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Top five regrets

From the Guardian:


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:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

'Interesting' that none of them seem to mention money and the mistakes made in spending it *makes this thread relevant to MSE* :)

So what's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die? I'd like to hear your views, might learn something - quite a way to go before I pop my clogs. :cool:


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 12,492 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Buying the last house. It was leasehold and on a dream development with lots of acres. Sold as a dream lifestyle but too many tenants came in who didn`t care. We sold at an enormous financial loss. Now we are in the eco house that we have hankered for all our lives

    You have to make mistakes in order to learn. Other than that, no regrets, none at all
  • torbrex
    torbrex Posts: 71,340 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
    I have my doubts about numbers 1 & 3.

    I have pretty much done these things in my life and as a result number 4 has been unatainable, the friends that I had, no longer want anything to do with me because of my desire to be true to myself, express my feelings truthfully and not be the person that they expected me to be.
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    I deeply regret not being born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • KMK
    KMK Posts: 271 Forumite
    I always wanted to learn Flamenco dancing and never found the time or opportunity. Too old now with a dodgy knee! I just love the passion, elegance and grace of Flamenco.
  • jackyann
    jackyann Posts: 3,433 Forumite
    I think most of us have minor regrets along the Flamenco / travelling somewhere-or-other line. But I was lucky to have parents who gave me the courage to be true to myself, even when it conflicted with them!
    So rather than have regrets, I am grateful for:
    being true to myself
    valuing love & friendship over career & wealth
    being taught that everyone is equal, and deserves respect
    being shown how to contribute to society
    being taught how to value the small things that bring pleasure
  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,394 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    Don't have any major regrets - I have been tactless on occasions and am sorry for that.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • chesky369
    chesky369 Posts: 2,590 Forumite
    I think it's negative to dwell on 'what might have been'. Your total experiences in life all go together to make you the person you are and if you're not too unhappy with that, then you should have very few major regrets. Whenever I catch myself thinking 'why didn't I ...' I then think, but you wouldn't have the life you've lived, so get over it.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 17,413 Forumite
    First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 10 July 2012 at 10:02AM
    I have been sitting here trying to think of any regrets I might have had over the past 68+ years and the only one I can think of is why didn't I ask my late Dad more about the family and his time during WW1 in France.My Dad was born in 1890 and was 55 whan I was born, so I grew up with a Dad who saw service in both world wars (the second time he was stationed in England as he was getting on a bit by then;))
    I am an amateur genealogist and have spent the last 36 years tracing my Dad's family tree.Not an easy task when most of the folk you want to question have snuffed it.
    But as to the rest, I met and married my late husband in 41 days and we were married for all most 40 years very happily, and I wouldn't have changed a minute of it.We can all think of the 'if onlys' in life, but if you are honest, few of us would want to change much
    My youngest DD met and married her first husband, which as it turned out was a mistake, but on the upside she had a daughter by him, who is a lovely girl and is now a nursery nurse looking after small children with handicaps so a good thing came out of DDs mistake and I have a granddaughter to be proud of.She since went on to meet and marry her second husband and they have four strapping lads which are the light of my life.

    Life is all about makeing and learning from mistakes and normally there is always some sort of good comes out of things .maybe its because I am a 'glass half full' sort of person I don't know
    I had breast cancer four years ago and it was a particularly low point in my life, but it taught me to value life, and each day that I wake up is a bonus, as it means I am still here to see my children and grandchildren grow and flourish Lots of ladies I was with during my treatment didn't sadly make it, and I feel so lucky to have survived
    I now worry less about the little things in life and savour all the good bits ,even the rain which has been driving us all nuts the past few weeks and has been a nuisance has filled the dried up reservoirs and rivers,so as I say some good out of same bad.Think positive is my motto, I don't have time for regrets and looking backwards I look forward to a long and healthy life (well at least another 20 years God willing :):))
  • terrierlady
    terrierlady Posts: 1,742 Forumite
    for my part keeping in touch with grandchildren due to work which has always come first, stupid i know but once on the merry go round difficult to get off, other side of coin they could have kept in touch with me but didnt. no excuse just truth.
    my bark is worse than my bite!!!!!!!!
  • sparrer
    sparrer Posts: 7,547 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    1. Smoking from the age of 15 as I now have a lung disease
    2. Drinking from the age of 35 which caused me to lose two homes, my career, a holiday home in Greece and (almost) all of my family.
    3. Saving things for 'best', including crockery, tableware, clothes...in fact anything. I bought these things for me to enjoy so what am I waiting for?
    4. Not travelling as much as I could, just because I'd have to go on my own. Now I'm older I do and love it but regret the time I wasted thinking rather than doing
    5. Procrastination! Nuff said

    Lots of exciting highs and dreadful lows in my life but without them I wouldn't be the tough old bird I am today. I have my precious family back, some wonderful, genuine friends, a good social life, a comfortable little home, an old jalopy that gets me around, enough food in my larder and have learned the art of saving so I don't owe anyone anything and can pay my bills. On reflection perhaps the above 5 aren't really regrets, I've overcome some and there's nothing to stop me overcoming the rest.
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