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What Does It Mean to Stop and Smell the Roses?

What Does It Mean to Stop and Smell the Roses?

July 15, 2020

Although it is impossible to find exactly where the phrase first originated, the golfer Walter Hagen used to say “stop and smell the roses” and Mac Davis sang a song by the same title in 1974 with these important admonitions:

“Hey Mister

Where you going in such a hurry

Don’t you think it’s time you realized?

There’s a whole lot more to life than work and worry

The sweetest things in life are free

And there right before your eyes

You got to stop and smell the roses

You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday

You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road

If you don’t Stop and Smell the roses along the way”

As we slowly move into the summer months after being homebound during spring, it is the perfect time to not only count our blessings, but take time to acknowledge the value and meaning of the most important people and things in your life. According to science, nature is a common source of joy. Just the act of appreciating a dandelion or a rose may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than we know. 

Stopping to smell the roses is an act of appreciation and recognizing the source of the goodness in our lives. It means taking time to recognize the daily moments that bring us joy and really seeing what causes that emotion.  The difference in well-being, happiness, sense of elevation, and level of connectedness to other people, can be significantly higher for those who spend time noticing and savoring these moments of joy.

Once you have stopped and experienced the delight of something, expressing it to someone else grows the sentiment and spreads the joy. Recently, a woman shared bouquets of Lilacs with her neighbors. Very quickly, they took photos of the flowers and shared them on social media, spreading the pleasure to others.  Another neighbor dropped off a thank you note, grateful for the beautiful expression of generosity and beauty.  In this case, stopping to smell the Lilacs helped an entire community experience a moment of happiness and gratitude.

The expression “stop and smell the roses” is not just about flowers or nature, but an encouragement to live life with a deeper gratefulness for the world around us. It is a reminder to slow down and take notice of the people and events of the day, to be present in every moment, seeing beyond the ordinary and perceive the movement of God.  It means consciously directing your mind to be aware and attentive to the present moment to be able to experience and enjoy more of the world surrounding you. As Mac Davis wisely said:

“You got to Stop and Smell the roses

You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday

You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road

If you don’t Stop and Smell the roses along the way.”

CRISTA Senior Living offers Independent and Assisted Living in Shoreline and Silverdale.  The Shoreline campus also offers Memory Care and Rehabilitation. We can help you prepare for transitions. Email or call us today 206-546-7565.