Day 38: Happiness (and Boringness)

by ashleighpenrod

Okay, okay. Someone called me out on having a boring blog yesterday. Publicly. Like, as a blog comment.

Sometimes, I can only spend 20 minutes or so putting these posts together. And on those days, they aren’t stellar. Writing something for public view every single day is harder than I originally imagined. But, it’s a good and humbling experience. I recommend it to anyone looking for a way to push him/herself and experience a little vulnerability.

In that vein, today I’m paraphrasing a post written last January by Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who used to work with people at the very end of their lives. She chronicled the top five regrets people expressed on their deathbeds. In honor of beginning a fresh new year and approaching each day with a smile, here are the regrets she observed:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Because of the way it’s phrased, the fifth one strikes me the most. It doesn’t say, “I wish I had been happier.” It says, “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” As Bronnie points out, happiness is a choice.  Every minute of the day, we get to choose how we live. And certainly, experiencing sadness and destruction is part of every life. But on the whole, if we practice being happy, we lead happier lives.

May you and yours have a very happy New Year.