Will I have regrets?

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”― Kurt Vonnegut

I was talking to a friend a while ago about her children and their father who is gone much of the time. I commented that he would regret his absence someday. My friend responded that she was sure he wouldn’t… That he didn’t see a problem with less attention on family and more at work. 

This is what many of us think as we go through life. Things are busy and its so easy to put the things or people most important  to us, last because we think they’ll always be there. I know that I would go back and do many things differently if I had the chance.  But we can’t go back…we keep learning as we go.  I see these lessons as I do dog training.  Our dog, Ruby knows how to sit but we have to remind her
IMG_2846We, I need reminding constantly about what is most important. That’s a big reason I do this blog. It may seem like Im offering advice, but four fingers are pointing back to me.

I heard an interview with author and “former nurse”, Ronnie Ware, as she talked about the lessons she learned from her work with the terminally ill. She has written a book called “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”.  In it, she shares the common themes of regret she heard over and over again from those who were dying.  This, she said, changed her life. I understand how living with these in mind would do just that.   See what you think.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
(the most common regret of all)

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
(This came from every male patient that she nursed.  They were aware at the time that they were spending a lot of time working hard, but didn’t believe they would regret it)

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
(Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others)

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
(Often people didn’t realize the full benefits of old friends until it was too late to track them down)

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
(We often don’t not realize until the end that happiness is a choice) 1

Luckily, the chances are good that none of you or myself are at this point of regret (yet).  But I think its a good reminder. One of her recommendations to avoid regret is to “follow your heart” especially when it comes to making a tough choice. There is a Buddhist phrase, “The mind has no answers…The heart has no questions”

I can relate to all of these. Life is very busy and I sometimes put off playing, being with friends and just being “happy” because my time has so much “work” built into it.  They say it’s the journey… so I don’t want to feel I have to wait until I “have more time”. I don’t want to regret enjoying the day while I have it to enjoy. puddle-150x150

What do you think?  Do these regrets resonate with you?

  1.  www.bonnieware.com.  Retrieved March 25, 2016

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2 comments


  • Sid

    Very thought provoking and eye opening! We only have one chance at this life and must realign priorities where they will do yourself, and those around you the most good!

    March 28, 2016
    • Ann

      Thanks Sid! I think we all need reminders.. or at least I do! Thanks for reading and for your comment!

      April 15, 2016

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