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Smelling Roses

25 Oct

One of the good things about turning fifty is the chance to join AARP and receive the bi-monthly AARP Magazine. On a trip to see my in-laws, I had time to rest, at different intervals during the day, and read the October/November addition. Now, I don’t know if the editor meant to have a theme running through the issue, but I caught something important as I read.

Actor, writer, comedian, Tim Allen was featured on the cover. “Engage in life as much as you can,” says Allen. “It takes energy. But if you don’t find your center point, you end up sorta drifting through life sideways.”

Actress and singer, Bette Midler, appeared in the What’s New section of the magazine. Under the title, What I Know Now, she says, “When you have had your head down doing something – even something you love, love, love – and you finally pick your head up and see the world around you, it’s just so beautiful. It’s just…oh, my God, I’m so glad I lived! That’s when you realize you need balance. I seek that now all the time.”

In my free time, I do have my head down, doing mostly things relating to writing. As most of you are, I am in love with words on a page.

I’ve often found that the days go so fast, even faster now that I’m growing older. Just lately, I found myself wondering if I’ll ever get the chance to just sit and be. And if so, will I be happy after being busy for so long?

This weekend, my husband and I are visiting his parents in two, side-by-side, adult foster homes. His mother has grown stronger than she was one year ago. It’s nice to sit and talk with her, fill her in on our busy lives. She sits and smiles as she listens, and listens well as she’s lost most of her eye sight. Still, I catch her looking up toward her son as she has for many years.

Unlike my mother-in-law, my father-in-law hasn’t improved since we last saw him. His Alzheimer’s has progressed, his memory has failed him, and he can only say a three word phrase (on a good day). My husband said, “I don’t know what to say, so I guess I’ll just spend some time with my arm around his shoulder.” It was beautiful to watch.

Back to my magazine, under the section, Ponder This, I found this tidbit of information: 18 is the number of minutes in an average day that Americans ages 45 through 64 spend just relaxing and thinking.

“You don’t want the end to come and you say, “I wish I’d loved more, I wish I’d smelled more roses,” Allen says. “You have to do that now.”

www.maryvine.com

 
16 Comments

Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Blogs, Boise, Family, Idaho, values

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

16 responses to “Smelling Roses

  1. Judith Keim

    October 25, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    Mary, a beautiful reminder to take the time to smell the roses I hurry by on busy days. Having moved to Boise recently I can’t stop looking up at the foothills around our home and taking a deep, admiring breath. It’s something but not long enough!

     
    • maryvine

      October 25, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      And did you see the beautiful clouds in the blue sky today? I know that Montana is supposed to be big sky country, but I think I’ve got a big sky here, too.

       
  2. Janis McCurry

    October 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    It never hurts to be reminded to slow down.

     
    • maryvine

      October 25, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Thanks, Janis. We need constant reminders, don’t we?

       
  3. Peggy Staggs

    October 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    I know I need to take more time to slow down…but it just isn’t in my DNA. But I do keep trying.

     
    • maryvine

      October 25, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      Thanks, Peggy. Maybe that’s what’s important-we need to keep trying.

       
  4. Corina Mallory

    October 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Lovely post. I’ve always said that my mental health deteriorates if I don’t have adequate staring-into-space time built into every day, and it’s true. I like being busy, but if I don’t have time to do, well, nothing, I get anxious and depressed. It’s important to know what you need to be happy, whether that’s time to sit and watch the snow fall, or constant distraction. We’re all built differently.

     
    • maryvine

      October 25, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Yep, we’re all different. I need some staring into space time, too. I think I can do that just fine🙂 But, it’s focusing on the moment and appreciating it that slips by me. Thanks, Corina.

       
  5. Stephanie Berget

    October 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    This brought tears to my eyes as we’ve been watching my mom of slowly losing her health. Taking time to smell the roses is important and often gets lost. Thanks for a reminder.

     
  6. maryvine

    October 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Awww, Stephanie. I learned some valuable things from my dad during his last years that helps me with understanding and communicating with my father-in-law – even though everyone is a little different in their aging process.

     
  7. Marsha R. West

    October 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    This is beautiful, Mary, and welcome to the world of AARP. I’ve certainly noticed time flying before my eyes as each year has seemed a shorter and shorter time between Christmas letters–yes, I’m one of those.:)

    It was a little over 9 years ago when my mother died at 87. I was 57. Ever since then I’ve become increasingly aware of the deminishing years I likely have ahead of me. Rather than feeling like I have time to smell the roses, I’ve become more driven. (Now, give me a good New England vacation, and I can get laid back enough for anyone. LOL)

    My kids were slow to give us grandkids, and I realize I probably won’t see them much past high school graduation. That makes me want to fill every moment with important, worthwhile experiences. Makes me question my time spent writing. Then I remember how grateful I was for all those books I read that gave me a happy every after when Mom was ill. So I know there’s value there, but still . . . Balance, as some of you mentioned is the key, but ah, it’s hard to find. Thanks for the reminder to try.

     
  8. maryvine

    October 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I identify so much with you, Marsha, and appreciate your comments here very much. With the passing of my last parent in May, I have become increasingly aware of the deminishing years, too. And I question my writing time, more now than ever. I have a husband with MS, too, and I now know that I won’t be the kind of writer that the big publishing houses will want, because I won’t try to crank the new books out. I’ve come to that conclusion and am fine with small publishing houses. Thanks again for your reflections!

     
  9. Patsy

    October 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I have to learn to relax. Between juggling writing, full time job, my family, housekeeping, I rarely have time just to “smell the roses.” As a card-carrying AARP member, I need to take the time.

     
  10. Clarissa Southwick

    October 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    It’s so easy for writers to get caught up in a story, a deadline, or a goal. The people around us really are all that matters. Thank you so much for a very timely reminder.

     
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