What is your greatest regret so far and what you will change before you die?

Atilla

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Top five regrets of the dying

A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?


There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

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. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."

2. I wish I hadn't worked 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."


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."

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."

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."

What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?


http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying
 

Pat494

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13,849 1,401
I wish the boffins would hurry up with life enhancing and elongating life drugs. I expect they will be making break-throughs just after ! C'est la vie.
 

dianajs

Established member
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I don't see a point in regretting things you can't change. Would I change some decisions in my life? Absolutely. Do I regret making them now - not exactly. I can't go back and choose different, regretting them only brings further pain.
 

Atilla

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I don't see a point in regretting things you can't change. Would I change some decisions in my life? Absolutely. Do I regret making them now - not exactly. I can't go back and choose different, regretting them only brings further pain.
I think those 5 life's lessons are more for the living young than the old who may have made the errors... :rolleyes:
 

Pat494

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13,849 1,401
I will keep seeking a profitable EA until the end.
 

Atilla

Legendary member
19,046 2,680
I don't see a point in regretting things you can't change. Would I change some decisions in my life? Absolutely. Do I regret making them now - not exactly. I can't go back and choose different, regretting them only brings further pain.
This has me thinking and I also read somewhere that people often regret more the things they didn't do than what they did.

I think this also comes out from the list of 5. and pretty much is a summary of those them all.
 
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Pat494

Legendary member
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Probably regret not having lived a bit longer

or

Looking left and right before crossing the road.
 

tomorton

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I'm not going to change anything, I'm just wanting to do more of all of it.
 

NVP

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What an interesting and thought provoking thread...

...with regards the keeping in touch with friends

I got a call from a mutual friend today telling me my best man (1985) passed away last week from pancreatic cancer ......after my divorce in the mid 90's I eventually also fell out with my best mate for dumnass reasons at a similar time .....

Never been in touch since ........

Pulled a few old school photos out this evening and cannot believe that I never got back with my best mate from 13 years old .....

Jees ......this hurts ......RIP mate .....

N
 
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Atilla

Legendary member
19,046 2,680
What an interesting and thought provoking thread...

...with regards the keeping in touch with friends

I got a call from a mutual friend today telling me my best man (1985) passed away last week from pancreatic cancer ......after my divorce in the mid 90's I eventually also fell out with my best mate for dumnass reasons at a similar time .....

Never been in touch since ........

Pulled a few old school photos out this evening and cannot believe that I never got back with my best mate from 13 years old .....

Jees ......this hurts ......RIP mate .....

N
That is a very poignant story and underlies lessons we can all learn from each other and the dying NVP. My sympathies.
 

dbphoenix

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This may be of interest:

I'm downsizing my life.

What that means in practice is:

I am selling my house because it's 3,100 square feet and way too large for one person and a French bulldog;

I am looking for something smaller. I am going to reduce my mortgage by at least 50 percent;

and, I am giving away lots of "had to have" items I probably never needed in the first place and definitely will not need going forward.

Maybe this is related, come to think of it: I am at the stage of life where I am willing to wait for movies to make it to Netflix. I'm okay with road company tours of last year's Broadway shows. I see a book I want, I check the library first. (And then, if they don't have it, I allow myself to buy it. There is a limit.)

"Why didn't we do this years ago?" a friend asked recently. She is pursuing a similar downsizing plan.

"Because we weren't ready," I said.

She nodded. "Yeah."

"We had all these ideas about our lives and what they would be and what we deserved because we work so hard and what it means to be a success and have the means to buy a lot of things," I said.

She nodded. Then I nodded, too.

She sighed. Then I sighed, too.

And then I said, "You know what? We have stopped needing abundance. Abundance is too much."

As soon as I said that I thought to myself, Whoa. Write that down. There's more there. Go deeper. Explore, Magellan. Set sail.

So I'm cleaning my closets and drawers and getting the house ready to put on the market. While I straighten and declutter, I think about abundance.

And this comes floating in.

"Eat! Children are starving in Eastern Europe!"

Maybe you remember that one? The order to consume greater amounts because less fortunate children had nothing but a few rotten potatoes.

The idea was simple. Over-consume because you can. Over-spend and overdo because the flip side is too awful to contemplate and feels like failure. The more the better. Do whatever you need to do to stave off the big bad bogeyman of scarcity. Eat more, buy more, spend more, drink more, shop more.

So the sign  --  the mark  --  of a successful person is more. Lots and lots more. Whoever has the greatest number of toys when they die...

Or so that commandment suggests.

But what if scarcity is not, in fact, the opposite of abundance? What if the actual opposite of abundance is sufficiency? The order would then become:

Eat until you've had enough and give the rest of it to someone who does not have enough. Achieve balance.

I believe this is what we Baby Boomers are starting to understand now. We are hitting our mid- or late 50s or early 60s, and some of us (many of us, hopefully) are waking up to the reality that we do not need abundance. That abundance does not, in fact, give meaning to our lives. That abundance (excluding abundance of love) means this and only this: The more stuff you have, the bigger the pain in the ass it is to move.

And that brings me back to why 3,100 square feet for one person and a small Frenchie is abundant. And why I'm moving. And downsizing my life.

Because there is mobility and freedom and a lightness in being when we lose our need for abundance and live in sufficiency. When we let go. When we let it all go. Or at least a good portion of it.

The bearable, oh so bearable, lightness of being.

Let's give a shout-out to David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Because they died within 48 hours of one another, they died fairly young, their deaths were a shock and their deaths made me stop in my tracks and say, Wow, time for some ch-ch-ch-changes. NOW.

Scale it back. Size it down. Go smaller, leaner, more mobile, lighter, freer, more connected to love than to all the stuff. More attuned to the natural world. Better attuned to our bodies. Taking care of our bodies. Cherishing and nourishing them and trying to keep them healthy and hold the bad stuff at bay. To be more likely to dance, even it's very, very badly.

I'm not aiming for an alms bowl here. Not stripping it back to poverty levels. Of course not.

Also, I am very specifically and intentionally not romanticizing the lives of the poor  --  the food insecure, the homeless, the destitute  --  because theirs is a different and legitimately horrifying situation. And demands our empathy and our help.

Downsizing my life is making me take stock of the situation. And ask  --  about every item  --  do I need this? Do I want this? If so, why? What would my life without this be like? How would I feel about myself if I didn't have this? How would I feel if I gave this away?

How would it feel to dance, even very, very badly?

That's what I'm becoming about now. Staring down the barrel at 60 (still three years away but, last I checked, three years go by in about 11 minutes...) and wanting way, way less. Just enough. Sufficient. Light.

For the record, the French bulldog is not buying this strategic plan. He is about abundance. In love and in kibble. And that's okay with me. There will plenty of both in the smaller house. In fact, there will be an abundance. (Amy Selwyn)
 

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