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BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)

Helen 25 Sep 19 - 04:00 PM
meself 25 Sep 19 - 03:16 PM
Mrrzy 25 Sep 19 - 12:40 PM
meself 25 Sep 19 - 11:13 AM
Mrrzy 25 Sep 19 - 10:05 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 19 - 09:44 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 19 - 03:39 AM
lefthanded guitar 25 Sep 19 - 02:58 AM
Helen 25 Sep 19 - 01:35 AM
meself 25 Sep 19 - 01:33 AM
lefthanded guitar 25 Sep 19 - 01:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Sep 19 - 11:25 PM
meself 24 Sep 19 - 11:07 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Sep 19 - 08:49 PM
Donuel 24 Sep 19 - 08:27 PM
meself 24 Sep 19 - 06:41 PM
gillymor 24 Sep 19 - 05:43 PM
meself 24 Sep 19 - 05:19 PM
Jeri 24 Sep 19 - 04:32 PM
Mrrzy 24 Sep 19 - 03:44 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 02:46 PM
punkfolkrocker 24 Sep 19 - 02:17 PM
meself 24 Sep 19 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Helen
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 04:00 PM

Slightly off topic but by sheer coincidence (or synchronicity) I watched a re-run of a real-life medical show on Oz TV this week about a young man who was experiencing vivid flashbacks of memory of an old event from his childhood. With each flashback he was getting more and more of the memories including visuals, smells, sounds etc.

The interesting thing was that he had a tumour in his brain which was in the region of memory and as the tumour grew it was putting more pressure on his brain in that area. When the tumour was removed he said that he had stopped having the flashbacks.

For me, the interesting thing is that a specific memory could be associated with a specific area of the brain. It makes me wonder how similar to a hard drive our brain is for storing memory. If a specific spot on the hard drive has been nibbled by a rat, then that bit of memory is corrupted. How similar is the memory storage in our brains?

But, back to the topic. I think, meself, that you are not alone. I think it is a common phenomenon to suddenly have an event from the past pop up in your head, and the older you get the more memories you have, so the more possible memories can pop up.

The memory which pops up might not be random. It might be triggered by a sight, a sound or a smell, or a similar situation. As an example, I dreamt a crazy dream last week and wondered where that came from, but I worked out that it was triggered by an item in my kitchen which was left behind in my back yard - at a different house - over 30 years ago by a would be robber. I had picked up that item with no thoughts about its origins but my subconscious dredged up a crazy invented story relating to that past event because I had randomly used the item earlier that day.

Humans are complicated beasts. That's what makes life interesting, I suppose.


Steve Shaw, very funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: meself
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 03:16 PM

I don't think so. If it were a common phenomenon, wouldn't people be saying something like, "When I was in my late 50s/mid-60s/early 70s, I realized that for several months I had been confronted a few times a day, out of the blue, with memories of things I regretted?"

Rather, there is a lot of, "When I past the first blush of youth, I had a spell of self-reflection, and realized that I had made some mistakes. However, I had corrected my attitudes, so since then I have focussed on the positive, and everything's cool." That's all well and good, but it's not what I'm talking about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 12:40 PM

I think we *are* showing it's a commoon phenomenon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: meself
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 11:13 AM

What I wrote: "I'm just curious as to whether this is a common phenomenon with age, or if it's just me."

I did not intend that to imply that I wanted to hear about people's specific regrets - my apologies for not being clearer.

And "the phenomenon" I'm talking about is not so much a "mood of ruefulness" as much as regrets in the form of memories (however one understands memory) rising unbidden to the conscious mind, moreso with age. And I'm not talking about "dwelling" on them, or dealing with them one way or another philosophically, just the fact of their manifestation.

I think I can already conclude that this is not a common phenomenon, given that almost no one here seems to get what I'm talking about. Thanks everyone for giving it a shot!


