Stop and Smell the Roses

How often do you just stop? Entirely, I mean? I know for me it’s a very rare thing.

I realised this last weekend. The Husband took the kids out for a couple of hours. It’s not often I have time alone like this, and this was only because the dog’s getting over surgery and we didn’t want to leave him home on his own. Two hours. What could I do in two hours? I’d planned to write a couple of blog posts, naturally. But then a headache struck and sitting in front of a screen just wasn’t an option. I was frustrated. What a total waste of two hours. That was my overriding thought.

A waste. If I couldn’t be working, I was wasting time. So I set about a few jobs around the house, getting the washing in, a bit of ironing, cleaning the kitchen. At least I wasn’t wasting time, right?

I never stop in the day. Stopping is a waste. Stopping doesn’t get things done. Whether it’s doing things with the kids, blogging, housework, my to-do list, or even my ‘me-time’ such as reading or letter-writing, I have to be using my time for something. Of an evening, I do usually sit down and relax with the Husband, but I’m still not entirely stopping. An eye on social media, perhaps a book in hand, I don’t want to ‘waste time’.

There’s something wrong with that, I think. In fact, I’m sure of it.

I’m a mother, a wife and a home-owner, so there’s always something more that I can be doing here, especially when I’ve a two year old still at home with me full time. Then there’s being a blogger. A big problem with being a blogger is that you can never actually be finished. This isn’t to say that I’m moaning about it or lamenting the fact, it’s simply how it is. There is always something more that I could be doing, and if I’m just sitting about, it won’t get done, right?

So back to last Sunday, and do you know what I did? I ended up strolling round my little garden, checking out which flowers were blooming and smelling the roses. Yes, I quite literally stopped and smelled the roses.

It felt good.

It’s been a tough week or so here. I’m emotionally and physically drained. I’m starting to run on empty. It’s been really hard to keep going. I need to stop every once in a while.

I need to stop and smell the roses.

Just take that moment to be grateful for what I have here. I can then see things more clearly and I can appreciate what’s happening around me so much more. My perspective shifts. It’s not all about that moment and getting things done, it gives me a second to actually reflect, to think, to be. It calms me. It actually makes me more effective in the long term, too, as priorities crystallise and then as is always the case with my mind, I move to mentally organising what needs to happen to get there. All of this, just by stopping. And this is as well as the moment where I simply breathed in my favourite flowers and enjoyed them.

I felt better afterwards. Things appeared to be better afterwards.

Lesson learned. I need to stop every once in a while, step off the hamster wheel, and to stop feeling guilt over doing so.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Do you ever stop?

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14 thoughts on “Stop and Smell the Roses”

  1. Ah, you’ve captured perfectly one of the fundamental differences between my wife’s and my approaches to life. She is never happy unless she is doing something – if she sits down and relaxes for 10 minutes she feels she is being lazy. Conversely, I tend to work in furious bursts of activity and frequently stop to just relax and recharge for a few minutes before pressing on again. I’m not sure one is necessarily better than the other – in reality, I think we probably need to be able to work in both modes at times. But I definitely agree there is value in pausing for a moment just occasionally. Often I find it is in those quiet, reflective moments that my best ideas hit me – it’s often just a case of stopping for long enough for them to make the leap from my subconscious into my conscious mind,

    1. I just really struggle to get over the idea that I’m ‘wasting time’, if I stop. There are so many things that I could be doing, and I like getting things done. But of course, as you say, there’s a real value in stopping.

  2. This is why I love my yoga and meditation so much (not to mention my reiki). I’ve got to the point where if I don’t slip in a 10 minute yoga session in the morning, I really notice the difference. I get up half hour early in the week, pop my yoga mat down and have a good stretch. In the evening, I do at least 5 minutes of reiki self-treatment which incorporates a meditation. I’ve been doing this for around a month now I suppose and really miss it at the weekends (when our little bear scrambles into our bed of a morning) when I let it go!

  3. Hi Jocelyn, life is too short not to stop, every now and again to smell the roses. I often take myself away, just to appreciate the things around me (there’s probably a tiny bit of procrastination going on too), but I do genuinely enjoy observing things, it may be listening to the birds chirping, watching the way the clouds move or the markings on a bug. It’s my way of stepping away from the world. I never consider it a waste of time….Now housework….That’s one thing I do consider to be a total waste of time, but it’s something that has to be done.

    I hope you continue to take a little time to stop and smell the roses, the more you do it, the ore you’ll want to.


  4. Yes, making time to stop and re-charge, if only for a couple of hours, is essential. We all deserve time for ourselves, but it is hard sometimes when there feels like so much going on. I rarely relax too, and I’m learning how important it is, otherwise you do end up running on empty and that’s when problems can happen. I hope you find a little more time for you, especially once Little Man starts nursery (which I hope his settling sessions have gone Ok for by the way.) xx

  5. I know this feeling all too well. Occasionally I have moments where I’m caught up or slightly ahead with blogging, the house is tidy and I seem to feel the need to find more housework or to dos rather than sit back and read or listen to music and just be. More moments like this needed xx

    1. Definitely. There’s just always something to do, but I’m starting to accept that they can wait x

  6. Unless I’m asleep I can’t just stop. Even when a dizzy migraine strikes I find myself writing lists of what I want to do when I feel better! I get itchy feet and fidget fingers from my dad 🙂

    You’re so right about blogging never being done too. You can have the whole week’s posts scheduled but there’s still old posts to check for broken links and missing photos!

    Never get bored though eh? 🙂

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