Most common regrets in life, and some of their answers will make you cry

Most common regrets in life, and some of their answers will make you cry

From time to time I step back, take a look at where I’m at in life, and realize how lucky I am to have a lot of things. A beautiful wife, fantastic family, amazing friends, great career, and a future ahead of me that I control. There’s not much that I would change about my life; well, maybe instead of gambling and partying from 21 thru 27 I would have a lot more money in the bank, but I replace that with the priceless memories we had with great friends.

Life…..what a confusing, yet precious gift. Having all these amazing things in my life, still at this young age I live with one regret. A regret that I don’t think I’ll ever get over or have an answer for. Looking back at the time frame, circumstances, and time in my life, I know back then I could never have known.

I’ll take you back to the day I left Hilo, Hawaii for college. I remember the day so vividly. I was wearing a Hawaiian print t-shirt because I thought I was cool trying to “represent Hawaii” on the mainland, I had my friends and family there, and I vividly remember my dad being there.

Being the youngest of three children, I was the last to leave the house to attend college. That day at the airport was the first time I have ever seen him vulnerable, trying to hold back tears, and till this day I wonder a lot about that day. Could it be that it was a harsh reality for him to realize how fast time flies knowing that all three children are out on their own? Or, as I tear up writing this, could it be because he knew that since 5 of his brothers and sisters passed away from the same rare liver disease he did in their young 50’s, he knew that his years were limited? Those are the thoughts that get to me and those are the thoughts that bring regret knowing that I didn’t do all that I could to spend more time with him. 52 years of age is not a long time here on earth but that’s the time he was given. My dad passed during my freshman year in college and I can remember that day as if it were yesterday. As I look back, no one in middle school or high school, or even in your freshman year in college could have told me that spending time with parents was the cool thing to do. Now at 38, losing my father at 18, spending time with parents is one of the coolest things that one could do.

People, including my wife ask me why I live with such drive, with such intensity, with such planning and precision? Well, is it bad that I sometimes use the age 52 as my mark? I mean going through life, I’m sure he was planning his retirement, thinking of how many grandchildren he would have, figuring out which fishing spots he will be going to, and thinking about how life would be in his 80’s. Losing a parent at 18 has affected my life in many ways both good and bad. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of good came out of it such as bringing my family closer, giving me the drive that I have, but man, would I give all of that up just to spend one more day with him. Like most people who have lost loved ones, he visits me in my dreams from time to time and each time I burst into tears. I wake up sad and wanting him back, but all that I have are the memories and the promise that I made him to keep me smiling.

I share this experience with you in hopes that you never have to live with a single ounce of regret as I do. Regret kills someone on the inside and it’s this pain that I’m sure some of you live with. It’s easy to say remember the good times, and yes, say how was I supposed to know he was going to pass at that age, but it’s a feeling I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

I found an article at Business Insider which shares priceless advice from those who live with regret. As Jim Wagner and I share the same regret of not spending time with parents, I use my past experiences to help enhance my future. I’m currently planning a mother son trip to Napa and San Francisco for the week and plan on sipping great wine and asking her about life.

Live with no regrets. That’s my advice to you. We’ve only got a limited time on earth. Let my father and my personal experience guide you to living a fuller and more meaningful life.


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