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 10:05 AM

Um, not quite scientists tell us that in order to keep some memories for a long time we access them so often that we usually change the details of the events . What we say is, there is no "accessing" but only re-creation, and *every* such creation involves changing the info you feel you are accessing.

Memory is a process rather than a photograph. A painting that is repainted whenever you try to look at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 09:44 AM

"One thought I get is that when I am older (than my current mid-60's) and if I get dementia will I start rabbiting on to complete strangers about all this stuff in my head."

Me too. There was that naked game of pinball at college...Damn...


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 03:39 AM

I didn't spend enough time with my father, who had an incredible history of courage and dedication to humanity, which I didn't begin to find out about until I met some of his comrades at his funeral, when he was suddenly killed in a road accident
Not long before he died, an accident he had at work brought about a stroke which affected his speech slightly
In order to correct it he borrowed my newly acquired tape recorded and recounted his life - as an anti-recruitment campaigner against the Black-and Tans who were being shipped from Liverpool to Ireland - volunteering to fight in Spain, where he was wounded and captured, returning to be criminalised by MI5 as a "premature anti fascist, and being forced to leav home to seek work for ten years
He recorded all this - and immediately wiped it as he thought nobody would be interested
He died before I could get him to repeat it
There is hardly a day passes now that I don't remember him with pride - and regret for not having known him better
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 02:58 AM

Asking people what their regrets are is the question that I think is
depressing, meself. That question was more implied than asked directly - but I
understand you were asking if this mood if ruefulness is common to getting older, or is it just you. I don't see it as a common experience to getting older from my observations.

In fact, it can often be the reverse; as you get older, you value the positives in life more than before. You should dwell less on what went wrong than what goes right.

They said, perhaps what you are experiencing is the realization that you don't ' know it all' the way you ( thought you ) did when you were younger. You are able to see the shades of gray of a world you once reduced to black and white, a world of easy answers.This awareness usually starts in your 40s btw, But if what you're doing is replacing the arrogance ( and naïveté ) of youthful surety with an ability to see and question the complexities of human interaction - then that is a sign of maturity and wisdom imho.

There's a line from a pop song that goes 'the more I know, the less I understand' Perhaps that's what you are talking about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Helen
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 01:35 AM

Yes, meself, I find myself doing exactly that at the oddest moments and having done a lot of things I regret I sometimes wish I could delete those memories just like I can delete a file on my computer.

One thought I get is that when I am older (than my current mid-60's) and if I get dementia will I start rabbiting on to complete strangers about all this stuff in my head.

On the other hand, if I hadn't taken some risks in life I would have regretted that too. And some of my life choices have been good for me.

Some of my regrets are based on my younger self's fears and lack of understanding of the "big picture" of life, which I gained as I got older. Looking back from this perspective I could have told my younger self to have more faith in the way that life can work out if I could just stop worrying so much about everything. Now, I just trust in my own capabilities to see more clearly and to make rational and reasoned decisions - most of the time. LOL

In my last job, I had to make rational and reasoned decisions based on the policies and procedures and be able to stand by my judgement if someone challenged me on those decisions. As long as I could come up with a good rationale for the decisions, the managers left me to get on with it. I like that idea in my personal life too. No one else will make the same choices as me because we are all unique human beings, but my goal is to see as clearly as possible and make rational choices based on what I see.

Someone somewhere/somewhen once told me that life learning is like an upward spiral. You go through similar experiences in life until you learn what you need to learn but each time you experience something similar you come at it with a slightly more aware perspective. Assuming that you learn by experience, of course.

You are not on your Pat Malone on this one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: meself
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 01:33 AM

... um ... what exactly is a depressing question?


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 01:19 AM

I think it's a depressing question, although commonly asked of folks that are perceived as 'older' . Most people have some regrets - but why focus on that which is rued but can't be changed? What's the point of dwelling on this? Especially now - are you planning to enter your senior years cloaked in regrets?

