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065: Reader Mailbag (VI)

Your responses to "Top Regrets".

Jeremy Finch
Jeremy Finch
3 min read
065: Reader Mailbag (VI)

Top Regrets sparked many replies!

Sharing a few of your responses

Love this.
Here's a related piece you might find interesting :

To admit regret is to understand that we are fallible, that there are powers beyond us.

I paused for a few minutes after reading TFJ today. Gives me a lot to think about.

I'm planning to hit pause and think about where I'm heading — who/what I care about, what I want to be doing, and what makes me happy.

I've been surrounded by numbers, metrics, and lights that turn red/yellow/green these past 6 months. They're definitely not what I care about the most."

I gave very little thought to the priority of work and family during my career. As a result, I moved many times and my connection to family and community was less than it could have been.  

Now in semi-retirement, we are changing that priority."

Great reminders for a Monday morning where the light and chirping birds speak of spring, but a cold, cold wind blows!"

Nice quote in the attached study:

People are quicker to take steps to cope with failures to live up to their duties and responsibilities (ought-related regrets) than their failures to live up to their goals and aspirations (ideal-related regrets).

As a consequence, ideal-related regrets are more likely to remain unresolved."

I feel like a few of your points - express feelings, connect, work less - boil down to having meaningful relationships.

How is it that we (as functioning adults in modern western society) need to put in effort to maintain meaningful relationships?

In grade school or in communal living, that stuff just happens. We spend our days working toward a common goal with friends and family. Whereas in our adult lives, we generally need to remind ourselves to not let our stressful, overworked lifestyles get in the way of reaching out to people to make those connections."

Reading these poignant regrets makes me sad, and also brings some hope. Self- acceptance and compassion are what come to mind:

How can I accept myself (and reality), rather than fight and resist it? And how can I more easily forgive myself? And others?

I think I’d save myself a lot of suffering if I could practice more of the above each day."

This reminds me of an article I saw recently :

There is a good deal of existing research into what people regret in their lives. In my current project, I decided to approach the problem from the other end and ask people about their life’s biggest decisions.

Plus for all you data nerds, there's a tool you can use to poke around the results."

Deep connection and not over-working (despite being trained by my upbringing to not connect so deeply and to develop my brain and intellect) have been values and goals of mine over the last decade. My battle with COVID exactly one year ago made these values even more clear.

I may not have a lot of savings or retirement, but I went to almost all of my daughters’ middle school basketball games — and I’ve been available if they needed help editing a high school paper or someone to talk about how hard it is to be a teen in a pandemic.

I wish that we had built in to our society more reflection time, daily meditation time, and natural family time. We have to create this individually, but it would be amazing to have a culture that supports this.

Perhaps we could adopt the afternoon siesta? I don’t see “productivity” on that list of regrets.


Thanks for the mail!


064: Top Regrets
The top regrets of the dying.

Mailbag - The Fire Jar
Letters to the editor. Readers respond! 📫

Season 2CollaborationsMailbag