Mahatma Ghandi said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Last week I read a great blog post titled Regrets of the Dying at http://www.inspirationandchai.com. The author was a palliative care nurse who found some common themes amongst the regrets of her patients. Apart from the obvious such as wishing they didn’t work so hard, there was one regret that really resonated with me, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” This week I also happened to watch the Bucket List. For those unfamiliar, it’s a movie about two men with terminal illnesses who write a list of all the things they had always dreamed of doing and they go off together and do them. Let me say here, this post is not about death and dying. I’m not trying to depress you, quite the opposite.
A couple of years ago I made some decisions that resulted in major changes in my life and circumstances. I decided to be true to myself and follow my own dreams. So far I am doing pretty well with that. Lately however I find I am wanting more, or maybe it’s that I’m wanting less. The subtitle of my blog is creating space, inviting change, realising dreams. I was inspired to write this blog as a process to create some space and clarity for myself, by my good friend and fellow blogger Bronwyn Clee. I have just returned from living in Africa for twelve months, where I found many of my long held beliefs and values challenged, and mostly for the better. I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to be rather than do for a whole year and I have learnt a whole lot about life and myself. This learning has put everything into a completely different perspective for me. I have returned questioning everything and wanting to create change, and sometimes I have so much that I want to do, I don’t know where to begin.
So I’m home again now, back at work and ready to make more changes, and creating my own bucket list. Every day is so precious and I plan to continue enjoying every second of it. The interesting thing is when I talk to people about this yearning within me to do something different and follow my passions, and not necessarily the usual and expected pattern of a five day working week with a two day weekend, I find so many are experiencing this same sense of restlessness. People are ready for change, they sometimes just don’t know where to start and are nervous about breaking away from the expectations placed on them by family, society and those that they impose on themselves. There is much written and said about work/life balance, but I think we have it all backwards, I believe it should be life/work balance. How can we achieve this? This will look different for everybody. I will share some of my learnings and experiences with you as I work towards achieving this sense of balance and what it looks like for me.
So….If we really were to live as though we were to die tomorrow, would we make different choices? What would you do differently?