That old saying “stop and smell the roses” could be updated for the road warriors among us to “stop and look at the incredible aerial views”. Recently, I was on a flight that included the dreaded holding pattern and circling.
The destination airport was closed due to heavy fog. But out my window was a beautiful sight. Light, fluffy clouds and green forests dotted with little towns as far as I could see.
I had been doing my usual on a business trip…..catching up on email and work reading. I prefer aisle seats but this flight I ended up in a window seat. So with a great view, why not “stop and smell the roses” a bit. Or call it being mindful as many of us are now trying to be more often– fully aware and in the present moment.
The pace we go is faster and more intense than we may like. Weekends are filled with commitments, errands, and more work. I think “what would it have been like to live the slower or simpler life of my grandparents,” but then I’m quickly back to reality. I do appreciate the many advances we take for granted.
We’re in constant motion. My husband is retired; he says he tries to spend at least 5-10 minutes each summer day sitting on our patio doing nothing, absolutely nothing. He calls it, “getting his Wendell Berry on.” We are fortunate to live on a wooded lot; in the summer it’s our own little state park. His goal is to do absolutely nothing, and it’s hard to squeeze it in. Even retirees are constantly on the go with too many projects.
Leaders say they don’t have time to think. It’s one meeting after another, one email after another. Carving out time to look ahead, plan, strategize and think is something we all need to do. Creating routines that include think time, reading, reflection, relaxing and taking care of ourselves is necessary.
When I started blogging a year ago, I wanted to share experiences and lessons with more people. With my 30+ years in health IT management, I saw it as one more way to give back. The weekly routine of writing has also become a reflective discipline. Taking time to pull lessons from events and experiences before they are too far in the rearview mirror and forgotten.
Summer is half over. Have you taken a break? Have you gone off the grid for at least a few days? Have you spent quality time with those people that Stephen Covey would call your “big rocks”? Have you taken time to think big thoughts, to read something new and interesting, to learn something new, and to rejuvenate?
Are there some roses, however you define them, that you need to stop and smell?