Tag Archives: regrets

Regrets? I’ve Had A Few…

stonesI have a 90 year old friend, Tom, who’s in poor health. Yesterday, over a cup of tea, he took my hand and said, ‘Don’t end up like this. Don’t get to my age and have regrets. I know you’ve got MS, but get yourself out there.’

I asked him what he regretted, what did he wish he had done differently? He thought for a moment before saying he would have worked less, been happier and kept nothing  for ‘best’.

I went home deep in thought. On the internet, I found an excellent blog, Inspiration and Chai, written by a palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware, who cared for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. Her observations have been collated in a book, ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.’

I expected to be depressed after reading them, but instead I felt motivated to keep on improving my life and learn from the wisdom of others who have gone before. The five most common regrets are:

  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 ‘d stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

The last point for me was the most interesting. Bronnie Ware writes that many people did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed in old patterns and habits and the fear of change had them pretending to others, and themselves, that they were happy.

I want to live a fulfilled life. I have enough regrets already, so maybe I should just choose to be happier. Chase the dreams, make mistakes and pick myself back up again. At least I can say I tried. Having MS  has brought clarity and a sharp focus to my life. So, thank you, Tom, for giving me a much-needed push in the right direction.

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The Last Day of The Year…

Well, here we are, the very last day of the year and what a year it’s been. I’ve been diagnosed with MS, had Alemtuzumab treatment, lost my job and started a new one. As one door closes, another one opens and all that. A whole fresh new year is ready to be discovered. Exciting!

So why oh why are two of the most miserable songs ever written all about New Year? Honestly, if I hear ‘Happy New Year’ by Abba one more time, I will be in danger of becoming seriously depressed and full of Nordic gloom.

And I’m dreading U2’s ‘New Years Day’ playing on an endless loop all day Tuesday. Where’s the happiness? Where’s the looking forward to a bright, shiny new year?

A random sample of Abba’s ‘Happy New Year’ lyrics include:

  • Here we are, me and you, feeling lost and feeling blue
  • It’s the end of the party, and the morning seems so grey
  • Seems to me now, that the dreams we had before are all dead, nothing more

Makes you want to crack open the champagne and fire off some party poppers, eh? I guess New Year’s Eve can be a bit depressing – we look over the past year, sigh over some of our decisions and ponder our regrets. According to the newspapers, most of us will be at home, celebrating with a Marks and Spencers £10 meal deal. We’ll count down to Big Ben and toast the new year in with a shrug of the shoulders and head for bed at 12.10am.

But this year, I want to celebrate my achievements and the fact that I survived everything life and MS had to throw at me. I’m still here! And I’m stronger and happier than I have been in a long time. The MS community has embraced me and I have found incredible support from other MSers. My family and friends have been amazing. What’s not to like?

So, sorry Abba. I won’t be singing along to your dirge today. I will be having a nice glass of wine, chilling in a wine bar with jazz playing in the background. Goodbye 2012, I’m sure 2013 will be one of my best years yet….


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