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View Diary: The Five Biggest Regrets of the Dying (258 comments)

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  •  The Sex and Bungee Jumps.. (42+ / 0-)

    It's easy to dismiss those things because we write them off.  And so, when a book like this comes up, we mention that "oh well, no one wanted those things, they wanted these things."

    But I think the statement misses the point, even as a wry joke.

    In fact, I'd argue that (1) (3) and (5) are a lot about those very things.  No, not directly.   You'll rarely find someone who says "I wish I had a Wilt Chamberlain-esque sex life".  Or "I wish I had done a 40,000 foot high altitude jump" though they are out there.  

    But you'd be surprised how much people equate whatever little hobbies and love they have with (1) (3) and (5).

    In "Let yourself be happy", I'm reminded of a woman I knew in a retirement community who's husband had died when she was in her forties.   She never remarried.   In a very candid moment, she had told some of a few of us over lunch (she was in her early 80s) that she regretted that decision.  She had chances, she thought, to find a relationship again, but she passed.  For whatever reason, she decided not to let herself be happy, and at the end, she regretted it.     A man in the community had lived a life as a bachelor.  A WWII vet, he regretted that he never had the courage to come out of the closet.  In his case, though, he had no problem openly saying that missing out on a sex life was a monumental regret of his life, and he had zippo issues telling you in pretty graphic terms how much he wished he had just one or two torrid moments in his life.

    The bungie jumping thing is a lot like that.  People have a tendency to live their life safe.   They get afraid to take big risks and so they do the same thing repeatedly.   I can't tell you how often I've heard:  "I wish I had quit my job and done something/anything else".   I heard that one a lot.

    What's more surprising is that when issues of sex and bungie jumping issues come up, I heard it far more from women then men.   So many women who locked in on one guy or just never had the experience that they had thought they could have; a romance novel type moment.

    Think that's not true?  Go into any upscale retirement community and find out how often Bridges of Madison County gets checked out.

    It's easy to dismiss the sex and bungie jumping.   But the reason why people wish they took more time for themselves, lived as they wanted, etc.  the reason they regret those things is in part because of the sex and bungie jumping :)

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:51:38 AM PST

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