If you want to ask an older person a philosophical question, I 'd suggest
asking what they're proud of, what are the sources of their happiness today,
or what challenge did they meet and rise above, especially ones they never thought
they could do when they were young.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 11:25 PM

meself, scientists tell us that in order to keep some memories for a long time we access them so often that we usually change the details of the events. And that every single person has their own view of events, so as someone noted, an event the first person felt bad about the second person didn't even remember. I think I've let go of most of those things that used to bug me, but they're in the back of my mind and if an occasion arises to discuss it with the party in question, I might.

Meanwhile, it's all fodder for creative purposes, poems, songs, stories, screenplays . . .

When the writer Pat Conroy was sitting at his dying mother's bedside, she remarked to him that she was concerned that anything they might be talking about would end up in one of his plays or novels. (It later did.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: meself
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 11:07 PM

But, do you find yourself recalling that stuff any more now than you ever did? I don't mean beating yourself up over it, but just having it come into your head, and thinking about it for a minute or two.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 08:49 PM

I didn't have anywhere near enough sex because the priests at my school brainwashed me into thinking that even the fleeting thought of a girl's nipples would consign me to an eternity in hell. Racism directed towards the Indian and Pakistani communities in Bolton, where I went to school, was de rigeur, never questioned nor challenged, even by those priests. At primary school we were taught to be bigoted against the "proddydog" kids at the school down the road. Gay people were pooftahs, queers, lezzies and freddies. We smoked untipped fags and got pissed underage*. I've had to fight my way out of all that so I don't want to be the young me again. Try to enjoy what I am now and carpe diem is what I tell meself.

*Though I've never used an illegal substance in my life (apart from that underage booze). I'm not all bad then...


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 08:27 PM

meself, I remember thinking of the past that way in my forties.
Now, I mostly concentrate on the now, which I can improve.



gillymor for surgeon general 2020


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: meself
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 06:41 PM

I know the concern and advice is coming from a good place, but, to quote myself: "I don't see this as a problem particularly - I'm not going into a depression or anything - so I'm not looking for advice".


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: gillymor
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 05:43 PM

Stay busy with something or some things you are passionate about to keep away the blue meanies and if that doesn't work get professional help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: meself
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 05:19 PM

No one is actually addressing the question, though ,,..


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Jeri
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 04:32 PM

I dunno.
Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.

Seriously, it's too late to start over, so I guess one just has to make the best of what they have now.
(And the not starting over part also means it's easier to make irreversible, really bad mistakes.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 03:44 PM

I still sometimes try to google the people who tortured me the year we were in the States, just to ask if they remember me and if so, have they any regrets. I never find them.
On the other hand I had terrible guilt from that year for teasing one kid once, and a few years ago they found me, and I was able to apologize profusely, which made me feel a lot better. Tirns out they didn't even remember the incident!


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 02:46 PM

Stop worrying about irate parents looking for you - they're probably all dead :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 02:17 PM

AS one of the younger mudcatters.. I'm only 60.. a mere brat...

It's not so much any bad things I did,
as the much worse bad things I didn't do, and wish I had,
that sometimes niggle at me...

The not fighting back and hurting other folks who betrayed and hurt me first kinda thing..

It's a bit of a bugger being a lifelong pacifist and reasonable 'not stooping to their level' sort of bloke,
who gains much pleasurable vicarious entertainment from violent revenge and vigelante movies...


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Subject: BS: Question About Aging and Regret(s)
From: meself
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 01:35 PM

Just wondering ... I'm a few years into my sixties, and I know a lot of you are ahead of me on that score as on many another. Anyway, the last couple years or so, I find myself more and more often recalling things I regret having said and done, or not having said and done - I don't mean wishing I'd travelled more or studied IT, but things that no doubt hurt other people, e.g., some stupid judgemental comment I made one day when I was fifteen years old.

I don't see this as a problem particularly - I'm not going into a depression or anything - so I'm not looking for advice. I'm just curious as to whether this is a common phenomenon with age, or if it's just me.


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