What they Wish they Would’ve Done…

Before she retired, my mother-in-law worked as a palliative care nurse for many years.  If you met her, you would agree that if ever there was such a person fit for that job, it would be her.  Her compassion and empathy overflows her being- she is a gentle soul with a huge heart and more generosity than you can imagine.  And as a palliative care nurse, aside from the physical rigours of nursing, a large part of her job was listening.  Listening to memories and reflections, listening to hopes and dreams for those left behind, listening to family’s last tears and patient’s last words.

She has told me many times over the years that when people are in their final stages of life, they talk a lot about what they wish they would’ve done.  Regrets over things left unsaid, hopes left unfulfilled, and dreams left unchased.

What they wish they would’ve done…

That phrase has crossed my mind many times over the past number of years.  And as my life grows and my responsibilities expand, the number of big decisions that I’m faced with also increases.  With each one of these decisions, I turn to this phrase for guidance.  I’m not a dreamer, I’m not an escapist; I’m pragmatic and realistic and practical.  But this phrase helps me to see the big picture.  When my emotions take hold and my sensitive nature floods in and overwhelms me, it helps me to step back, to see the forest through the trees, to think long-term.

I’m in the middle of one such decision right now.  We are moving.  Not far, still within Burlington, but to a different neighborhood that I’ve been eyeing for years.  We only made the commitment to go for it, I mean really go for it, a couple of weeks ago, although we’ve been talking about this for a very long time.  There have been pro lists and con lists and spreadsheets and soul-searching.  Lots of tears, lots of conversation, lots of back and forth, lots of tears (again).  But it always comes back to what they wish they would’ve done.  I know that I will regret not doing this; and so it has come to be.  The dream is being chased.

Right now, the burdens are heavy and the emotional toll is large.  But this is the right decision for us, even though it’s hard at the moment.  And terrifying.  I’m trying to heed my own advice:

chase them

The chase has begun.


I’ve been struggling to find a topic to write about this week.  Now and again, when writer’s block befalls me, I think about decreasing the frequency of my blog posts.  As it stands, I only publish a new post once per week, which doesn’t sound like much- but when I want my posts to be meaningful, helpful, and from-the-heart, once a week takes a lot of mental energy.  I don’t want to give it a half effort; I’m all in, or not at all.

WordPress tells me that I’ve now published 164 times; every Tuesday since May 2012.  And I love it.  I love to put my thoughts out there and I love to hear your feedback.  I love to see the internet grab hold of what I’ve written and run with it.  I love the shares and feedback and likes, and I especially love the “administrative approval” I have before comments can be published.  I welcome dialogue and differing opinions, but it’s my blog and my rules and I won’t tolerate rudeness.  Thank you very much ‘Yes, I Paint my Son’s Fingernails.’

But back to my original struggle.  What to write about?

Well, the overwhelming feeling in my life right now is gratitude.  So I will write about that.

As much of a planner as I am (after all, I am a Type A through and through), I’ve never been a person with a clear vision of my future.  I wasn’t the little girl who dreamed about her wedding day, I went to University unsure of my next steps, and even now, I find it hard to see beyond the next couple of years.  But what I do know is that I am ever-so-thankful for right now.

“Live in the moment,” they say. live-in-the-moment “Make every day count,” they say. Make every day count I am and I do.  A friend who recently moved into a new house told me, “I wake up every morning and literally say a thank-you because I’m so thankful to be living where I live.”  That statement really stuck with me, because I do the same.  Gratitude surrounds me when I wake up to smiling-kid faces or my 6am crew and it sticks with me through daily life, and daily work, and evenings with my husband.  I’m grateful for my health and my family and my friends.  And I’m oh-so-grateful for today.

Happy Tuesday!

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***As an aside, my hours at Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic have increased:  

MONDAY  1:30pm-7:30pm
TUESDAY  9:30am-1:30pm
WEDNESDAY  1:30pm-5:30pm
FRIDAY  1:30pm-7:30pm
SATURDAY  9:45am-1:30pm