Interesting. A former nurse who cared for terminally ill people has revealed their five most common regrets in a new book. Bronnie Ware worked in palliative care in Australia, looking after patients in the last few weeks of their lives. And the top five regrets are –
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
‘Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.’
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
‘This came from every male patient that I nursed.’
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
‘Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.’
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
‘Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.’
I wish that I had let myself be happier
‘Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.’
Of course, we’ll all reflect on this for a few minutes. Then we’ll return to the life others expect, working too hard, hiding our feelings, drifting out of touch with old friends and never allowing ourselves to be happy. Hey ho.
‘It’s like a bird only it’s not a bird. It’s a bit like a tit.’
The question – what is it? I wish I knew. It’s driving me mad.
I was amused to hear that a curious cat-related furore hit the Chinese banking system this week.
The People’s Bank of China has denied allegations that its 100-yuan note contains mysterious cat images, saying the ‘cloud pattern was copied from ancient lacquer ware’.
But cat conspiracy theorists say there are three cats printed near the head of Mao Tse Tung – one with an open mouth and staring eyes, the other two on their knees, bowing.
The central bank issued the folowing statement – ‘Someone imagined the patterns as three cats and drew the profile with a marker to mislead the public.’
What do you think? Bolly and I are convinced they are cats. And the middle one does bear a passing resemblance to the Boll herself.
Well, no sooner had I blogged about the £10.66 episode in Waitrose than I found myself in Tesco, having to pay £19.99 precisely. (See evidence below. Yes – I do buy lots of batteries and cat treats. I work in the media and I have a cat.)
‘That’ll be £19.99,’ said the yoof.
And I almost did it. Almost quipped, ‘Let’s party like it’s … as Prince said.’
But thankfully I stopped myself in the nick of time, realising that Prince’s 1999 single was released in 1982, well before the yoof was born. And young people know nothing whatsoever about what happened before they were ten.
I escaped without being sectioned. Two close scrapes in one week.
At this rate, I’ll have to pay £18.12 in M&S tomorrow and have to force myself not to mention Tchaikovsky.
It’s cold and frosty this morning. I was cheered up by seeing a Blue Tit in the olive tree when I opened the curtains. But, apart from that, it’s pretty Siberian out there. This weather reminds me of the opening lines of The Eve of St Agnes, which Keats wrote at this time of year …
St Agnes’ Eve – Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold
Loving this brilliantly edited mash-up of the Cookie Monster covering God’s Away On Business Imagine all the footage they had to plough through…
That’s it. I’m never making smalltalk with a shop assistant again.
I was in a supermarket today, and the cashier gave me my change from a £20 note, saying – ‘There you go – £10.66.’
‘Ah. The Norman Conquest’, I replied.
He gave me an odd look, as if he couldn’t decide whether to call security or the police or Hertfordshire mental health services. For a split second, I considered explaining myself. But I thought better of it and headed for the door, feeling embarrassed at knowing something which everyone used to know.