Teaspoon of Happy Your Best Life Sarah May Bates

Imagine you are in your older years today and looking back on your life and everything you’ve accomplished. What will you wish you did differently in life? Will you wish that you were braver? Took yourself less seriously? What do you think will be the most meaningful thing you did? Common regrets in latter years are things like, “I wish I was true to myself and did what I wanted to do over what others wanted me to do.” “I wish I didn’t work as much.” And, “I wish I expressed to people how much I loved them.” Often the things we attribute so much weight and importance to in our everyday lives are in reality not as important as we think they are. The world continues on whether we return a text or not, but only we can decide how to prioritize our lives.

For many of us our top priorities are work, more work, paying bills and doing laundry type chores, planning, returning phone calls, emails, texts and maintaining social obligations. We are always mentally on our way to the next thing, always fretting we are already behind. We feel we have to do everything or else the structure of life might fall apart. The mental energy we do reserve for ourselves is usually spent regretting something or worrying about something to come. Obsessing over things that cannot be affected with more obsessing. What usually gets put last on that list is time for self care. Giving yourself time to relax and exercise. Taking enough time to eat a good meal. Spending time thinking of the things that are good about yourself, what you still want to attain, and what you love about life now. We are the ones that decide we can get by without time for ourselves and yet they are equally if not more important than other everyday tasks.

When you dwell on the things that are not good or right, will that be time well spent? Will you remember that at 100 years or will you remember what you savored, what you built. Have you taken time today to think about the things you value most in your life and the things you are most grateful for? The simple act of making that list will change your perception of your world and how you feel. Do not waste your time with fear or regret. It will serve you with nothing for the future. Our time is fleeting and precious and there is no reason to not pursue our fullest potential. You have nothing to lose but discovery and understanding. Make yourself proud.

Happy Sunday, much love to you all…xox

Featured image Copyright All rights reserved by Jenna L. Roberts on Flickr

comments

Please help us maintain positive conversations by refraining from posting spam, advertisements, and links to other websites or blogs. we reserve the right to remove your comment if it does not adhere to these guidelines. thanks! post a comment.

  1. I love you and your posts Sarah <3

  2. This is an inspiring article. When I am older, I want to be able to be proud of myself for the things that I’ve done, for myself, yet instead, I am currently concentrating on keeping my parents proud of me. For the past two years I have been training to work as a chef but this is not what I want out of my life, and I have been able to be honest with my parents and tell them that their expectations of me is not what I plan to achieve. So, this week, I have an interview for a college course that I have been wanting to do for years (Nail technology). Llife is way too short to live up to other people’s expectations, and I don’t want to regret not doing what I wanted. So I’m chasing after my dreams. And thank you for the article, its amazing! <3

    • That’s awesome Jane – you are wise beyond your years and already ahead of the game. I wish you much luck and happiness in your career path!! xoxoxo

  3. to post a comment

  4. I love this read! My husband has been my best friend literally since we were in diapers and we are now 23 and 24 and he is definately a go getter when I am the one saying we need to save money, pay bills, clean house…… He definately saved me from being the type who all I do is work no play! I am so thankful to have someone who when I get old I can look back and say I did things I didn’t work my life away and miss out on all the important memories! Everyone needs a best friend like that!

  5. Wonderful read and so very true xx

  6. A great pick me up!

  7. Somehow I missed your last week’s article!I’ve loved it! Those unpleasant feelings that got me quite scared I know now that they are actually not as scary as I thought. The idea (truth) that because of all our feelings (whatever they are) we are unique human beings is beautiful. Thank You!*

  8. I did a list of what I really felt it mattered the most just a few weeks ago. It does help, yes. I now try to fit every point on that list in my weeks, it has made such a difference! You make time for what you love and this gives you strength for doing what you “have” to do. I’m still learning how to balance everything in though, when you’re not used to it it becomes a challange, but you know from the moment that you read the whole list that it will do you, and the people around you, so much good :) Have a lovely week Sarah! *

  9. I’m so glad to be back on a computer to get to read your posts, Sarah! Another, really fantastic piece. I’ve been guilty of obsessing recently and this is a great reminder that, most of the time, it can’t change anything.

  10. Sarah, today was the perfect day for this post! I just ran a 5K this morning, and while I’ve run one before, I was pretty nervous and afraid to do it. But, I kept telling myself how I would feel after it was over, and how I wouldn’t regret it. I’m so happy to add another 5k to my list of things I’ve been blessed to be able to do! Thank you, as always, for your great and smart words.

  11. I’m currently in NYC for school and am away from home in Atlanta, GA. It’s been tough applying to school, getting funds for school, getting funds to be up here and currently searching for a place to live while school has already started. You’re entry was a great touch of inspiration that things will turn for the better and not to forget the important things in life: family, love and the present time! Great entry and great read! Much appreciated!

