Stop and Smell the Roses

Much of our day to day lives consist of stress, responsibilities, and struggles. But our days are also filled with peace, beauty, and happiness as well. So why is it that one negative thing can completely ruin our day so easily, yet a positive thing doesn’t have too much of a long lasting effect on us?

When interviewing five Cape Henry students whether or not they thought they became sad or down on themselves often throughout a day, every single one of them said yes. Julia Beck goes into detail saying, “The littlest things will shut me down. Honestly just not feeling confident in my outfit will cause me to be insecure and quiet around people the whole day. Positive things definitely don’t affect me as drastically as negative things do.”

What I want kids and young adults to start doing is noticing the little things in life. Those little tiny happy moments that aren’t much, but are pure bliss. As cliche as it is, remember to stop and smell the roses. Don’t go so fast through life. Slow down. “I’m always thinking about the future. What will or will not happen. I stress myself out each and every day just because I’m focusing on stuff that hasn’t even happened yet,” says Cate Woodward.

You really don’t need to be in such a rush to figure everything out. Embrace the unknown. Let all that stress go and just see what happens.  Everything will happen with time, but for now, we all need to just slow down and take in all the memories, even the smallest ones. As Johanna de Silentio says, “Relax. You will become an adult. You will figure out your career. You will find someone who loves you. You have a whole lifetime; time takes time,”  We don’t need to think too much on the negatives and especially on things that haven’t even happened. Yes, life is stressful, but at the same time, it’s amazing. Let’s focus on the amazing parts a little more. Realize that lying on the floor barking to play with your dog can be an amazing moment. Craving a certain food to the point where your mouth is watering and then finally testing it, is so rewarding. Recognizing and appreciating these little moments of joy is important, guys.

When I asked Luke Olmsted what were some little things that when they happen, he loves, he responded smiling, “I love that moment when you just can’t stop laughing with your friends to the point where you are crying and about to pee your pants. Yeah, that is the best.”  Abe Porter said, “ I honestly just love when I have time to wake up in the morning and make myself a cup of tea and sit on the patio with my dog. I love that feeling.” Julia Beck added that she always appreciates and feels at peace “when my mom puts my comforter in the dryer while I’m in the shower in the winter, so that when I get out and get in bed, it’s all warm.”

All these little scenarios that these students mentioned, are such small things, yet they bring them moments of pure happiness. These are amazing life happenings that we don’t always realize. I totally get that we all have big struggles in our lives, but the positives significantly outweigh the negatives. There are too many things in life that are positive to rejoice about. Start focusing and noticing those more.

Here is an anonymous quote that perfectly exemplifies the earlier cliche and we will all be better off to remember:

“In school they teach you how to nourish a body, and they teach you how to nourish your mind. But they never teach you how to nourish your heart or your soul. They never teach you the importance of reading a book, taking a long bath, eating the whole block of chocolate, calling someone on the phone to tell them you miss them a lot, traveling, not working yourself into the ground, not crying over people who don’t matter, splurging on the nice dress, loving yourself.”