Monday, November 2, 2009

No Regrets

In response to a post on the blog "I Am Ashley's Smirking Revenge:" Click Here to read it.

I hold onto the mantra "Carpe Diem" like my life depends on it. I think the unusual way my life has panned out compared to the norm is a testament to the fact that I really do try to sieze every opportunity and really strive to make every moment and every breath count. I never want to be that person that looks back on my life and wonders "what if." I want to know "what if," because I DID "if."

We don't get to choose when it's our time to go. So many of us assume that we will have the luxury of dying in our sleep at a ripe old age surrounded by those we love. Unfortunately the truth is that every 5 minutes, someone dies of an accidental death. These are perfectly healthy people minding their own business who wake up one morning, go about their routine, and never wake up to another day again. Even more people are given death sentences in the form of incurable illnesses. These people thought it could never happen to them. They thought they had all the time in the world. They never saw it coming.

We don't get to choose when it's our time to go but we can choose to seize the day. We can choose to do today what we've been putting off until tomorrow. We can choose to spend time instead of money. We can choose to smile instead of frown and laugh instead of cry. We can choose to volunteer and choose to make a difference when there's nothing in it for us. We can choose to love instead of hate and build up instead of tear down. We can choose not to judge those we don't understand and we can choose to stand up for what we know is right in the face of adversity. We can choose to say, "I love you" every day and we can choose whether we mean it or not.

We can choose not to have regrets. There are so many arguments we can choose not to have. So many hurtful things we can choose not to say. So many people we can choose to uplift. So many ways you could choose to make a difference. So many ways you could make your life bigger than yourself. So many ways.

What would you do if you had 24 hours left to live? Would you have regrets? What changes could you make to your every day life to ensure you have none? More importantly, what would you do if your spouse only had 24 hours left to live? Dying is easy, but losing your spouse isn't so much...would you have regrets regarding your attitude or the time you spend together? What changes could you make to your life to ensure these regrets were no longer an issue?

There are so many people who devote the majority of their lives to getting ahead in their career, to making money, to being "successful." I wonder if these people have ever stopped to realize there is more to life than money and status. I wonder what these people will regret.

You don't get to choose which day is your last, so live each day like there's no tomorrow. You never know.

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