Lottery And Regrets.

I was quietly sitting on my recliner and reading a book last evening. My DIL was lounging on the sofa and catching up with her messages on her phone.

She must have read about this lottery winner which has been doing the rounds in all our media here the last couple of days.

She suddenly asked me “What will you do if you won a lottery like the auto driver did?”

I reflected for a while and said, “I will put the money in the bank and spend some of it in sprucing up our home and leave the rest for the two of you.”

DIL – “No going to see all the grand children in the family and of friends all over the world, no vacationing in exotic places?”

I – “No dear. My travelling days are over as you well know. I have seen my share of exotic places and modern mass media enables me to be in touch with everyone all over the world. I am now in my comfort zone and am quite content.

I don’t think that she expected that answer and the chat ended there.

This little chat however reminded me of a book that I had read some time ago. While reading the book I could well relate to the dying regrets that the author writes about and even at that time I had placed myself in their position and wondered whether I would have the same regrets and had come to the conclusion that I would not.

The five regrets are:

1.”I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

I believe that I did.

“I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

I never had to work hard anyway! And I am not being facetious. Things were different during my working years.

“I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

While I did not, till about my late teens, I changed when I started regular salaried employment and performance linked incentives, and was able to express my feelings without being afraid of the outcome or the reaction of others.

“I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

I have, and continue to do so. The longest lasting friendship that I have is with my Primary-School-mate who lives now in Mumbai and many others from my high school and business school days as well as others who came into my life due to my career, travelling and blogging.

“I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

I have been very fortunate that apart from the sorrow of the death of family, friends and pets, I have not had many occasions to be unhappy. I have been and continue to be quite happy, perhaps even to the bemusement to some others.

How would you rate yourself on these five parameters dear reader?

14 thoughts on “Lottery And Regrets.”

  1. Those particular regrets are not ones I would express. I never had any expectations of my life from anyone else. I had a career I enjoyed and was able to continue in it as a contractor even after I retired. I don’t care to express my feelings except when I need to, except to those close to me. Through Facebook, I am in touch with people I knew from all periods of my life since high school, but only regret not staying in touch with a couple of people. Unhappiness has never really been a thing for me.

    I guess my biggest “regret” is a kind of nostalgia for an early “normal” life that I never really had.

      1. My early life included parents who divorced before I can remember in a time when divorce was very uncommon, a mom who I didn’t see for most of five years when she left me and my sister with her parents, and a dad who I rarely saw when I was a preteen and who left for California with his second wife and their kids in about 1962. I next saw them by accident in 1973 and not again until 1995. Despite all of that, things worked out pretty well for me, but not so well for my sister. Her life was pretty rough.

        1. Quite a story Mike. Yes, things have indeed worked out well for you and I am sorry that they did not for your sister. Incidentally, it is no secret that I come from a dysfunctional family and had a rough childhood too.

  2. Ramana,
    What few, but still hopefully, significant glimpses I have of you everything you say rings perfectly true.
    I hope also that I’ve have also not done too bad a job of my life, though only half as much as you have.
    BTW, I do pity a lot of my peers, so many of them seem to be living the life that society foists upon them.
    They don’t seem to make any choices for themselves…. and in some twisted manner try to make choices for their children!

    1. Thank you Srinivas for confirming to my readers about the veracity of my post. No, you too are one of the few that I know whose life is being lived as I did mine. No point pitying your peers. They will become like the characters in the book that the good nurse writes about.

  3. I think most of the regrets listed are things I have mostly managed to get right. In some ways I have led the life expected of me but I can’t change the past.
    My kids know I love them to bits and I thinkI have been a good daughter which becomes important as I see my parents starting to fade ….

    1. I was holding my late mother’s hand as she passed away and my late father’s last days were spent in my home. I saw both handling their end differently, the former cheerfully accepting the inevitable and the latter fighting till the very last. I admire the nursing and medical profession for handling such issues day in and day out.

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