Sunday, June 12, 2011

A week in slumber + Top Five Regrets of the Dying

45 miles for the week. I have been catching up on a lot of sleep this week. Hopefully, I'll get out of my slumber soon :p

Tue - 4.6
2 mile time trial on the track. It took me 13 minutes!! My legs felt like lead. I think that's because I did not run after the 20 miler so I did not get a chance to get rid of the lactic acid build-up...

It had been a while since I had been on a Chuckit run so it was nice chatting with everyone :)

Oddly, I did not run the 1.4 more miles that would have gotten me to 6 miles for the day...

Wed - 6
One of those runs where I stopped quite a few times and looked at the water shimmering with the moon-light... Thinking about things. Not a smooth run at all - my mojo seems to be missing. That reminded me of one of my fav book series as a kid - "Mojo Swaptops". Looks like it's out of print now :)

Fri - Fremont 5k
After 7 years Sub finally runs another 5k race :) PR :p

Fri - 3
Warm-up and cool-down after the race

Sat - 18
I woke up at 3am and ended up decided to organize my apt :p Jason had a synagogue event at 10am and needed to get in 18 miles since he's running the RNR full... I agreed to run with him at 6am since he volunteered to come down to my apt. We made it from downtown to Greenlake. Stopped by at the store for Chuck's speech and came back home. Was a nice run...
Sun - 10

Wasn't a bad run... Was a little warm but not unduly so considering we're in the middle of June. A lot of people by the Elliott bay path which was nice :)

Experience of the day: It's been a while since a documentary/movie has moved me so much that I've teared up. Very few things in life do... "The Sound of Mumbai - A musical", which was screening in Seattle as part of the Seattle International Film festival did.

The slums are alive with the sound of music in Australian director Sarah McCarthy's inspirational documentary chronicling the experiences of dirt-poor children living in the Mumbai slums who get a chance to perform The Sound of Music with the Bombay Chamber Orchestra in front of 1,000 arts patrons. "I'm not a self-conscious boy. I have confidence in me," grins precocious 11-year-old Ashish. McCarthy's film is by turns funny, rousing and deeply moving as she shines the spotlight on Ashish, chosen to perform the concert's climactic title solo, and the endearing boy's friends, whose resentment makes his good fortune a mixed blessing. You'll be beaming and reaching for the Kleenex by the time you've witnessed the optimism and dreams of these youngsters and their families, who pin their hopes of a better life on them, and you'll be humbled by how remarkably contented most of these children are despite their unspeakable living conditions. A bonus is McCarthy's inventive use of the original Rodgers and Hammerstein classics to underscore the offstage action, and how they evoke images of the Austrian meadows in contrast to the chaotic urban jungle the children call home.

Discovery of the day: There is a new online Indian grocery store serving the Seattle area. Their prices are very competitive and they have pretty much everything I could want. This could be a solution to my empty fridge problem!! They have leechi's, mangos,...!
I think I've realized most of what she's written but it's very appropriate reading for the phases when you get caught up in the flow of life...

Top Five Regrets of the Dying
By Bronnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

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 realise 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 have had not honoured 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 honour 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 realise, 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.

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.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Bronnie Ware is a writer, singer/songwriter, songwriting teacher and speaker from Australia. She has lived nomadically for most of her adult life. Bronnie shares her inspiring observations and the insights gained along the way through the diversity of her work. To read more of her articles and learn about her other work, please visit Inspiration and Chai at


Blogger Plodding Blogger said...

Love that last point. I keep trying to tell myself just that. Hope it will sink in soon! I find it way too easy to get wrapped up in life's trivialities!

7/02/2011 9:22 AM  

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