    • Wow thanks Faisal, I am so glad to hear that. I wish you much luck in your rocky but well-chosen road! Thank you for your kind words :)

  12. Living an altruistic life will lessen the chance of ever second guessing and actually accomplishing something that benefits others will eliminate it.

  13. Sarah, your lovely words always put things into perspective. I’m totally with Andy: you are so insightful and inspiring; it’s a gift and I’m glad you share it with us. You help a lot, you know.
    PS. If fellow Gigglers don’t mind, I’d like to share something, too. I found this incredible post about depression. A clear, personalized view on making yourself your own worst enemy. It helped me realize some things about myself that I needed to. There it is for anyone interested: http://jakesidwell.tumblr.com/post/19226035157/i-am-automaton-script
    The one responsible for this is the brilliantly talented film-maker Jake Sidwell, who I increasingly admire as his work evolves. You can find his short films and videos on youtube.com/cohenism. Cheers xx

  14. Only with the luxury of 20/20 hindsight is it even possible to critique ones’ own life affecting decision making. This tends to occur in our waning years because it’s usually only then when we begin to acquire a strong sense of mortality.
    Life is demanding. It takes what it takes to traverse the many obstacles that are thrown our way. Memories often fail to adequately present the whole picture that led to the decisions in question. Work less? That usually means having less comfort, less independence, less generosity or whatever else inspires us.
    What is being “True To Yourself”? Does that mean that you should have been greedier, more of an egotist, less forgiving of others’ failings/misgivings? I’m not sure how that would be any improvement.
    Telling people you love them. I believe that it’s far better to show people that you love them than to ever say anything. Living it is, and will forever be, far better than telling it. When they know without you ever saying anything then they really know. Talk is cheap and actions will always say more.
    I’ll be 56 next week. I live every day like there is no tomorrow and have no grandiose expectations for anything other than what I have provided for myself. Becoming and staying aware of oneself and ones’ own surroundings will mostly eliminate life’s end second guessing. In the grand scheme of things one will only get what he/she gives. If you aren’t getting then you probably aren’t doing much giving.

    • You’re onto something Robert – you seem to know yourself well! I think talk can go a long way – and actions don’t hurt either. I guess a lot of people don’t express enough in either form and that’s what gets them wishing they let others know more how they felt. I think ‘true to yourself’ means following your passions vs. following what others expect of you, for example a lot of parents want their kids to be doctors or lawyers when maybe that kid wants to be a painter. It would definitely cause me regret if I chose law over writing.. ha And I totally agree you only get what you give – wise words. Thanks again for your comment! x Sarah

  15. Hi Sarah,

    I’m 58. Does that make me old yet? (I don’t feel old, so I’m going with no.)

    Even from this vantage point, I look back on my life so far and cringe when I think of decisions I made, things that I did, and attitudes I had. But then I remind myself that if I hadn’t taken the exact path I took, I wouldn’t be where I am in my life right now, which is pretty good. I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful grandson. Also, I decided a long time ago not to buy into social conventions that didn’t make sense to me, like buying presents for people you didn’t actually like because “you’re supposed to” or trying to keep up a semblance of a relationship with people who have moved on and away from you. A small circle of friends for whom I actually care works for me. I’ve eliminated as much of the flotsam and jetsam of modern-day living from my life, and I am very much at peace with my life today.

    Thanks for your column, Sarah. You are wise beyond your (relatively few) years.

    • Ha! I was trying to be as open to interpretation as possible so I would say no! You’re only as old as you feel. Wow thanks for that compliment – and also the use of flotsam and jetsam – i love that. I hear you about the cringing – but that is totally true, we had to learn our lessons to become who we are. And I like you am grateful for all of mine. Thanks for your comment, xo Sarah

  16. Thank you so much. I’m in the middle of writing an essay, and needed a pick-me-up, so clicked onto HG and saw this. Exactly the reminder I needed. Have you read ‘Desiderata’? I have it pinned on my wall and would very much recommend the poem’s beautifully-worded message to all my fellow gigglers, and it’s rather apt to this post.

    Thanks for this column, Sarah.

    English love (=p), Jessi

    • Holy moly! Had to post it for everyone to read. This is wonderful.. thanks for sharing!
      Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”, plural of desideratum, the supine of desidero) is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann
      Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
      Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
      Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
      Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
      Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
      Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
      Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
      And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
      Strive to be happy.

    • Oh i love the sound of that! I haven’t read it but i will definitely check it out now. Thanks Jessi for your kind words! xox

HelloGiggles Podcast