My father is a very simple man. He spends hours sitting in the porch on his small, brown, rustic chair that’s fitted snug in a corner, properly positioned at an angle where he can watch cartoons on the TV inside while catching a glimpse of whatever’s going on outside. He sits there in solitude—smoking cigarettes, reading newspapers, and every so often, sipping on his booze. Sometimes he just stares blankly into space—what I’ll give to hear what goes in that mind of his.
He’s close to retiring his job, and aside from clocking in several days a week, he barely does much with his life. He’s an old-fashioned guy; he won’t even go to the movies if asked. He seems to be comfortably anchored at home. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he already ‘lived’ in his younger years and did so much already, that there really isn’t much left that fascinates him. Unfortunately, that judgement couldn’t be farther from the truth. As far as I know, aside from working for the past 35 years and achieving life’s systematic goals—job, house, car, kids—he hasn’t done much more in his life. He barely travelled or experienced the magnificent, unimaginable beauties and wonders of the world. Actually, he hasn’t seen or experienced most of the things his native country has to offer.
It bugs me to see him wasting away his precious time just sitting there; it makes me wonder why—why won’t he use his hard earned money and spare time to LIVE, to explore the world, try new hobbies, meet new people, do something constructive, do what he loves. I know sitting in a porch and reading newspaper every single day is not what he envisioned for his life.
Last week, I finally got an answer to that question when my aunt, his elder sister, stopped by. She had just returned from a trip abroad and was soon leaving for another. While she was sharing her amazing travel stories, she paused, turned to him, and asked, “Why don’t you travel?”
“I’m waiting until I retire,” he immediately answered, sort of rehearsed as if he already had it well thought out. While he went on to share his ‘retirement plans’, she interrupted in a concerned tone, “Why are you waiting? Do it now!”
It led me to thinking: Why do we wait? We seem to always be waiting for something before we do what we believe will make us happy. None of us knows how much longer we have here; are we really going to spend what little time we have left, waiting? That thing we’re waiting for, might never come.
Perhaps we should stop waiting—stop waiting for the perfect time to take a vacation, stop waiting for the weekend to have some fun, stop waiting for someone to fall in love with you, stop waiting for life to happen, stop waiting to be happy. Happiness is achieved when we stop waiting, start living, and make the most of the moments we are in now.
What do you think? Are you waiting?
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