Regret #2 from the book The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying is ...
I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
This can immediately make some of us feel guilty because we are working hard!
And there are certain seasons of life where this is unavoidable.
There is also nothing that implies this statement only applies to paid work.
There is nothing that implies that laziness is what will leave us with no regrets.
What I believe this statement does imply is that people - when they get to the end of their lives - regret:
... that they didn't create enough space to nurture important relationships
... that they focused too much on gathering more stuff, rather than more meaning
... that they didn't make time to read, rest, relax, recreate, refresh, renew
... that they spent too much energy and effort on self-improvement rather than self-acceptance
... that they worked too hard on home improvement rather than on travel, hospitality, and generosity
... that they allowed the Protestant work ethic to keep them on the treadmill of endless busyness
Again, this regret can be a great springboard for self-reflection:
Where and how am I working too hard? Too much?
Am I creating enough margin in my life for the things that really matter most to me?
Are my closest relationships thriving or withering?
Do I allow myself the freedom to cease work without guilt?
Is my life a balance of hard work and deep rest?
When is the last time I "wasted" a day doing something that refreshed my soul?
Maybe take a bit of time this weekend to ask yourself a few of these questions
... and be sure to do it with your feet up!