My uncle had his leg amputated a few months due to gangrene in his foot as a result of diabetes. At the age of 73 he is also facing living out the rest of his life in an old age home. It is strange seeing a man who once could not be kept in one place for long, always on the go, always living life to the full, now becoming old and frail with reduced mobility.
I took him to visit my parents in Hermanus (approximately 1 hour's drive from Cape Town) over the Easter weekend. As I watched him slowly maneuvering his wheelchair around the house, it almost seemed unreal. Life really has moved on. Parents, uncles and aunts have grown older, some have died. Grandparents have passed away. Well, except for my one grandmother who celebrated her 100th birthday! Yes, 100 years! Longevity is in my genes - I am not sure that's a good thing! I have also become older - 10 months away from 40. That's crazy.
Time waits for no man. Time just does what time does - it passes. One minute to the next, one hour, one day, one week, one year, and before you know it your life is over. Gone, finished, done.
Given that life is short and over way too quickly, are we living every day to the fullest? Are we making choices every day that brings us closer to our purpose for being on this earth? Have we even discovered what that purpose is? Or are we mindlessly just surviving every day, wishing the hours and the days away because we really are not enjoying what we are doing. I experience this almost EVERY day at work. People count down the hours to the end of the day, they count down the days until Friday and the weekend. Everyone is just suffering through every day, every week, living for 2 days at the end of the week which, when Monday comes, and you ask them how their weekend was, they roll their eyes in exasperation and say "Way too short!". So another week begins that they count down to the next weekend. What an incredibly sad, depressing way to live. What a huge waste of time and of a life, because all these people are, without realising it, busy counting down the days to their retirement and eventual death and right now, in the present, they are living unfulfilling lives and wasting precious time suffering through dead-end jobs.
Yes, I too was one of those people. Unhappy, unfulfilled, miserable, going through the motions. Why? To pay the bills, because I had to support myself. I was stuck. I couldn't see a way out of this, what I call, the Slavery System. Like a hamster on a wheel running and getting nowhere - just more of the same.
I cannot tell you how many times in the midst of a horrible day at work, I'd sit at my desk in utter misery, muttering under my breathe, "Is this really it? Was I really put on this earth for this? Am I really meant to live a life being THIS unhappy?" I kept having this nagging thought come back to me, over and over again, "There's got to be another way. There's got to be a better way. This can't be what life is supposed to be about."
I acknowledge that we have rent to pay, food to put on the table, children to look after. I am a single woman, and while I don't have the extra responsibilities of kids, I still have bills to pay and rent due every month. I also acknowledge that chucking up a job to go 'find a better way' is definitely easier for someone without a family. I can get by on as little as possible. I don't have anyone else to worry about, to feed, to clothe, etc. Monthly expenses for a family is much higher than monthly expenses for a single person.
I do, however, feel that those with families and kids can still do this. It just takes more planning and more saving of money. You will need a lumpsum of savings to fall back on during the time you are either trying to start a business or getting started in a new career.
Since this newfound enlightenment of mine, I feel like I need to scream it out to the whole world! I wish everyone could WAKE UP! Yes, wake up! Because for too long the whole world has been fast asleep at the wheel of their lives! I see so many other unhappy people suffering through mind-numbing jobs, and I wish they could see the light. There is another way - there are plenty of people out there who found it. It is the path less travelled, but everyone who has embarked on that path has not regretted it. Do we not owe it to ourselves to find it? Do we not deserve to live an exciting life? Does the world not need our talents and gifts?
I am still on my way to this new life. Along the way, I've found some inspiration reading other people's experiences. Below are some blogs I've found helpful. Do a google search and you'll find hundreds of website and blogs of people who took a leap of faith.
- http://www.illuminatedmind.net/blog/ - tips on quitting your job and working on your own terms.
- http://joelrunyon.com/two3/about-joel - this guy's cool - I want to be like him! :)
- http://www.productiveflourishing.com/about/ - trying to start a business, go have a read through this blog.
- http://theboldlife.com/ - if the thought of taking that leap scares the living daylights out of you (and it will!) - Tess Marshall will help you face and overcome those fears.
If any of the above resonates with you. If you've been sitting there for a while with the nagging thought that you need to get out of a rut, quit your job, start a business, go travel the world for a few months, change direction or just need to time to 'find yourself', then landing on this page and reading this is YOUR sign. Stop ignoring your intuition - the quiet voice that whispers to us that something just isn't right, the uncomfortable discontent - these are all signs that you need to make a change in your life.
GET UP AND DO IT!
Don't waste any more time. Life is too short.
Don't waste any more time. Life is too short.