Southern Man

Saturday, February 11, 2012

No Regrets

This article in The Guardian in which a British nurse relates the five most common regrets expressed by the dying struck a nerve with Southern Man, who is struggling with minor issues like the meaning of life and the inevitability of death and all the dreams that he's surrendered and all that he wishes to accomplish in his remaining years. So in response to the five regrets Southern Man proposes five goals for a life without regrets. Happily, he's already gotten a good start at most of them in the last few years.

To thine own self be true.

Southern Man has spent much of his life doing (and being) what others expected of him rather than what he wanted to do or be. One does not abandon ones responsibilities but it's not selfish to devote at least part of your energy to following your own dreams.

Work hard, but not too hard.

According to the nurse these first two regrets were expressed by every patient for whom she cared. Southern Man missed enough of his children's lives by working two and three jobs at a time and is determined to make up for that in the future. Making time to be with your family and friends is worth the effort.

Have the courage to express your feelings.

Southern Man spent years bending over backwards to protect the feelings of others at the expense of his own but over the last few years has had the courage to let others know what he thinks and feels as well. And he has a lot of difficulty expressing his deep love for his family and tries not to let chances to do so slip by.

Stay in touch with your friends.

There's one dear high school friend in particular for whom Southern Man has searched for years, to no avail; he deeply regrets letting our friendship fade away when circumstances sent us in different directions. There are others, as well. And Southern Man is very protective of the friendships he has today and works hard to cultivate new ones.

Let yourself be happy.

This is the hardest of all. Southern Man has on occasion achieved contentment; he's not sure that he's ever actually been happy. Is it selfish to make your own happiness a priority? Southern Man has never really let himself do so. He's going to try it and see if he can.


At Sunday, February 12, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was divorced for several years before it finally soaked into my brain that I only needed to please myself. It's been very liberating.

Girl Programmer.

At Monday, February 13, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...if your dreams are not in comcert with Your Maker's plan for you then you will not be happy. It is kinda like a void that you try to fill but are never truly happy with what you get. Oh, you will accomplish things, but not that one area. You (we) all have a purpose here on earth. Some have found theirs. It so often just happens to be the thing that has stayed in our heart (or mind) since childhood.

Pleasing others is nice, a job well done. Pleasing Your Maker is nicer. Faith is what pleases him. And that is not hard at all AND it answers your personal dream thing.


At Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Blogger opit said...

Meh. Dad was a priest and Anonymous' comment leaves me cold. You are living with love in mind. No other principle applies.


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