Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stop and Smell the Roses

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” - Kurt Vonnegut

Rose photo credit: morguefile.com/creative/imagina
There are days when it takes us a little longer to get going in the morning. As a result, we end up rushing through breakfast and briskly walking up the hill towards my daughter’s school.  I don’t like rushing.  It stresses me out and prevents me from enjoying life and my family.  

The thing is I’m always moving.  Part of that has to do with the fact that I have two active kids, an even more active border collie, a tripod dog that has an affinity for eating paper, and a cat that will jump up and grab your sandwich if you leave it unattended.  Yet, part of it is me and the pressing feeling that something always needs to be done.  

There’s a spot on the floor that keeps staring at me.  
I have a deadline for an article.
I need to pull those weeds on my lawn.  
S’s reading log needs to be tallied and signed. 

Pretty soon, I've allowed my “to do” list to drive me crazy, to the point where I have trouble sitting down to watch the entire length of a movie.  I’m constantly making a mental “To Do” list and it’s never-ending.

Yet, lately, I’ve been trying to slow things down and take time to “stop and smell the roses.” This might mean stopping to watch the sun slowly slide down the sky or eat potato soup that has gently simmered to perfection.  And, when my daughter talks, I try to really look at her wide brown eyes, listen, and enjoy her candor.  And, when my toddler says he wants a hug, I stop what I’m doing and give him one.  As he wraps his arms around me and rests his head on my shoulder, for a little while, time seems to stop.  I nestle my nose in his hair, take in his sweet scent, and just enjoy the moment.

It's those small snippets of life, the ones that make our hearts skip a beat, that we need to stop and enjoy.  One of my favorite moments is watching my kids playing together in the backyard; I like to watch them invent games, splash in our "pool," and listen to their effervescent laughter rise upward like bubbles.  I wish I could put it in a bottle and save it forever.
I love English Roses. Their double blooms are breathtaking. We have several varieties in our yard. I’ve had them for so long that sometimes I forget to admire their beauty. Yet, my children haven't. They like to pick them and smell their sweet fragrance. It's actions like these that help remind me to embrace life to the fullest and appreciate all the small things! To do this, I need to slow down and take it all in.

Life can be hectic! How do you make time to appreciate the small things?