Smelling the roses!
“Where has the day gone?” seems to be a popular mantra lately. Just replace the word “day” with “week” or “month” or “year” and one sees a snapshot of how most of us interact with our daily lives. We perceive of ourselves as working too hard with too much to do and have a language that reflects our sense of how so much of our days are spent in unwanted toil.
The classic example is the expression “hump day.” For the nine-to-five office workers that means Wednesday, an otherwise stalwart of elevator conversation as in “well at least it’s hump day.” This presumes a sort of misery in the world of work that carries over into the too tired, too grumpy, not enough time mindset of after-five, when one’s world seems to revolve around commuting, grocery shopping, making dinner, engaging with children at varying levels — and oh yeah, interacting with one’s significant other who is often in the same place.
I guess I’m on this theme because I find myself fighting the trend. I’m literally trying to smell roses when I find them — and if they’re not there, the memory of when they are in bloom. My favorite spot is about two blocks from my house. In the summer and well into the autumn they form a lovely banister of color as I make my way to Gleason’s on Saturday mornings. I’ll walk along past the Farmer’s Market and there they’ll be, dozens and dozens of pink roses with deep pink tinges in varying states of bloom, some tiny and forming, others full, and still more languidly open drawing in the last drops of sunshine till they fade and fall.
I bring all of this up because I feel that many of us forget that there is beauty in the little things. Perhaps even in the things one sees everyday: the way the light hits the array of plants in someone’s office window, a co-worker’s twinkle at regaling a story of her infant son’s smile, the triumph in someone’s eyes after completing 300 sit-ups.
All of these things are reminders that life is made up of moments: some are lovely and some are admittedly hard to grapple with or even sad, but still, they make up the textured interlacing of experiences that form our days. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that they are there even when we can’t see them. I for one am trying to live that way again.