Food For Thought.

When I looked around for an inspiring thought for today, I found this image in the internet.

This took me on a different quest for something that I had read some time ago. Let me give my own reactions to the five regrets listed there for this post.

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

I honestly believe that I have lived my life as it evolved without ever wanting to change it and welcoming events as they took place. Perhaps that is why, I have come to this three score and ten plus years stage with hardly any stress which surprises the medical profession no end.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

I never worked “so” hard. And, I am not being facetious at all. When I worked I enjoyed every moment of it.

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

This has been a weakness but not something that I would regret as not having had the courage. I would say that I was concerned about the other’s feelings and so avoided expressing my own feelings. There have however been instances when I had indeed expressed my feelings without any restraint when those feelings were on the positive side.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

As my readers well know, I have and so this is not a regret that I have at all.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I have let myself be a happy person and bar those unfortunate losses which gave me sadness, my life has by and large been a happy one.

At the end of the Guardian article this question is asked “What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?”

My answer is simple. I lost my wife too soon. I have no big ambitions left and no desires to change anything. My oft repeated prayer is a Sanskrit one which simply asks for a death that is no trouble to me or my near and dear ones and a life without penury. I have the latter and hope that I will get the former too.

As a post script, let me add another paragraph to discuss the contents of the image given above. Among the unstated regrets that most men have in their lives is one that is rarely if ever openly admitted to. They would like to lead lives as depicted in the song Wandering Star and My Way. Highly impractical former and possible but not likely in the latter. I too have had my share of longing for both and like to hear the songs every now and then just to go gaga! I am sure that there must be songs with similar thoughts for women and I will appreciate some of my readers leading me to them.

Pravin had suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

I Wish I Hadn’t Done That.


As strange as it may sound to my readers, there is only one thing about which I have regrets and which in retrospect I could have handled better.  And that is the last four years of my father’s life when he had come to live with me and the way our relationship, not the best at any time, kept deteriorating despite my best efforts to keep it peaceful and cheerful. During that very stressful period, I did loose my cool on a number of occasions and got into arguments with him. I was astounded every time at his total indifference to the issues involved till I went back to my library and found that it was typical behaviour for a narcissist.

I wish now that I had been more compassionate. This would have been easier said than done, but try I did on many occasions.  The way he kept manipulating me and the environment that I had provided for him made it next to impossible not to react and lose my cool.  He had either  shut down or was incapable of the emotional make up that would have enabled  a quid pro quo relationship.  He needed to be the alpha male in my patch of green and that was galling. Galling because he had never been the father that he could have been for me and my siblings and towards the end of his life and when I too was no spring chicken, it was all too much for me. Had it not been for my regular meditation practice, which kept my sanity intact, I doubt that I would have been here today writing this post.

I did the best that I could under the circumstances.  But I still have the odd moment when I wish that I had been more compassionate and yielding to his demands.

This topic has been suggested by Shackman for  the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently five of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you have enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Top Five Regrets.

A fellow alumnus from my Business School, about the same age as I am now, sent this ezine article to all his classmates via our Alumni Group Mail. Some of my classmates have already departed this world, and some of us have had close calls, all well before receiving this group mail. None of us are getting any younger and so this kind of group mail is not something out of the ordinary.

I was intrigued enough to reflect on the five regrets that the author writes about and felt that I should share my conclusions with my readers. Perhaps it will inspire them also to reflect on them.

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

I honestly believe that I have lived a life true to myself, as I am sure that all of us have. There have been occasions when I regretted some aspects of it, but overall, I have not lived the life that others expected of me, for the better or for the worse.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

I hardly worked. Where is the question of working so hard?

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

I consider this to be a major weakness in me. I simply cannot keep my feelings to myself. I express them, often, much to the discomfort of hapless listeners/readers.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

This post is proof enough that I am in touch with my friends. Besides fellow alumni, there are many other friends with who, I have never lost touch since boyhood and youth. I have also continued making new friends on and offline, as life unfolds and some of the relationships are flourishing and promise to be lifelong ones.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

If I get any happier, some other palliative care giver will soon write another ezine article like this about the freak that s/he came across in her/his experience.

Why Did I Do That?

“The past is the tomorrow that got away.”
-Leonard L. Levinson

Today’s Loose Bloggers’ Consortium topic has been chosen by gaelikaa. I suppose that the intention behind the topic is to talk about those things that we did that we now regret or wish that we could have done differently. A kind of optimism of the past?

Try as I may, I find it hard to think of things that I regret having done. Not that I did everything right but just that I do not have any remorse or regret for having done even those things that eventually turned out to have been not right. Yes, on some occasions, in the immediate after thought, on some occasions, I did feel regret or remorse but as I write this and after much thought, I can honestly say that I am not currently carrying any such baggage.

That is possibly because by and large, my life has been pretty placid. I have had my share of ups and downs but nothing that has left a permanent impression either positively or negatively. I did whatever was appropriate at that point of time and which felt right at that moment, and that was that. Since I have survived quite successfully, reasonably healthy in body and mind, and am financially not in need, I suppose that everything has turned out alright. My karma seems, on balance, to be beneficial.

Three most unexpected-from-me things that I did in the past that stand out for some mention however can be written about.

The first one was my marriage. No one expected me to marry when I did, the way I did and the person I did it with. In retrospect, that turned out to be the greatest success story of my life.

The second was my resigning from a high profile position after having spent half my then life with one employer. Nobody expected that, but even colleagues who thought that I was daft, changed their opinions later, as my life improved quite a bit after that major upheaval.

The third was my spontaneously inviting my father to come and live with me when his wife passed away two years ago. He had had little to do with me during my adult life and both of us are very self reliant people. For sometime after he came to live with me, I did have occasions when I regretted that, but those passed and we have now established a harmonious coexistence that has brought back placidity to my life and that too has turned out to be a satisfactory outcome. There are however moments when because I have to be physically present, I am unable to do somethings, I wish that I had not invited him, but that too passes and increasingly, I have learnt to accept the limitations that particular restriction imposes on me.

How I wish that I could come up with some gory details about things that I did in the past, that I now regret!