“I don’t think I could retire in a quiet place like this.”
We were driving out of the quiet coastal town of Nelson Bay. It is a relaxing place to stay for a visit, but Craig was pretty adamant it could not be a life long home.
“I still need the vibrancy of a city. I don’t want to be spending the final parts of my life going to the same restaurant and walking down the same village street.
If you are near the city you still have all the choices of things to do. I think it helps keep you young and alive. Otherwise, I’d just be sitting on my porch waiting around to die.”
“Yep. That is what a lot of people do.” I mused back.
“Funny thing is most people spend the first part of their lives waiting to live and then just hang around waiting to die.”
I’ll do that when …
How many times have you heard someone, or worse yourself, say I’ll do that when….
- I’ll do that when I am rich
- I’ll do that when I have more time
- I’ll do that when I lose 5 pounds…
- I’ll do that when I get married, or when I have kids, finish college, get that promotion, move house, or retire…
The sad fact is that usually the perfect time in the future never arrives.
And before you know it the kids are now gone living their dreams, or choosing to do it sometime in the future, and you are sitting on your front porch with a lukewarm tea and the Sunday paper just waiting around to die.
Craig and I have been pretty good about doing what we want to do now, but every now and then something will pop up and we’ll say
“We’ll do that when…”
Do it now
That the signal phrase that tells us to remember that the when will never come unless we do.
IF it is something we really want to do we have to do it NOW
We knew having another baby was not really the right time for us now, but we knew in reality there was never gong to be a right time.
Something would always pop up to make it not and so we said
“Well really there is no better time. No reason to wait”
The real truth to life, is there never is a perfect time and there never will be.
Things will always come along that will shatter your planned future. You might as well throw those plans out the window and say
“You know what. The perfect time is now. What am I waiting for? This is my life and I am dying every single minute I live it. I’m going to choose what I want to do now. The small details I see as barriers can be easily overcome and worked out. I am going to choose to live now, and I am going to keep on living until the moment when that last breath arrives.”
Because I don’t know when that will be. I’ll never know.
All I know now is that I am living, and living is all I want to do.
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28 thoughts on “Waiting around to Live and Waiting around to Die”
This is why I love interacting with the travel community. People seem to be on the go and doing what they love. No reason to wait!
No time for waiting, we all have too much we want to see 🙂
love the end bit: “the perfect time is now”. its always the perfect time, whether it is or it isnt!
like the new layout too by the way.
Thanks Jamie! The only time is now so it has to be perfect. 🙂
great post, you are so right, the easiest way to procrastinate on life is to set conditions that must happen first. “I’ll do that when” is so easy to hang all your dreams on and they usually just stay there.
I honestly got caught up in this myself and I’m still trying to shed the hold of complacency. It helps to be aware of it, it helps to read posts like this to spark the necessary motivation.
I like the phrase “Hang your dreams up on that and they usually just stay there” – Nice one! Complacency is a silent killer of our dreams. I’m happy to be the spark plug for you today. 🙂
A rather philosophical post with a totally correct message: live now, tomorrow you may be dead and your last conscious thought may well be: if I only had….
Exactly Inka. We never know when we are going to go. All these recent horrific natural disasters are a perfect indicator to that. Go and live your dreams before its too late.
I agree with your point: if you keep postponing things you will never accomplish them. What I can really relate to is your intro. I’m always torn about whether to leave NYC, because I love the excitement of living in a major city. It’s hard to tear yourself away 🙂
I think once you fall in love with the excitement of the city it is so hard to give it up. We’ve been livng in ciities for 9 years and now we are home and are bored beyond belief, even though we have beautiful beaches in walking distance. We can’t even get a coffee after 5pm!!
Totally agree with the message. A lot of peep live like they’re going to live forever… but we won’t.
Every day from the moment we are born we should be told that we are dying one day at a time, maybe then people may live more.
You guys are as right as always with this post. Sometimes I can’t even fall asleep at night because I keep thinking that life is ticking away and I begin questioning whether or not I am doing everything I want to be doing. Just the thought of sitting on that porch with lukewarm tea and counting regrets one by one motivates me to ensure that day never comes.
