Thursday, December 16, 2010

Choose Happy

*This is being reposted from Dear Jack.

It’s often not until you’re faced with the imminent prospect of death, that you’re awakened to those things that are most important to you and to your happiness.

Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse, questioned her patients about what they would have done differently, and found the following five most common regrets. We especially love her advice to choose happiness, as she says “many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice”. Bronnie explains each end-of-life lesson learned beautifully and compassionately as follows (we hope these will become, for you, five things that you achieved and are most proud of):

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Check out the original post here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Giveaway Has Begun!

Head on over to to enter! You can enter any time between now and December 24th. The winners will be announced on Christmas day.

Also, stay tuned for the first ever Kara Correspondence giveaway here on the blog this week. I'm thinking maybe a boxed stationery set would be a good giveaway... any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh my! Handmade Goodness Giveaway!

I am so excited to participate in this giveaway! Check out the sneak peak photos here and you'll see a KC stationery box tied up with a blue ribbon! Read the press release below for more info... 

December 1, 2010- This Christmas over 30 handmade businesses from around the world have joined together to offer a unique giveaway experience to Oh My! Handmade readers.

Inspired by the season of giving, on December 5th readers will be encouraged to nominate themselves and up to five charities, non-profits & organizations for a chance to win one of two prize baskets. Valued at over $500 the baskets are filled with handmade goodies from the following businesses:

*Bella Paper Goods
*Bumpkin Bears
*Crayon Couture
*Cute As A Button
*Doodle Kreations
*Elle Thornton
*Flutterbye Designs
*InkSpot Workshop
*Issa Ino
*Kara Correspondence
*Leen Machine
*Maken Designs
*Magpie Patterns
*Modern Little Ones
*My Wonderful Walls
*Name Your Design
*New Jersey Knits
*Nimbus Publishing
*Noisette Illustration
*O Happy Day Handmade
*Perideau Designs
*Pink Panda Fabrics
*Pixie Chicago
*Redraven Studios
*Sarah + Abraham
*Shabby Lane Boutique
*Sugarsticks Parties
*Sweet Harvey
*The Bowtique
*The Ideal Planner

This December Oh My! will be showcasing selected giveaway participants and their products with Spotlight Features throughout the month. Along with the monthly contributions from our growing community of industry experts that make Oh My! a popular resource for the handmade community. 

This giveaway will run from December 5th-24th with the winners announced Christmas Day on For more information on this upcoming event visit us online or email Editor, Jessika Hepburn, at