What’s that cliché? Stop and smell the roses?
Earlier this week while brushing the snow off my car, a neighbor of mine, who is in his upper eighties, approached me and asked why I was in such a rush. Surprised, I didn’t really have an answer for him. I mean, isn’t everyone? Between school and work, it hardly seems there’s enough time to get anything done (and as a college student, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean). My neighbor, though, didn’t quite agree.
After some small talk, he surprised me again by saying, “What I’ve learned in life is that the more smiles you give, the more years you live,” and this resonated with me for two reasons: 1) this was coming from a man who rarely ever says more than “good morning” or “have a nice day,” and 2) I was so concerned with my day’s responsibilities that I hadn’t even stopped to smile at a man I’ve known for eleven years. And then the realization hit – we really do spend too much time worrying and not nearly enough time appreciating all the things that bring us joy. I mean, what’s that cliché? Stop and smell the roses?
With all that being said, I want to challenge everyone this week to really consider how much time you spend working and how little time you spend doing what you love – reading and writing for your own leisure. So I’ve come up with a list of a few fun, creative things to do that will hopefully appeal to you, and I encourage you to try at least one of them.
- Trade in your Moleskine notebook for a Smash Journal – Smash Journals are quite the trend lately, so if you haven’t heard of them, they’re basically a condensed, less aggravating version of a scrapbook. They still require all the messy materials, but they use up only half the amount of time and energy because you don’t have to worry about perfecting a layout. It’s just a journal that brings your ideas to life through creative vision.
- Reread a book that you love and annotate! – Sometimes there is nothing more relaxing than a good read, but if you’ve already read the book before, you can expect the experience to be much different, especially if you’ve annotated. I always recommend annotating because you can go back and review your marginal notes, paying attention to patterns. What surprised you? What intrigued you? Depressed you? By noticing these patterns, you’ll be surprised by how much you can learn about yourself and who you were at the time, or even how you’ve grown as an individual.
- Find a picture that speaks to you and write about it – Art is accessible just about anywhere, so find an image that really appeals to you and create literature out of it. You can write an ekphrastic poem, a character profile, or anything you wish. The point is just to write and free your mind.
So, there you have it! My three suggestions for you to “stop and smell the roses.” Enjoy!
— Melissa Carrington, Assistant Blog Editor