If you’ve come to my editorial looking for a hot-take on Raise and Give Week, I’m afraid the cringey title is all you’re going to get, at least from me.
When I was a really young kid, I used to go on holidays with my family; when I say my family, I mean my whole family: me, my parents, my mum’s parents and my father’s parents. As my grandparents were now in their 70s, the amount of activities we could partake in was quite limited. And as an only-child I couldn’t just run off and play football with a brother or sister, so my only options were really to sit next to a pool reading a book with my grandmother, or walk along the beach with my granddad; and while, right now, both of those sound heavenly, at the time, as a young lad, I was quite upset at the limited options I was presented with, all because of the presence of my grandparents. I complained to my parents, asking that, on our next holidays our grandparents wouldn’t come with us, that it was unfair that all my cousins had holidays to themselves, only we had to take our old-fogeys with us.
My parents sat me down, and had a conversation I’ve never forgotten. They said that we could do that, go on our own, but they didn’t think we should; my dad told me that he didn’t know his grandparents at all, outside of maybe meeting them once, and my mum only knew her grandmothers when they were ill, and had to live with her family. They told me that they made a conscious decision that I should know my grandparents and that, when the day comes that they’re no longer with us, that I should have no regrets. And this stuck with me. At the time of writing, three out of the four grandparents on that holiday have passed away, and I have no regrets. I wish we had more time, but I honestly have no regrets.
This is a philosophy I’ve tried to apply to the rest of my life. And this doesn’t mean taking risks, or saying “yes” to everything, it means thinking about decisions, and making the right choices for you, so you can look back later and honestly have as few regrets as possible. Because you never know when someone will leave, or pass on, or you’ll be so sick that it’s too late. No ragrets.