Stop And Smell The Roses…

This weekend, my Godson came to visit us from Spain. He will be here for three weeks to study English with a few of his University classmates. We spend a lot of time talking and catching up and I eventually asked him if he was considering coming to live in the United States at some point. He proceeded to tell me that he would like to spend some time here but only to visit because he thinks that the quality of life is better in Europe. He also went on to say that Americans spend too much time and energy working and making money and never make enough time to really live and enjoy life.

His words actually made me think of the old anecdote, “working to live instead of living to work.” He is right, Europeans definitely make time in their schedules to enjoy themselves outside of work. We, on the other hand, spend too much time involved in the “rat race” and definitely don’t have as much time to relax and lay back as we should.

Today, as I was racing to work, as I do most weekday mornings, I thought and reflected upon our conversation quite a bit. How could we possibly make time in our busy schedules to relax more? How is it that Europeans always seem to find the time to contribute to their quality and quantity of life? I’m sure that they have financial obligations and concerns just like we do and yet, they still manage to include personal time within their list of priorities.

Maybe it is true that we, as Americans, definitely spend too much time rushing from one place to another. It’s almost as if we are obsessed with having instant gratification in every aspect of our lives. We want everything right now! Why else would we be sacrificing our mental and physical health by never stopping to “smell the roses?”

The thing that we don’t realize is that there is never an end to this perpetual race. We will never be able to see the finish line in this horizon. As a matter of fact, I bet most of us cannot even articulate why we are always in such a big rush to arrive, to receive, to see, to hear, to know, to take, and to feel. We rush so much through everything that we never truly savor the moment or the accomplishment. It’s as if we will even be too busy to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Perhaps it is time to just slow down a little bit and enjoy the scenery…Before we know it, the race will be over and we will be all out of breath, in more ways than one.

© 2009, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Very well said! I work daily with lots of Americans. The only point is that they work from US and I work from India. I have several friends in US. As you said, I used to ask them at times"Why are you guys so busy?". I guess the life style in US is totally different from India as well as other continents.

    People are always running to make money. Your post can be an inspiration to such people to halt and smell the rose.

    Nicely written and I liked it.


  2. very true. life here in Mumbai too is very busy. but then i think, it's not much about the place but about the choices we make. i know i can make a decent earning working on assignments from home, but still i end up traveling like hell every single day!

  3. Great post and great advice… now, just where did I put my roses? 🙂 Keep writing!

  4. There is a poem called 'The Station' that talks about this – stop counting the miles and enjoy the journey. You blogged it beautifully. I have just come back from the doctors – and yes some rose smelling may even have prevented the visit – thanks to your godson for making us all stop and think a little more!

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