Recently, our lovely friend Charles emailed us an article titled "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying" written by a woman who worked in palliative care. Based on her experiences, people wished that they had kept in touch with friends more, had been open with their feelings, had allowed themselves to be happier and hadn't put work before their spouse and children. But the number one thing that people regretted was living according to the expectations of others rather than their own.
Isn't that intense? I mean, imagine living an entire life and right at the end admitting you never did the things you wanted to do, only those that other people thought you should. I bring this up not because it's particularly uplifting for a Thursday morning but because I occasionally hear people say what a waste of time, money and energy it is to get on a boat and sail away for a few years, and before I read this article, it was kind of getting to me. After all, these are my top earning years, and I really should be adding to the baby boomers' Social Security fund.
However, I've decided that calling sailing a waste of time, money and energy is essentially a silly argument. Depending on your perspective, anything that anyone does is a waste of these three things. A walk in the woods, sleeping, sitting in traffic, having children - all a waste of time, money and energy. Even working can be a waste of time, money and energy because you could always be doing something more lucrative. Pretty much the only time I can think of where you wouldn't be wasting time, money and energy would be if you're frozen at 0 degrees Kelvin. And who wants to live at absolute zero? No one I know. At any rate, I'm guessing I'd rather put up with a few judgmental people than realize as I lay dying that I hadn't done at least a few of the things I find worthwhile. Though, I admit, I still feel a tad guilty about the baby boomers and their Social Security.