Stop, Smell and Enjoy by Bill Storie

Stop, Smell and Enjoy by Bill Storie

I had a business meeting this morning with a nice man who, among other things, is a life coach. He’s about my age so we chatted about this getting older business.

We both agreed that life certainly takes on new meaning as we age. We see things differently than when we were young. We probably see things differently from our younger friends and family. We have more time of course to stroll, rather than dash, which is wonderful, but we seem keener to actually stop – and smell the flowers.

We reckon that simple things like people-watching, bird-watching, tree-watching, sea-watching, river-watching, even traffic-watching takes on whole new meanings when we’re older. We look at things that we merely glanced at earlier in our life – if in fact we even saw them at all.

I don’t believe we dawdle and cause other people to be held back or body swerve around about us. We are more attentive than that. It’s just that we like the freedom of time and patience to meander through life and when the mood takes us, we can comfortably stop, look around and take in the vista in front of us. Of course, if we do that while driving that’s another issue completely.

Talking about driving, I do admit that I drive a wee bit slower these days. Not because I’m timid but because I like to pay attention to the road and see places I’ve perhaps never seen before. Here in Bermuda we are allowed one car per household but any number of small motorbikes (around the 100cc mark). Therefore, our younger population insist on driving these things at 60, 70, even 80 Kph – the fact that the speed limit is 35 Kph escapes their attention entirely. It amazes me when one of these hot-shots comes screaming past at the speed of light only to turn into the gas station 100 yards ahead. Maybe they know that petrol rationing is starting in 2 minutes from now. Smart huh?

Back to driving. Driving slower is good, driving slow is not so good. I’m sure every community on earth has people who genuinely believe they are in the Daytona 500. Where are they going at such speed? Is everyone late for an appointment (solution – leave earlier, duh !). Or do they have to get to the grocery store before it closes (solution – leave earlier, duh!). Maybe they must get home to see their favorite soap on TV (solution – leave…. well you get the idea). Why do they insist on putting lives at stake to arrive 8.3 seconds earlier?

So, back to the flowers.

Have you ever watched a bee flit from one flower to another (Yes I know I’ve gone soft in my old age !!). It’s fascinating.

Did you know that once the bee has extracted the nectar from the flower, it leaves a mark on that flower to basically tell the next bee in line – the “bee line” 😉 – that the nectar has been completely taken from the flower? So, the next bee skips that one and goes on to one with nectar. Bees use scent not sight.

People use sight rather than scent and that is where we are going wrong.

We need to stop and smell the flowers not scoot past them at breakneck speed. Life is a journey but not one that needs to be completed at super-sonic speed. Maybe that’s the message us old folks have learned over the years.

We’re not snails, we’re sniffers

By Bill Storie

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