Monday, 5 March 2012

Anticipating Looking Back

One day I might be 100 years old. I might be lying in my future bed, waiting for someone to come and open the curtains and let in some light. I might wish I could still walk around without help. I might know that I've become a messy eater but lack the ability to fully control my fingers. I might wonder where my ageing children are. I might only vaguely remember the sounds of my parents' voices. I might not know whether my old friends are still alive, and be fairly certain that I will never see them again. I might not be able to remember all the places I once lived.

I might look back on my life and think, "well, that went fast". As I lie there, 100 years old and waiting, I might remember days gone by. I might have some regrets.

But I am fairly certain that I will not have any of these thoughts:

(1) I wish I'd spent more time cleaning the bathroom.

(2) I wish I'd always behaved as people expected me to.

(3) I wish I hadn't spent so much time with my kids when they were little.

(4) I wish I hadn't bothered to exercise or eat well.

(5) I wish I hadn't bothered going to any foreign countries.

(6) I wish I had worked more and had less fun.

(7) I wish my house had always been tidy, with all the ironing done.

(8) I wish I hadn't made any friends.

(9) I wish I hadn't laughed so much.

(10) I wish I hadn't written those books - proof that I once lived, learnt, tried and saw amazing things. Proof that I listened, had feelings, I loved, lost, laughed and wept. Proof that I was out there once, engaging with the world.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Surely, many of the things that seem important to me now - and occupy so much of my thinking time - will seem completely insignificant in the future. Surely I should spend more time having fun? Surely I should be doing more good? Surely I should stop fretting about stupid things that don't really matter?


  1. I'm all for the fun and lots of it. Life is definitely too short even if you do make it to 100!

  2. But how to stop old habits?! You are completely right but I hate my house in a mess and tidying it puts off having to write!