What Are You Waiting For? It’s Time to Start Living

A nice lady that used to report to me in a previous job has cancer. I found out the hard way: through Facebook. Now cancer might sound harsh, but this is her second battle with it.

Her story resonates with me because I had a near-miss with cancer in 2015.

It’s this health scare that makes her, and me, both have this “I don’t give a flying F**K” attitude which I call living.

Then this year a health crisis swept the world. The friendly father I sit next to at work got the virus and nearly died from it — so did his wife. Any of us could be taken out by the same mystery virus.

So my question to you is this: What are you waiting for? Do you really need your own life-threatening health scare to finally start living?

The days at home can bleed into one

When you’re spending more time at home to escape the streets of madness and the invisible virus circling your neighborhood, the days can bleed into one. This weekend is a long weekend in my hometown. You can hardly notice it.

When the days start to bleed into one, you’re not living. You’re surviving.
The days are not supposed to pass you by like this — you’re wasting your days if they all feel the same.

Your job can get you down

There are many people I speak to who are working longer hours from home. There are fewer people to do the work because of cost-cutting so those who survive the redundancy fate consider themselves lucky and burn themselves out by working to stay in their job.

For the first few weeks, it’s fun. It’s a change. But after three months of it, it starts to feel like the new normal and get you down. You kiss your free time away where you could read a book or take an overseas holiday.

Work is supposed to be enjoyable until a recession hits. Then, things can change.

You place your wildest dreams on hold

You have that crazy dream of being a writer, or traveling, or doing standup comedy, or reading the entire Harry Potter series back to back, or starting a business for fun, not money.

Then you place these wild dreams on hold. You figure you’ll get to them when you can — or when the world returns to normal. Then you realize this is the new normal.

It’s okay if you’ve had enough

In fact, it’s the missing element. Feeling like you’ve had enough is the point where, finally, you might decide to start living. I want you to have had enough because then you’ll break the pattern of this situation.

It’s okay to have enough. You can ask the world for more and then work hard to get it.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

My only hope is that you don’t wait until it’s too late. Your life is so much shorter than your mind tells you it is.

Many people wait until they have a life or death experience until they finally start living again. Many of those people don’t survive that life or death experience but at least they get to experience the beauty of truly living. I stupidly wasted all of my younger years existing in a mental form of torture that I created for myself. Please, please, please don’t let that be you.

What Living Looks Like

About six years ago I finally started to live again. It was the best decision of my life outside of owning a puppy.

The drastic change looked like this:

  • Show the critics your awesomeness by succeeding
  • Experiment with your creativity (mine was writing)
  • Set up a website and sell yourself and your skills
  • Diversify your income away from being reliant on one source
  • Stop letting your life be dominated by debt
  • Stopping letting your possessions own you
  • Find one way to be less selfish and help others in the process
  • Tell those people you care about that you love them — even if they wronged you or you’re mad at them for something that happened a lifetime ago. FORGIVE THEM.
  • Post on social media without the fear of judgment (if you die tomorrow, no one is going to remember your TikTok videos in a year).

That’s what living looked like for me. I spent years being mad at people I loved. I collected possessions until my home was so full of junk it looked like a garbage dump. I avoided starting an online business because I thought it would be a failure. I was petrified of writing on social media and being judged by my work colleagues. I hid my health issues and placed band-aids in the form of addictive habits over the top of them.

“Well, not anymore,” I said to myself during my reinvention.

There is no time to waste

Get to it. The best way to describe this way of living is like this: pretend you know you’re going to die in 48-hours.

What would you do that you’ve never done before? Now make your list and go do that. You’re not getting younger and that list is going to feel better today than it will in thirty years when you’re rocking the last part of your life away in a rocking chair at the nursing home of death.

To my former colleague who has cancer for the second time, I love you. You are an inspiration and you bring smiles to all of our faces. Whatever time you have left, you will continue to be admired for your strength, courage, and the way you make us feel.

We wait our entire lives to start living. We’re perpetually waiting for a catalyst when we could be the catalyst right now for the life we want. You can and must start living today!

This article was written by Tim Denning and originally appeared on Medium.com. View the original article here.

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