Never too soon to do a life review

Posted on Posted in Energy, Healing, Life management, Life stories

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One of the most poignant memories of my early adult life was when my father had his stroke.  I was 26 years old and living in Kansas City at that time.  I hopped on a plane rushing to get back home to Illinois to be with him, my mom and sister at the hospital–praying all the way that nothing more would happen. When I arrived Dad was in the hospital bed with his hand and leg not functioning on one side.  Tears welled up in my Dad’s eyes as I walked in the room–he realized in that moment that if my Mom and sister had called me home, his condition must indeed be serious. He looked at my Mom and said with slurred speech, “I never got to take you to Hawaii.”

My parents were practical working people who made a little money go a long way and yet in this moment there was a statement of a dream never realized and the possible end of life staring him in the face.  Frightened as we were for his prognosis at that time, we assured my Dad that he would get better and would still have the opportunity to take Mom to Hawaii.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.  Dad recovered from that stroke enough to be back home and able to get around but he had a heart attack or another stroke that claimed his life 6 months later. He was 72 years old.  I know my mom and dad had a good life together and I am grateful for having parents that modeled what it was to be each other’s best friend and partners in life. When I imagine talking to my Dad now, I hear him urging me to live fully and joyfully right now and not to put off all the opportunities I have to be present in this gift we call life.

This memory came back to me recently as I was having a heart-to-heart talk with two other friends who also have their own businesses.  We had sat down to mastermind the next steps in our businesses and I could create a to-do list a mile long of actions I could take to advance the business but as I spoke, something felt off.   I have spent the last few years so caught up in following the Voice that guided the book and trying to bring that vision to the real world that I had lost touch with some of the other things that make a full life.  As I spoke to my friends, tears welled up as I said, “I don’t want to create THIS at the expense of my life.”  I looked at my “to do” list and realized while passionate about my healing work, teaching and writing, there were many elements of my idea of a beautiful life that were missing–like a soulful life partner.   Not going to find one of those if I stay at my computer coming up with more and more projects or am so focused on work that I don’t even let my flirty self out to play!

We all live with the illusion that we have unlimited time do accomplish all our goals, but that isn’t true.  Each decision we make means we may be ruling out other options that are important to us.  It’s never too soon to look at your life with the perspective that we might not be here tomorrow and ask some probing questions about what is important to us. The Voice that guided me to write the book, never asked me to become a slave to work.  I created that all on my own.  The beautiful thing about having one of these “aha” moments is we get a chance to ask ourselves life review questions such as:

  • If I were in a hospital bed right now, would there be any important “I never got to __________”  regret?
  • What have I put off doing that I think is essential to a well-lived life?
  • Is there a place that I am putting my energy right now that doesn’t feel important in the well-lived life vision?
  • What’s most important to me and how much time am I devoting to that?
  • What am I waiting for?

If we can look at our lives, knowing that we will die, everything that is important is put into perspective.  I know my work is important.  It is a deep part of who am and my calling in being here.  But just as important as my work is being present in my personal life.   Internally this is a big shift for me. It actually is easier for me to be a hard business task master than to think about what would nourish my feminine side. But that feminine side has been taking a back seat far too long.  So out she comes!  I’m letting that side of me have more say in how I spend my time and energy.  She doesn’t really like the “all work most of the time” Carol.

A friend asked me if I was free to go to a concert on Tuesday night.  Initially I said no because I had planned to be at a business networking event–but I realized that was the old “do-er” business person wanting to run the show.  So I said yes to the concert because as many of you know, going to live music events is one of the ways I love to play.  The fragile feminine part of me breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn’t going to break my new commitment to her so soon.  After all, we have to make room for the things we really want in life.

What about you?   If you were in that hospital bed right now—would you have a “I wished I had _______” moment?  If you ask yourself some of those life review questions how do you feel?  If you would have no regrets or nothing undone, bless you for being a role model for the rest of us!  If you are like me and realize you have things to shift, there is no time like the present.

I’d love it if you would share your impressions and experiences in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Never too soon to do a life review

  1. Carol, this is so beautiful. I really do believe that when I go do FUN and joyful things, that I am inspired more in my work. When I don’t LIVE, I have nothing to write about or VLOG about. Those moments I have learned to make room for without guilt. I DO have regrets about things I wish I would have done. Trips I would have made to see friends or family. Making time is so hard for all of us. But you put it sharply into perspective here. With no more time left on this planet, what do I wish I would have done? Holy Crab! I am off to begin checking off that list right now. One glorious moment at a time. At the end of the day, if we can say we lived life to the fullest on that day and go for that each day, we just might have a chance at no regrets. Grateful for you and your message.

  2. I cried as I read this.. =)
    This is very inspiring, I am making a list right now!
    There are so many things I would regret having not done if I were dying right now. The first thing that comes to mind is my family, and not telling them from my heart that I love them fully and unconditionally. Mostly my family on the east coast because I have not seen them in years, and I know that they really miss me..
    And of course there is a huge list of things that I dream of doing!
    I will be at the ceremony on Saturday.. I’m excited to do more and more inner work, Love and Blessings!! <3

  3. Mikayla. Thanks for adding your energy to this blog. I think foremost at the end of our lives the question will not be what we did but how well we loved. You are very wise! I’ll look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

  4. Thanks SK. It is so easy to forget that each moment we have is a gift and that we don’t have unlimited time. I don’t know why this all came back to me this week but it was a beautiful sweet process in the remembering. And you my friend are one of the people that help me remember the joy in this amazing journey we call life. Other readers–if you don’t know Susan Kay Wyatt’s music and fun talks on the lessons of life–On her piano chats–you must follow her.

  5. Carol,
    This was a lovely reminder. Thank you so much for this nudge. I have recently spent a lot of time ‘trying’ to focus on what is important to me, while allowing numerous distractions steer me away from my goals. Just a little while ago while driving home I had a conversation with a friend about this very issue. Then I opened my email to find your latest blog. Synchronicity? I would say so!
    Thank you my friend.
    Enjoy the concert!!
    Love & Blessings,

  6. Thanks for leaving comments open! I know, I’m late, but this is a great post, and caused me to remind myself of unfinished “play” and contemplation time over business time. Quite so.

    Now, after two months, are you still feeding your feminine and play sides? I know you take lovely walks with your dog, but what else have you been up to that’s central to who you are and fun? :)

  7. Joanne- Your post can a a perfect reminder time for me. After a very busy work week, I need to give myself some lovely play time today! So thank you for popping by as a reminder for me! xoxo

  8. the Comment made me smile and realize how lucky we are we have the power to change.

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