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Potentially Problematic: Stop and find the roses


I don’t like the smell of flowers. It’s hard to imagine that something so beautiful and pristine has any kind of flaws. But whenever I see people pick a flower from a garden or be handed a bouquet and the first thing they think to do is inhale its perfume, I find myself trying not to gag.

This may have been a premonition as to why I have a hard time when people tell me to “stop and smell the roses.” It’s what made me want to speed through life, never stopping, keeping myself busy for every minute. After all, if I didn’t want to smell the roses, why should I stop in the first place?

Having hours of work with my own new responsibilities and commitments, both to myself and others, has become something that I can not only count on having each day, but something I’ve grown to rely on. I find myself saying, “I have to do more. I’m not doing enough.” All the while, I exhaust myself, take on things that I know I can’t do, and miss out on the things and people in my life that actually matter.

“It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

Maybe I’m searching for a distraction from the things that don’t make me feel so happy in my life. Maybe I’ve realized that the times I do stop are the only times I let all of the built up stress catch up with me. Maybe I honestly just hate roses. Whatever the reason, it grows continuously harder to get myself to slow down.

But it’s in those times, in those few deep inhales, that life seems to come into perspective. It’s not about what the roses smell like; it’s about how lucky you are to have something so beautiful in your life.

“Slow down and enjoy life,” comedian Eddie Cantor said. “It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

You don’t and stop smell the roses because you like the smell; you stop to smell them because it’s the only thing that will remind you to take a deep breath. It’s finding the roses, finding your roses, that really counts.

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