this thought upon seeing another blog about the five most common regrets of dying people. As an advocate for fatherhood, one of the five reasons caught my attention. Can you guess what it might be? I’ll reveal it and the others at the end of this article.
How many times do we hear something important, see something inspiring, think of something we want to do – and in the next second, we’re back into the fog of everyday life? We procrastinate, make excuses, conveniently forget about those potentially life altering moments. Sometimes we ignore an exciting idea or a touching thought for fear of criticism from others.
One moment we have adrenalin pumping though our veins, the next you’ll find the momentum of unconscious choices plodding you along the path of least resistance. This will happen over and over again until one day, you’ll find yourself moving on to your next great adventure - in another dimension!
A palliative care nurse, working with dying patients, typically spent between 3-12 weeks caring for each of them before they passed on. (Palliative care is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients.)
On a very positive note, she said “Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.” But she also knew their regrets!
One of those regrets, and the one I focused on is: “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”
The nurse goes on to say, “This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
Wishing they didn’t work so hard was not an indictment of their successes or dreams. We should work hard for these things. It had to do with balance and the attention that was stolen from their children and families. It’s a tough decision, no doubt, because we men want the best for our families. But sometimes the best is time and attention over money and things. A father must at least consider the options. And in my opinion, lean towards family.
Oh, it would be unfair of me not to mention the other 4 most common regrets. See the blog post below for the entire article on the Regrets of the Dying.