I had a question that I have often asked my native-Chinese speaking friends, but I have not been satisfied with the answer. In English, I find myself often saying, "I wish..." For example:
I wish I could go to the movies tonight, but I have too much work to do.
I wish that I would have thought of that earlier.
I wish I had bought this book at the beginning of the semester.
I wish I did not have to go to work every day.
My friends have often given me the translation 希望, but I feel like this is hope. But I feel like this may not be appropriate for things that cannot come true. In all the examples above, "I hope" is not accurate. And if I said, say, "我希望每天不要上班” I feel like I am saying, "I hope I do not have to go to work every day."
How can I express this "wishful" thinking?