Till my dying day

When I was born some 27 years ago, I dint know how my life would turn out. You see our parents have all this expectations for us, to be doctors, nurses, pilots ,teachers just but mentioning the common ones during my day, well this days the list is completely opposite parents have embraced the arts “ as a career path for their children, now they are okay with their children being models, actor and actresses, singers, painters, and so on…..

well I never got to really choose what I wanted to do because I dint do so well in my high school exams and if you live in Kenya, I can assure you primary and high school grades haunt you for the rest of your life, if you pass the exams you had better chances to go to a great college, do a great course and land a good job, woe unto you if you failed ! Chances of the great college, course and career were but a dream. And let’s not forget the fact that you dint have a say in whatever else life handed you after that, some parents decide you are a waste of their time and resources so they channel their money someplace else, as you try and figure out your next step, maybe wanugu the scrap metal dealer might have a gig for you, and vuala that’s what your life amounts to.

If you are lucky your parents will take you to a local college where computer course is the first thing you will learn, then find something else to do, they are eager to see you do any course get a job and leave them to tend for yourself, they might never say it aloud but secretly they can”t be more loud. Take for example, I did fairly in my high school exams but flopped math, the other day I was talking to a group of young people and I mentioned the grade I got and you should have seen some of the looks I got, a lady talked to me afterwards and confessed that she failed in math too and have never gotten over it ! I mean is it that serious??

Back to my story, so yes I failed math so pursuing law was out of the question, my second choice was hotel management but dad wasn’t enthusiastic about having a waiter for a daughter…don’t even ask !! After several discussions with mum I went to do a computer course for several months then enrolled at the Mombasa polytechnic to do a sales and marketing diploma. I wasn’t that syked about it for a while but the prospect of me getting a job and moving out of home motivated me to go on…

As the years went by I did exactly that go through college, got a job and vamuused out of my parents house, the freedom at first was great!!! lived with some roommates who were crazy and had the fun of my life, later moved to my own place and got serious with my career but several jobs later, several promotions later I started questioning if that was all to it ? I mean think about it, are we really born to just go to school, eat, drink, sleep and go to work?? No I am not mourning over not becoming a lawyer, but I mourn over not finding my purpose in this world sooner. Not taking chances and living my life, not really fully getting to know myself, abilities, and talents, not spending time with the right people and working in the right relationships.

As we come to the end of the year I want us to reflect on a few things, How we have lived our lives so far and what changes we need to make so that when we finally come face to face with death in our last days on earth we will have no regrets, we wont be mourning about what we did and dint do.I know most of us life has handed us our fair share od lemons and it has not been easy making lemonades but remember this far God has brought us.

I came across this blog through a friend and it opened my eyes to a lot of things…..bronnie ware, read her blog here(www.inspirationandchai.com) has worked in palliative care for many years and in those years as she cared for the people who had one week or two weeks to live something’s we so hold dear were the last things in their minds…..the fights we choose became irrelevant, the grades we got in school and the jobs and positions we hold are not that important.

In their dying weeks when questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

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

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

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

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

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

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

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

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

My challenge to you as we end the year, don’t write resolutions which you and I both know will never keep but make choices which you will want to see through. Live life, laugh out loud ! be kind and generous, find out your purpose but most important of all love all people as you love yourself.

Happy holidays !!



7 thoughts on “Till my dying day

  1. Thank You. This blog really speaks to many decisions I need to make in my life right now. Am glad I checked in here today. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you too and I know your new year is gonna be great and full of blessing.

  2. Nice food for thought. I am glad I am on the right track. I am spending my life doing what I love to do and am determined to enjoy it to my dying day. Thanks for this.

    But do you take enough time editing your pieces? kwakuwa kuna grammar errors tele tele! Barikiwa vi major.

  3. You can really, really write… Wow. You are doing very well, everyone knows this but you. I guess it’s always want more…

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