When I looked at the calendar this morning, I was taken aback. Although I check the date frequently, I could not believe it was nearing the end of October.
It made me wonder. . .
Where has the time gone?
It seems like the older I get the faster time goes by. Every day, week, month or season, I create a laundry list of ideas of excursions, accomplishments, and activities; however, in a blink the time has passed and things that I thought would happen are just thoughts on a piece of paper.
We have been conditioned to think that life is all about accomplishing everything that we can within a certain time frame, and if we can't then we are not successful. But I disagree.
A snail is happy being a snail. He is capable of covering just a single mile in a 24 hour span of time, yet he experiences so much. The slow pace of his travels affords him the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life - hear the slow breathing of a squirrel, feel the flutter of a butterflies wings, and take in the sweet citrus smell of the roses in the garden.
In that same 24 hour period, we as humans, may have gone on an adventure, but more than likely, we would have just gone about our day to day tasks. Done our commute and spent the day at work. Planned, cooked and cleaned up from meals. Helped with homework, or worked from home, fitting in a load of laundry or two in the day. Taken in the news and gone to bed exhausted, maybe frustrated over the days happenings or anxious about what would be waiting for us in the morning that we did not accomplish today. Then we would wake up before the sun broke the horizon to start over.
No matter the weather, no matter the time of year, no matter if its day or night, the snail is out and about, plodding along, enjoying everything that we rush by blindly as we hurry off on our mission to succeed.
Maybe the snail has it right. If we slow down, we may not be able to hear the breathing of a squirrel, or feel a butterflies wings, but will be able to make better decisions, connect more deeply with people, and have more meaningful experiences. We will make life worth living and make it easier for us to handle those times when we cannot take it as slowly.
Not sure how to slow down? I got you! Here are 20 ways to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, the sunflowers:
Go apple picking
Visit a pumpkin patch
Make chili and snuggle under a blanket with a good movie
Enjoy Saturday morning cider and donuts
Get spooked at a haunted house
Get lost in corn maze
Go on a hayride
Attend a fall festival
Bob for apples
Take a scenic drive to see the fall foliage
Take in a local football game
Make caramel apples
Indulge in anything pumpkin spice
Gather friends around a backyard bonfire
Make a Halloween costume
Take a moonlight stroll and take in the crisp air
Tour a winery
Take a scenic train ride
And my personal favorite - Shuffle your feet through in a huge pile of leaves!
So take the advice of our gastropod friends and slow down, put on a scarf go run though a heaping pile of leaves. Taking this time can help you to make better decisions, reduce your stress and anxiety, and give you a greater appreciation for what you have. It may even help you to come up with some other ways to enjoy the fall and all its beauty, all while improving your mental well-being.
Need help? Looking for someone to talk to? Please feel free to reach out to me here.