Guidelines for living from a very valuable perspective

Today’s post truly is about how we live, but I did take my cues directly from Susie Steiner’s online article in the Guardian about Australian-born palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware and Ware’s book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”.

You see, after numerous, but unfulfilling, adventurous twists and turns in her life, Ware spent time taking care of folks who were dying. Those experiences led her to blogging and eventually to sharing the thoughts and regrets of those she was helping, along with her personal journey, in her book.

Both her work and their thoughts are touching and valuable, which led me to turn them into “Guidelines for Life”, since all of us reading them still have time to act on them!

Here are my “Guidelines for Life” fashioned from the”The Top Five Regrets” Ware shared in her book and Steiner outlined in her article.

  1. Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not one shaped by that others expect of you.  Not doing so is the number one regret Ware reported in her book.
  2. Don’t focus time and energy on your career to the exclusion of your children, spouse or significant other. Ware notes that this was one of the top regrets of men. (Most of the folks Ware nursed were from a generation in which men were the primary breadwinners.)
  3. Find the courage to express your feelings. Don’t keep silent about issues and people who truly matter to you; let folks know you care and where you stand. Silence can lead to confusion, resentment, and bitterness.
  4. Stay in touch with your friends. Continue to seek ways and find the time to connect with those your care about throughout your entire life.
  5. Let yourself be happy, even silly. Happiness is a choice, choose it.

For tips on how to craft your life around courage, being true to yourself, and creating rich and rewarding relationships browse through the past Wishful Thinking Works posts or start following Wishful Thinking Works today. No reason to live a life of regret, when creating the life you really want is always an option.

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My morning brew with my crew

Coffee Cup Memories

It looks like a cup of coffee, but it’s so much more.

The cup is from a caring and thoughtful friend, who lives in Italy. She bought Polish pottery cups for another friend and me when she traveled to Poland. After buying the cups she hand carried them back to America with her husband and two sweet little girls in tow. Hand carried! And, yes, her husband thought she was nuts; we loved her for it. Thank you, Sue.

The soft and frothy foam is a result of another friend’s kindness, she bought me a great mini-blender so I can easily foam my milk each morning. Thanks, Nellie.

The crunchy pumpkin pie and sugar sprinkles on top are a combo and process I created, but were influenced by my family and friends, who love to cook and bake and to talk about cooking and baking, which I love. Thanks for always inspiring me – Geri, Debbie, Bunny and Dao. (Created may seem like too strong a word for sprinkling and warming foamed non-fat milk in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, but it tastes so good and adds so much flavor. For a real treat, after warming and slowly pouring coffee through the center of the foam – it will rise beautifully in the cup – top it with one turn of grated sea salt. Honestly, it’s fantastic.)

The delicious aroma of my coffee, a bit of hazelnut, reminds me of all the rich and wonderful times I’ve had sipping coffee with friends in shops here and cafés there, and how many hundreds of times this magical brew has bonded me to friends old and new.

Making and sipping my version of cappuccino confirms that the little things really do matter to me, and that savoring the moments brings friends near no matter where they are.

Time for a second cup; I’ll be thinking of you.

Wednesday’s short and salty, and then sweet question

I cannot get this question out of my mind . . .

Whose shoulders are you standing on?

I am on a three-week trip that has included seeing lots of family and friends, including my 90 year-old-Dad, who is in the process of buying a house on a thirty-year mortgage.

Whose shoulders are you standing on?

That and a glimpse of the last 10 minutes of the movie “Pay It Forward” a few weeks ago, has me thinking about who I am, how I came to be me, and who has helped me along the way.

That led me to ask myself “Whose shoulders are you standing on?”

Which led me to another question, “What could you do about it?”

I don’t have all the answers yet, but I have started a list. 

My list includes family – near, far, immediate and extended; friends – near, far, new, old, friends of friends, and friends yet to be; teachers and professors; bosses and colleagues; librarians and kind tech support providers; musicians; artists; authors; actors; architects; philosophers; scientists; counselors; clergy; doctors, dentists, and nurses; farmers; grocers; road repair crews; snow shovel teams; mosquito sprayers; crop dusters; pilots; conductors; astronauts; police and fire fighters; botanists and park rangers; garbage, antique and tax collectors; construction, social, post office and government workers; child-care providers and the pilgrims.

I think you get the picture.

My world is much more interrelated and interdependent than I like to believe, sometimes I see myself as a self-starter, but really I am a simply a bit of a doer skipping across a vast sea of shoulders that have offered their support  – past and present.

 “Whose shoulders are you standing on?”

 “What could you do about it?”

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