Too often I find myself seemingly wishing my life away. Maybe I’m not really wishing it away but I do tend to look forward to things I have coming up instead of enjoying living in the moment. I always comment on how quickly time seems to be marching on when, really, I have created the staccato drum beat that I am marching to and have quickened my own pace.
Years ago, my parents used to listen to a jazz singer by the name of Cleo Laine. Although countless hours were spent listening to her sultry songs and three octave range, the only song that I can remember with total clarity is her rendition of “Stop and smell the roses”. Even now, I can hear the song in the recesses of my memory as the words hover in a balloon above my head. “The sweetest flowers grow, and then they bloom, but one day they die.” I need to have that song playing on a recurring track in my head so I can realize the moments that I may be potentially throwing away, the moments that I can never get back, the moments that I missed because I was too focused on what was coming next, the moments that the roses were in bloom.
I wake up every day – I have a few cups of coffee – I go to work – I am living. But how much living am I really doing in my life? Am I taking the time to appreciate the things around me or am I merely going through the motions with blinders shielding my eyes and completely negating the real things in life that are happening right in front of me?
It’s time to slow down, to take life as it comes and not wish myself into the rapidly approaching future. It will be here before I least expect it and all of those moments that I could potentially have been creating memories will have vanished. It’s not often that I buy myself fresh flowers, but yesterday I purchased a bouquet of flowers in anticipation of the post that I would create. Those flowers are now displayed on the island in my kitchen and each time I pass by that vase of floral poetry, I pause and take a moment to put my nose deep into those blossoms and breathe deeply.
As I sat in my living room last night, laptop at my fingertips, dog asleep at my feet, I gazed across my still snow-covered lawn at the beautiful sunset. The mottled pink clouds scattered across an otherwise clear sky and reminded me to pause and absorb the beauty of the moment. Soon, that rose-colored sky would disappear and the true night sky would be speckled with a spectacular display of stars. With a glass of wine in hand and a blanket caressing my shoulders, I took refuge in the warmth of my living room and took the time to enjoy the end of my day.
All too often those moments fade quickly and we are left reflecting on the beauty and emotion of what was, when we should embrace that beauty and those emotions as they occur. Live in the now. Stop and put your nose deeply into the petals of those roses and inhale the fragrance. All too soon, those precious stems will be bare and we will be left with nothing but a memory of a flower that we once had the chance to enjoy.
I don’t think it is WE that can slow down, times moves faster and faster and as life wooshes past there is seemingly nothing that will put the brakes on. That is my theory anyway.
I have difficulty living in the moment, too. I, too, am always looking to the future.
But looking to the future with eagerness is nothing to sneeze at, my friend. I know quite a few people who do little more than look backward, wishing their past was their present. A more unhappy group of people you’ll never find.
That’s a very good point, Mike. Thanks for that. 🙂
I’ll admit, Susan, I’m guilty of going through the motions, especially when it comes to getting up and going to work each day. I’m working on it though. 🙂
Mike makes a great point. People who focus on the past and what used to be, typically aren’t happy people.
“I have created the staccato drum beat that I am marching to…” It’s such a bright comparison. Yes, we all walk to our own beat. And if the beat doesn’t match the way we feel, it’s just another example of cacophony.
I remember Cleo Laine; I never knew there was such a thing as Skat until then! One of the things I’ve kept is a vase which was given to my parents as a wedding present. It’s a simple green glass. I keep it on the kitchen table and it’s regularly filled with flowers. I like the indulgence. For Easter I filled the vase with daffodils.