SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE
I’ve been so on the go lately, every day booked to the minute, that when it’s time to start thinking about the next blog post I think “OMG what am I going to write about?” Then something happens in my life that triggers a rant, and I go from 0 to 1,000 words prepared LOL. Silly things are triggers for me; songs I hear on the radio, conversations with friends or family, obviously… life experiences, and in Sunday’s case, a simple rose. I was sitting on the lawn, look over to the right, and there was a beautiful, HUGE, single red rose emerging from a plain green bush. Of course, the same cliché saying to ‘stop and smell the flowers’ pops into mind, but this rose was so beautiful I had to stop what I was doing to snap a photo. I had jot down a few words on my recent Instagram post, but I wanted to expand on my thoughts.
When I got home that evening, I started editing the photo (no blemishes for Instagram… oy) and I began to think deeper about what it really means to take time to ‘stop and smell the flowers.’ This day in age, we are a society of ever moving work horses that have sacrificed tradition and traded in personal time for the dollar. My personal experience with this, being of an Italian descent, every Sunday our immediate family would get together for an early dinner. Typically themed around a sauce dish. This is the beautiful memory I have from birth to around 20 years ago. Now, I’m lucky if I see my immediate family (not including my mother) once a month. Family members are arguing, holding grudges and not making up, and birthdays seem to be more of a burden to celebrate. How did life get like this? Are we so wrapped up in our own lives that the excuse “sorry, I’m busy” is so widely accepted? Are we really SO BUSY that we can’t sacrifice one evening to cut cake and enjoy each other’s company on someone’s birthday? Should that even be considered a sacrifice??
All of these thoughts float around in my head and I feel a weight of sadness, because I really don’t know how we got here. I know our family isn’t the only family experiencing this. My personal belief is that our society has strapped the middle and lower classes so tightly -cost of goods rising, and no salary to match the inflation- that we put the opportunity to work extra hours for those few extra dollars in front of leisure time with no hesitation. We settle for the generous [insert eye roll here] two week vacations annually granted by our employers. We work more than one sometimes two jobs. Our moods have become frustrated rather than content or relaxed because we have less time to breathe. Everything about our society is fast-paced; every industry is in the “now” business. I don’t have an answer for fixing this, but I hope bringing light to this realization will wake some more people up. Wake people up in a sense of reminding you to slow down just for a minute, and consider what in life is important to you? If it’s money and you’re ok with the sacrifices/consequences, keep doing what you’re doing. But if it’s not, take the time to find how you can make a change.
Me, I made the decision to go out of my way to make sure I am happy. If something or someone doesn’t make me warm and fuzzy, I cut it/them out. I go out of my way to maintain my end of relationships that are special and valuable to me. I make sure I have enough money to survive and then some, but past that, I don’t put money first. I was always the type that if I had so much money one day that I didn’t know what to do with it, I would never sleep soundly knowing there’s someone going hungry or sleeping on the street. I’d probably end up donating the extra anyway. So why work towards the Scrooge McDuck status of being surrounded by so much gold I can swim in it? I believe in having enough to enjoy life to YOUR standards, and beyond that, put things first that matter to you.
SLOW DOWN. We love to distract ourselves from what bothers us inside by keeping busy. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and breathe. Meditate. Give yourself 5 MINUTES to forget about your to-do list. Bring your attention inward, learn what your soul craves, and then proceed with your day. You’ll be surprised how many answers you already have within you. Some of us still don’t know what we want to be when we grow up. I only figured it out within the past year. Your time is never up; age has nothing to do with anything. If we don’t slow down to appreciate the small things in life, how will we look back on our short time on this earth will either bring us joy or make us regretful. We can’t go back in time, only forward. Don’t let your past determine how you react to situations from here on out. BE the change in your life.
Stop to smell that flower, stop to do a little twirl when you hear a song you like, call your parents or sibling, pull over for a bite when you pass the café you’ve always wanted to try, and go on that trip!!
Take time for yourself and people that matter to you, and do what makes you happy.