Stop and smell the roses

While the origin of this saying is unknown we all know what it generally means. Specifically? Not so much. We are busy people keeping up and forging ahead. It seems like there’s little or no time in each day to slow down. Technology, while a convenience maker, is the stealer of time. Everything works faster and better, and so do we. That should give us more time, right? Well no, it doesn’t seem to.

What does “stop and smell the roses” mean to you? Have you ever been out on a walk and actually stopped to smell the roses? I have, and I have to admit I feel a little silly. I imagine the owner of the house where the rose bushes grow sipping his morning coffee and looking out the window at a stranger with her nose buried in an American Beauty. What must he be thinking? Ahhh, another rose aficionado, or what a weirdo playing out an old cliché. I have yet to look up from enjoying a newly bloomed rose to see someone peering out at me, but I can’t help think that I am trespassing in some silly way.

If “stop and smell the roses” is meant as a reminder to slow down and enjoy the beauty of life, it is too general a term to have deep meaning for any of us who are traveling at lightning speed through this life. What does that saying mean, exactly? Do you have your own, specific way to slow down and enjoy the beauty of life? If not, maybe a few minutes defining this for yourself might be helpful in participating in the act of slowing down. Here are some ideas:

  • Break out a sketchpad or coloring book and use colorful gel pens to doodle in a daydream.
  • Learn to knit washcloths. This may sound silly, but wait until you start giving them away. The receivers will react with joy.
  • Put on your very favorite song and dance to the music. You may find yourself pushing repeat several times. I sure do.
  • Take up gardening. Few things get you closer to appreciating nature than interacting with its very essence.
  • Try your hand at paper sketching. Buy a pair of Fiskars Micro-Tip scissors, a glue stick and a pack of colored paper at Michaels (use the 40% off coupon!). This is my favorite way to slow down. See my Instagram feed for ideas.

There are myriad ways to slow down, each as unique as our own selves. What’s most important is that we participate in this human privilege to appreciate the earth that lives and grows around us.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Sarah Spencer of 26 Letters Graphic Recording Studio transforms the spoken word into vibrant, visual communication that engages audiences and makes the information easier to understand. Sarah enjoys all creative endeavors including drawing, writing and discovering new things in the world. See more of her graphic recording on the home page.