“I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

I read an article from the Guardian about the top five regrets of the dying, and I clicked on it, expecting the read the usual business about following your dreams and bucket lists.

There was a little bit about that, but also the line in the title: “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

This is very convicting for me right now working on my career, family and trying to decide the trajectory of the rest of my years. What can I learn from this? But what does it mean to “work so hard?” And if you don’t, what are you doing? If you’re not working, what are you doing?  Just “living life?”  I had a phase in my life when I and my friends were just “living life,” and that was a euphemism for “earning no money and making choices I don’t respect.”  How does one just “live life?” And how do you live without working?

I pondered those questions yesterday, discussed them with a coworker, and they rattled around my head last night and today as I was walking back back into the office from a canceled appointment.  I have a confession for you: I took the long way back.  I looped around several blocks that aren’t on the normal route, just walking.

Something I learned today is that I love being outside, hopefully walking or cycling or something. I feel good while I’m out there and I feel good when I get done.  My day feels enriched when I’ve gotten to spend time outside. I feel like I’ve gotten to live life, even while I”m working.

What do you think about living without working so hard? What does it mean to you?

8 thoughts on ““I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

  1. I really enjoyed this and I could absolutely see someone saying that to be a regret. it’s such a race out there–to see who has the biggest house, nicest car, 2.5 kids, etc. none of that matters though in the end. it just doesn’t.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. I was having trouble translating the idea (of not taking part in that race) with actual actions – that’s what I was really focusing on.

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