I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself

I love watching TED Talks videos on my iPad when I get the rare chance, especially those that are about science and technology. One I watched last night, on smartphone apps of all things, referred to an article from The Guardian: Top five regrets of the dying. It was teasing enough to deserve a look. The article was about a palliative care nurse who, through her caring of patients during the last weeks of their lives, had recorded the most common regrets of the dying.

Here are the top five:

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.”

And now I’ve turned it into a blog post. 🙂

I have one thing I’d like to do, and that is finish my PhD. I’d get nothing out of it career wise, but I’d hate to die wondering whether or not I could have completed it. Dr Miglo does have a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

23 comments on “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself

  1. ‘Dr Mig ‘
    well it could make you sound more intelligent.But we would still put the
    wood on you here regardless!
    Depends on what is the subject and the Instituion.
    My domestic boss has multi degrees + PHD – Im in awe and admiration
    constantly.She is just so smart ,compassionate and lots more.
    She could do a better job as PM tomorrow. Not hard there I guess.
    But back to you Migs – how long has this PHD saga been going for?
    Get some gangoolies and just finish it my son! And dont waste your time here.

  2. “Seen old Doc Miglo down at the Cafe the other night”……. yeah, it does have a certain ring to it, Migs…….. I remember reading an article where they asked some ladies in several retirement homes the same basic Q. ….. and the number one answer was they wished they had had more sex 😯 ….. 😀 … 😆

  3. But what is the PHD subject?
    Hope it is a practical career enhancer . Where your imense knowledge is
    put to work .
    ps lattest Election Odds update
    Coalition of distruction $1.20
    All Lost People $5.80
    For those with the big mouths and bigger gangoolies there are real
    dollars here on the latter.

  4. 2 days ago they were at sixes…… your right for once VS…. could be worth getting the $ on now…. befor they tighten further 😀

  5. Voyager: A review of the racist ideologies of Social Darwinism and eugenics in colonial Australia in the formative years of Federation, and how these ideologies were applied to purify and secure a White Australia.

  6. Eugenics……… 😯 ….. as in how Dick Abbott should have ‘done it’ on the wall…. 😆 …. no, really 🙄

  7. I have read this before, Miglo, but thank you for posting it. It is good to be reminded. I’d like to be spend more time being creative.

    I hope you finish your PhD. Dr Miglo has a vibrant ring to it.

  8. “A review of the racist ideologies of Social Darwinism and eugenics in colonial Australia in the formative years of Federation, and how these ideologies were applied to purify and secure a White Australia.”

    Migs, this is like beating a dead horse with all due respect. Racism in the context of “white” vs. everything has become the default position to explain all of the modern ills of the world; unfortunately it simply doesn’t, much like “imperialism” itself fails to do. The discussion is boring and circular when the context is extended beyond a few hundred years of Western Domination. Racism is not a “white” thing. It is pervasive and present in all races in varying numbers. Why the “white man” decided to build ships and sail around the world in search of new lands to colonize, enrich themselves etc is what I find fascinating. Why NO OTHER RACE did it in the way the “white” man did is puzzling as we are all built the same. Racism to be true was used on some level to “justify” this endeavor but peoples throughout history have always used such tools to justify conquest.

    Cultural differences alone, not race seems to lend itself to more investigation I think.

    I suggest if you haven’t read Ferguson’s “Civilization: The West and the Rest” yet you should; might give you a different angle on your topic. You will undoubtedly disagree with many of his conclusions but his work is enlightening compared to the same old dribble. I would dare ask yourself the opposites like “what if the whites never even came to Australia”…What would the Australian continent look like now? Chinese, Japanese, neither etc….Racism in the context of colonization was simply a tool but hardly worth a review and especially a dissertation; in my humble opinion.

  9. Sparta, you miss my point completely.

    I’m talking about ideologies. I’m not talking about white people building ships and sailing off to new lands. I’m not talking about what this island continent might still be like of the white blokes hadn’t have sailed here. I’m not talking about racism of today.

