Stop and smell the roses

As the summer season winds down and fall is quickly approaching, I find myself a bit melancholy. I think perhaps this is due to the realization that summer is nearly gone and it felt like a blur. This fact resonating as regret that I really didn’t stop and smell the roses (both literally and figuratively!).

It was a good reminder for me of how we often allow the tasks, chores, duties and responsibilities of daily life rob us of the joy and fun of being alive. We all would like to have more leisure time, relaxation and fun. But are we working so hard today in hopes of reaping these things at some unspecified date in the future? A future that isn’t promised to any of us. We really only have now. The realization settled on me like a heavy wet blanket. This summer I had intentions of relaxing more in the garden, taking leisurely walks with no agenda or going on an impromptu trip up north. But the fact is that I never really got around to it.

The lesson for me as I reflect on my choices, is that I see many instances where I could’ve chose tending to my inner-state over completing something on my to-do list. Reminiscent of the old saying that on your death bed you are not going to wish you had worked longer hours and dusted the house one more time.

Given the fragility of life, it made me ponder how much of it can so easily be squandered. If we only had a few months to live how many things that seem so paramount would immediately be obsolete? What bucket-list items we had been putting off would suddenly become a top priority? It is so easy in this busy world to succumb to this reality and fall prey to the rat race of life. So, I am going to challenge myself to stay conscious and awake to the ways I suppress my urge for joy and fun in service of my ego’s need to get stuff done and complete tasks. Clearly life is a balancing act of both and my goal is to gently remind myself to stop and smell the roses.