Congratulations on the changes to your site! Clean and bold, my kind of style as well 🙂
I’m the same way Earl. I enjoy sleep a little more now I am a mum, but I never used to want to sleep as I always had so much I wanted to do- it was such a waste of time. When we came back from our 5 year honeymoon I went into panic mode because I thought at age 30 now I wasn’t travelling my life was over and that porch was looking to close to me. Luckily I sorted my mid-life crisis out and realized my life was far from over and I still had lots of living to do.
Great post! Although, I could see myself retiring somewhere quiet and I wouldn’t feel like I’m waiting around to die. I’ve never enjoyed big cities too much. My idea of a good time is surfing twice a day and having a few beers and good food. Sounds simple, but sometimes simple is good. 🙂
This is a brilliant post, and so encouraging! At my vast age I can say that I’ve had times when I’ve gone for it, and others when I’ve put things off or put things away for a “rainy day” and the latter way is totally wrong! You find that you begin to stagnate and lose focus after a while. The times when I’ve gone for it “now” have been the good ones, whatever it was in my life, and scared or inexperienced or unprepared as I felt for whatever it was, those were the times which were the best and I remember now. The stuff I waited for, mostly, didn’t happen.
In recent years I’ve spent too much time even fretting and sulking about being stuck on an island, and not being able to travel for whatever reason, and that was time wasted too. Once I opened my eyes and mind to what was around me I began to discover things I never knew before. Being an island within easy reach of Europe with a fantastic climate a lot of people come here to retire, and do exactly what you describe! And….well, these are my peers…..and overall I can’t stand their company, but that’s a whole other story!
I agree with Christy that you don’t need to be in a city. I usually describe myself as a country girl who loves cities. In other words I want the best of both worlds! If you are doing something you love, surfing, hiking, diving, swimming, taking photos then you produce your own vibrations, although I’ve always found the energy produced by other people when you’re in a city is awesome too. What you have to feel is fulfilled. If you feel that there is something missing, then you need to find out what it is.
Congratulations on the impending second baby! How exciting. (You may have mentioned this elsewhere, Caz, but I think I missed it)
I hate waiting around too. I much prefer to be taking action than talking about things. I feel enormous regret for my mother’s “gunna” list, her list of things she was going to do when xxx. She’s now quite ill and it doesn’t look like she’s going to do very much anymore. I am so glad I gave her and dad a voucher for a hot air balloon ride for their wedding anniversary a few years ago. Ballooning across the Northern Territory was on her “gunna” list.
That’s great you could gift your mum something from her list. It’s sad that so many people waste thier life waiting when they should be just living
love this post and wish i’d learned this lesson sooner, but better late than too late! this is the time 🙂
It is never too late!
What a motivating and inspiring post. Believe it or not, I do get tired sometimes running off to meet my husband when he’s touring. Recently, he asked me to come to Hawaii. He’s there for seven days with Lauryn Hill but only has one show so it’s basically a free vacation. I was hesitant because I’ve been there before. Your post was one of the reasons why I decided to join him anyway. Life is too short to waste time and when you’re married and in love,there’s more at risk. Anything can happen at any time to either you or your mate. So I’m leaving Friday to join him in Honolulu:)
Wifey of a Roadie – Out!
That is so cool!!! I am so happy that the post inspired you to say yest to Hawaii. You will have such a great time. Good for you for just going for it. I am insanely jealous by the way.
Great advice! It’s easy to get caught up in life and set aside your dreams. This post is a nice reminder to go after them! 🙂 And I missed the baby announcement too! Congratulations! Yay!
Nice sentiments, couldn’t agree more – there’s rarely an excuse for putting off travel!
Kent and I are big believers in the power of now (our apologies to Ekhart Tolle). In fact, we have gotten so good at just “getting shit done” and tackling our goals that we actually have to move many things to our quarterly plan – that makes us sound like we run our lives like a corporation. Yikes. We have found that we can get so in the flow that we have to consciously put the breaks on or we don’t honor our accomplishments. Oh the struggles of a NVR life! Poor us. 🙂
The nicest thing about a pregnancy is the big surprise! Ooops that wasn’t supposed to happen, but hey, surprises are the best thing about life.
Enjoy those years when your kids are todlers, they pass so quickly. With 3 under 5 years old we bought an old caravan and took off whenever we could.
Our grown children often talk about those years.