    I’m talking about the ideologies.

    If you disagree with me, might I suggest you read as widely as I have on the ideologies of the colonists in the 1890s.

  10. So Migs, what’s really stopping you from finishing your PHD. You mentioned above that you focused on your career, but are you truly being honest with yourself. There are a number of things I’d like to finish doing (one for example is obtaining my black belt in martial arts). Probably seems amusing to most people here but it’s something I have always enjoyed and would be a huge personal accomplishment for me. But I haven’t done anything about it in years. I can blame that on working long hours, paying bills, and all the stuff that being a grown up entails, but at the end of the day, they are all just excuses. Unless you (or any of us) take action towards what we want, we will all be having this discussion in another 5 years time, or god forbid, on our death beds.

  11. No regrets here because I know that choices that I made in the past were due to circumstances of the time. Having spoken with my 89yr old mum she says that she wishes that she had got an indoor loo a lot sooner. 😉

  12. No regrets either. If there was a regret for not doing something I would just do it. A matter of dealing the cards (control) over being dealt those cards.

  13. I’d like to win a substantial xlotto and am actively engaged in doing so. 😀 Unfortunately, it’s an ambition never likely to succeed. 😦

    I am comforted by the thought that the end product of hard work is skeletal and muscular ill health, so I try to avoid it. 😉

    I also believe that I was really the offspring of an extremely wealthy family, kidnapped at birth and stuck in a working class family, so that I would understand how to write fiction. Alas, it was a wasted experiment; somebody pinched my kitchen sink. 😯

  14. Migs,

    I am sorry man but all I have to respond to/go off is your post. Yes, i know what an “ideology” is Migs, with all due respect but as you are widely read you are aware that “ideologies” are formed in the context of “culture” not spontaneously generated. I appreciate that you are widely read but it is a tad bit arrogant to assume I am not. I am no PhD but my M.D. at least suggests i have a bit of “intellectual curiosity” which is to say, I am well read. My interests extend far beyond medicine…

    Anyway…I wasn’t trying to do anything but make conversation…Geesh..\

    Lupus? I am sorry to hear that…Which kind? How are the Kidneys?

  15. Migs
    you obviously love ‘the subject’ and are passionate about it.
    So you must really enjoy the research etc on your PHD , use all that as
    the personal motivation to complete. Nothing beats personal achievement.
    One of my domestic Bosses PHD students was recently in the same situation.
    We got her around home and motivated her . I am delighted to say she has
    recently made her final PHD submission.
    Very saddened to hear of your health issues and hope it improves.
    I will make no appologies for nagging you on progress (and urge all other
    CW’s to nag also! Like every morning and every night and frequently
    during the day.)
    Go for it Migs – you deserve it for yourself ! !
    ps – see I can even make a non-political comment

  16. I’m sorry to hear that Migs and hope that you can stay on top of it. For the first time since I posted here, I find myself agreeing with Jane 🙂 . . . a career change to ‘lottery winner’ would be awesome. I need to get right on that !

  17. Voyager – Hmmm . . . as PM is definitely out of Julia’s reach, I think she might hook up with her new BFF Kyle Sandilands. They can open a few clubs together and she can join him on air fighting the good fight against misogyny

  18. Julia is (essentially) only in her first term, with at least two more terms to go. I think that it is folly on your part(s) to try and second guess what her pre-elder statesperson employment will be……… Mayhap ‘she’ will be Ambassador to the Holy See, whom k-nows….. but at this presnt time ‘she’s’ busy running our successful triple Ay rated economy……. you know the economy thats the envy of the world ……. no, really 🙄
    …… none are so blind etc …. on purpose… as F*wit Bolt and F*wit Menzies Hostel supporters are….. and in this, the age of Google…… economy doing good, ay, ay, ay only a traitor would say different…… oi, oi, oi…….. ( come in spinner)

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