People on their deathbeds often have regrets that fit into a few main categories. Sometimes they wish they’d had more adventure in their lives, traveled the world, or maybe created something. Some people wish they had developed a talent or earned a degree. Most often though the most bitter of all regrets has to do with love, family, and relationships.
In our lives there are usually a few key people in the day to day living. Those people consist of our live in family members, close friends and coworkers we may see frequently, and the people we search out. The loved ones we choose to connect with who add to our lives, and hopefully, we to theirs.
But there are others. People who we know and love but we don’t see as regularly due to schedule conflicts or even distance barriers. We still connect, through the telephone, social networking, weekend visits or even vacations. These people know we love them and they love us back.
What about the people we know, and maybe even love, who we aren’t including in our regular lives. They’re the more distant relatives or acquaintances that we’re content to see a few times a year at a family function or a mutual friend’s gathering, or more infrequently even, if life prevents these occasional connections from taking place. These are the people we know and we say hello if our paths cross. We enjoy their company and we move on.
There are people we may see every day without noticing. The cashier and the department store, the mailperson, the gas station attendant, the barista at Starbucks, the janitor at work. People whose names we may or may not know. These are the people whose lives often bump into ours, but who we have little or no relationship with.
Now think of the people you know and how they fit into each of these categories. Our family and close friends, our parents, our grown children, our extended families, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, , our coworkers, our fellow church goers, our car repair person, the trash man. These people are all in our lives with us. We see them, they see us. How do you greet them? Warmly? Affectionately? Distantly? Of course we apply our emotion on a case by case basis. But what if we forget to care for someone? What if we are so intent on ordering our macchiato that when we have a chance to connect we miss it, or ignore it? What if we’ve place such high value on posting our current events on Facebook that we are MISSING out on our current relationships? What if we’re so caught up in finding out what Kim Freaking Kardashian is wearing today that we miss an opportunity to catch up with grandma? What if we care more about having the latest model iPhone that we carelessly race away from our real life? What if you’re missing out on your real life because your too busy comparing it to your neighbors life and you find it lacking so you’re discontent and pouting and wishing for more more more, bigger bigger bigger, better better better! What have we become that we crop grandma out of the baby pictures for a more polished look? What have we done? Have we traded our family for a picture perfect lifestyle? Are there any pictures of grandpa on your family photo wall?That’s a regret to prevent. Choose to open your life up to the un-pretty, the not cool, the people behind the scenes, people who spend their free time investing into your life. Look around you; somebody is standing off to the side, wishing for a moment of your time. Embrace the people who actually like you and stop trying to impress the rest of the world. You can start living your real life today