i read a revealing article on the top five deathbed regrets. obviously when you reach that point, it’s too late to resolve things. here in my VOE imposed exile, surrounded by death and dying issues, i spend a lot of time thinking about life choices and regrets, both my own and others’. most people are too busy living and surviving to think about morbid subjects like that, but i have a lot of enforced empty time to dwell on them. i don’t expect anyone to find this fascinating, but just for laughs (?) here are the five, for future reference:1. courage to live life true to yourself, not what others expect of you. pretending to be what you’re not is emotionally taxing. which can lead to chronic illness, at which point you no longer have as much freedom to make choices, good or bad. 2. working so hard that you spend less time with family or trying new opportunities. again, this involves choices made at each step along the way. you can often find ways to simplify your lifestyle or reduce your perceived material needs. 3. courage to express your feelings. sometimes we suppress or hold back our honest feelings, in order to keep peace. this leads to a mediocre existence, and to bitterness and resentment, which can also contribute to illness, limiting your freedom to change. honesty is a win/win, because either it raises the level of a relationship, or it weeds out unhealthy ones. the catch is, it needs to be expressed in person, even through physical affection, not just via virtual social networking. it’s just not the same. 4. staying in touch with old friends. again, this means actually, not just virtually. it’s easy, but shallow, to ‘like’ or ‘poke’, vs. physically talking or doing things together. (yes, i realize this is easier said than done in our dispersed world. virtual connection is often the only option. but sometimes it’s just the easier one.) 5. letting yourself be happier. again, choices at every turn. clinging to familiarity, and fear of change or what others think, keeps us from risking new experiences that might afford enjoyment or humor or reaching your potential. again, these choices can affect your health, which will affect your ability to freely choose. amazingly, i’m not even going to comment on these right now. i think they speak for themselves. implementing them is the hard part. i’ll just say that these just happen to also be the possible reasons i don’t just go and kill myself! too much work to do, choices to make, while i still can.