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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Thank you for reading.

Smile! Life is better when you’re laughing

Love, Candace

40 Replies to “Why Do We Wait To Start Living?”

  1. The purpose of life is to simply experience it, life is meant to be LIVED, not to be waited on for some special moment, everything needed to enjoy life you already possess. Beautiful post babe, loved reading this one.

  2. I write this comment with experience and sadness… My father was a hard working man too. All of us (3 daughters) have traveled the world and two of us actually live overseas now. We always encouraged him to see the world. Come and spend time with us instead of us always going home to see him (although he did come once for 2 weeks in UK to see his grandchild). His response was always when I retire I will use the time to do whatever I want (he prolonged his retirement by 2 years because he loved working) My father retired on the 7th January 2012 and on the 22nd January at 11:00 am he complained that he was not feeling well.he was a fit 63 year old man who has never touched alcohol or a cigarette in his life. He walked everywhere. That Saturday morning my mother called an ambulance and he was rushed to hospital. By 11:15, my fit and healthy father was dead from a burst embolism close to his heart…so yes I totally agree…live life and see the world, do what makes you happy because like my father, the time that you are planning to start living your life, you may never see it. Love that post Candace and thanks for sharing xxx

    1. Oh wow Jini. I can’t imagine the feeling. I know it must’ve been difficult sharing that but I’m glad you did. It just shows how we never know… we just never know when our time is. We get so caught up in the day-to-day activities, we often forget how fragile life really is.

      I’m sure despite, your father left as a happy man. He perhaps lived in the way he wanted to and achieved the things that made his life feel fulfilled. For us it may be about travelling the world and doing and seeing things, but for him it must have been raising his kids and securing his family. He’s in peace 🙂 Thank you and you’re welcome 🙂

      P.S. For some reason a few comments went in the spam section and I only now saw it, hence the late response.

  3. Your father sounds a lot like mine. My dad goes to work every day, then spends the rest of his time sitting in his chair either watching TV or napping. Watching TV and napping seem to be his only “hobbies”. He is months away from retirement, and has no plans for his future. He is afraid of spending money, doesn’t like to leave his house, has no interest in visiting new places, doesn’t care to experience new things, and doesn’t like to socialize and meet new people. He has an old-school way of thinking, and is quick to complain and judge people or things that don’t fit his personal preferences. He and I are very different people and don’t have much in common. It bugs me to see my dad not have any interest in experiencing life. I just can’t imagine going through life not having any interest in seeing new places, trying new things, and meeting new people. Life is meant to be lived!!

  4. Well written dear. I love people who explore and discover various aspects of life for others to read and love from them. Just visited your blog, good to know you have a lot to offer to everyone. And thank you for being the first visitor to my blog and first reader of my post. I am grateful.

  5. I am a person centered on the idea of marriage and family and whilst I’ve had many opportunities to travel. I turned them all down because I’ll love to travel the world with the one person I love and have fun with. People tell me I’m crazy, but this is what I want ❤️

  6. I’ve noticed this among the elder folks. My father is just the same, in fact, he continues to work in a different office, after retiring from the armed forces. Several friends of his, do the same. The thought of travel doesn’t excite them, taking a break is restricted to Sundays, which again is used to finish up household tasks. The same goes with my mother. I’ve tried to push her out of her shell for far too long, but they seem to find comfort in their worlds. Another way to look at it, is that their idea of living life, is probably just that. To have good food on the table, getting to relax on a weekend, or just spend time with their kids no matter how old they grow. Although we’d love to see our parents finally give themselves a much needed break, they seem to have a different idea of a break, and seem happy with it. They don’t wait for an event, but find joy in every day life.

    That being said, I couldn’t agree more on the fact that we wait too much to live. We wait for weekends to relax, we wait for new years to begin afresh, we wait for our paychecks to treat ourselves! We put too many conditions to begin living. I wonder why we’re so scared of letting go and just live? Who knows when we’re to go, and what a sad thought it is, to have left without even making the most of what we had!

    Also, great content on the blog. Your blog has a very positive, happy vibe!

    1. What an extremely valuable contribution Jiji. Thank you so much for sharing that. I think you’re right. I believe most of our parents were cultured differently from us, so their idea of ‘living’ is different from ours in many ways. There are the few in between who lives spontaneously, but the majority prefers to relax in the comfort of their homes as you described.

      I also prefer to just be at home relaxing rather than be out and about, but it doesn’t keep me from exploring and trying new things. I suppose our generation is more curious to see what’s out there. Still, I’m guilty of waiting on the “right” time to do certain things. I think it’s being cautious and trying to prevent bad consequences. It’s difficult living life on the edge; as much as I try to, I often find myself making calculated choices. I really admire those who forgets everything and just do it.

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog, and for reading and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  7. I love this article, it’s true for so many people! I have been trying this philosophy of ‘living now’ recently, even if it’s just in small ways like taking up new hobbies and joining social groups to make me leave the house more. It can be quite scary, but is definitely worth it! Thank you for your inspiring post, and for following my little book review blog. I’m just starting out so it means a lot! 🙂

  8. So profound, Candace. Reminds me of an old Ann Landers’ column that included “The Station” by Robert J. Hastings. I carried that yellowed clip around for years. We should all live like that.

  9. Great post, it’s all too easy to put things off, especially when we are tired or stressed or if we become fearful of leaving our comfort zones! Sometimes you to do things even when you don’t really feel like it, knowing that you may enjoy them once you get started and overcome initial anxiety.

    1. I think that’s it.. we are often too afraid to leave our comfort zones and head into the unknown. But how are we to ever know of we don’t try it right? Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts 🙂

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