• Susan L.

Remember to stop and smell the roses!

Very recently I was reminded again that life can pass us by when we're not looking. The old cliché that says life is too short, suddenly comes to mind. A close family member who was young, active, and otherwise healthy, was suddenly faced with a life-threatening illness. We all prayed as a family, and by the grace of God we were blessed with a miracle.

We live in an era in which society tells us we need more, more, more, in order to keep up with the Jones. Seeing our friends post on social media can sometimes feel daunting, and it's easy to feel like we somehow fall short when we compare our lives to their seemingly perfect ones.

Almost twenty years ago, I was in a very serious car accident that left me unable to walk for nearly six months. I suffered internal injuries which included a broken pelvis. At the time I was a busy wife and mother, with two young children and a full-time job. I was constantly on the go, driving the kids to after school activities, working long hours, and rushing home to get dinner on the table. All of a sudden, it all came to a screeching halt. Life seemed brutally unfair as I was forced to rest and stop all activity.

Once I returned home from the hospital, my mobility was very limited and getting around was nearly impossible. I had to find other things to occupy my time. Friends and family brought books, magazines and puzzles, and I soon discovered that I loved to pass the time coloring in color books with my children.

I recalled my passion for reading as a child, and I honestly couldn't remember the last time I held a book in my hands! I was thoroughly starting to enjoy this slower pace, and was grateful for the time I had to myself and with my family. One day I realized, that doing all the things I once loved had somehow fallen by the wayside as the demands of my life took over.

As the months flew by, I began to heal and soon I was back on my feet again. As I tried to pick up where I left off, I realized that somewhere through this experience I had allowed myself to slow down and relax when I needed to. This was a wonderful gift I had given myself, and one I hoped that I wouldn't soon forget.

In this crazy shake-a-leg world where we are compelled to be overly driven in order to feel successful or productive, I really have to ask, "is it really worth it?" Do we really gain that much more by working over-time or saying yes, to every single request; even when we feel that we should really be saying no?

I believe that sometimes the Universe steps in and gives us little reminders, or in my case, a loud wakeup call, to slow down and remember the important things in life. Learning to be mindful can be healing; both physically and mentally.

Our world is filled with so many uncertainties, and there are no guarantees that we will even see tomorrow. So please remember to appreciate everything life has to offer. Take care of yourself, and do the things that make you happy. Remember to stop and smell the roses!

Have a blessed week!