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A couple of days ago I celebrated my Birthday.
It wasn’t a milestone age or anything like that – just one of those humble, hardworking numbers you have to get past in order to reach a milestone.
However it did remind me that I am well and truly in my 30’s, and approaching the period of one’s life where things start to become a bit tricky.
You know, where you start to enter “middle age” and the next phase of your life.
Strewth! Where does time fly eh!
Ever the sentimentalist, I’ve been searching far and wide for some guidance regarding how to navigate this delicate period.
Suffice to say, I don’t want to become another victim of mid-life crisis in a decade’s time.
All hot wheels and hot babes… yuck – which guy would want that lifestyle?
So like all good boy scouts I’ve been preparing.
And what I’ve found is this marvelous book by Australian caregiver Bronnie Ware on the rather morose topic of the top 5 regrets of the dying.
I know, I know – what a morbid topic to be discussing!
But hear me out.
Surely if you’re aware of the top 5 most common regrets… then you’ll do your utmost to avoid them right?
Regrets such as…
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Thankfully, I don’t think I’ll have this problem – considering I’ve always lived life on my own terms more or less.
Wash the dishes? No way MOM.
Brush my teeth? UH UH.
Go to bed? I don’t WANNA.
Unfortunately however, I have many friends and peers who I do see going through this inner turmoil.
At fantastical trajectory in their careers, relationships and social standings – yet are unhappy because they are living the life someone else wants them to lead.
How to solve this? I honestly do not know.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
Again, not really something I’d think I’d be regretful of.
Not because I am a slacker, no.
I love work you see – I could stare at it all day.
Nah, it’s because (and long time readers will know), I DESPISE working for the man. In fact, I despise working for anything other than on myself.
It’s a very selfish thing to broadcast on the inter-webs, but “shrug” sometimes you gotta have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you… I read that on a blog somewhere.
That’s why I am on this relentless pursuit of FIRE.
Because FIRE buys time.
And time is the most valuable commodity in the world.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Also something which I’d hope to not have too much trouble with.
Those who know me well, know that I have no problem expressing my feelings.
In fact, even those who DON’T know me well – would categorically attest that I have no problems expressing my feelings.
But what would they know, just a bunch of hard-working pretenders who don’t have the courage to live a life true to themsel… sorry sorry.
It’s a serious topic. I’ll get serious.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
This one IS a big regret of mine.
Sincerely, I’d hope to have stayed in touch with many, many more people.
And if I had my time again, I would go out of my way to not be such a tight-arse in my youth.
I now realize that money issues are not only a big killer between married couples, they are also a big bugbear when it comes to friendships and relationships.
This has cost me dearly when it came time to stay in touch with people whom I valued and cherished.
Being El Cheapo has cost many numerous friendships – I know this now.
I wish I had let myself be happier.
You know, for the first 35 or so years of my life, I have to say this is true.
Certainly MrsFrugalSamurai would agree, as she’s always asking “why are you so grumpy?”
BECAUSE YOU LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON WOMAN – is what I think but dare not say to my vivacious yet nubile wife.
However, it might also be because it was hard to be truly happy in a scarce environment – where resources were limited.
Growing up, there was always a chip on me shoulder that somehow I was different to everyone else.
Which fueled this drive to have financial abundance, and this meant sacrifices and other life decisions, often at the detriment to finding happiness (see previous point).
I’m working on it. Truly I am.
I know I’ve gone a bit sentimental with this post, and perhaps a touch heavy with the jesting – which I hope you do not mind.
However, and I think it’s the impending fatherhood, but I have been reflective of late – thinking back on the trials and tribulations that’s got me this far.
But it’s also good I think, to plan ahead and be aware of what’s coming up next.
That’s life right?
As a great man once said:
“All I want to know is where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there”.
This post in a way, is about finding the “where”.
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