We’ve just returned from another funeral. #cancersucks
I held it together pretty well until they started talking about our departed friend’s biggest regret. Just shy of 60, he had not gotten to retire and travel and spend time with his wife and family.
I realized at the funeral that many, many people will reach the end and regret working too much and not spending more time with their loved ones. Very, very few will regret not working enough. A recent study put “working too much” as second of the top regrets of the dying*.
And that is what this is about, the whole FIRE movement. To me, it is the freedom to spend my time with the people I love the most, the ones who make me feel happy and like I belong. The ones who are my top priority, the relationships that make our life meaningful. People who care about me and appreciate me. Being financially independent gives you the opportunity to spend more cherished moments building relationship, and less sitting in a gray cubicle browsing the internet.
The whole point of FIRE is not to stockpile a hoard of cash and tell your boss to shove it. (That’s just the how, lol) The Big Why is to choose to spend your time doing the things you love, spending time with the people you love, and maybe doing the people you love (hah). Obviously humor is my coping mechanism, sorry.
But seriously, remember when I mentioned that working too much was second the list of the top regrets of the dying? You want to know what number one is? The most common regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”. This regret also can be absolutely avoided by taking the road less traveled, quitting your meaningless corporate job and taking to the beach (or the farm, or the mountains). Be brave. Your life is waiting for you out there.
It’s too important not to try.
What about you? What will you regret?
*This information was taken from the 2011 book by Bronnie Ware called the Top Five Regrets of the Dying.