Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stopping to Smell the Roses

I am changing. It used to be that in order for me to feel good about myself I had to have been productive, meaning accomplishing tasks. How much I accomplished impacted how good or bad I felt. Isn't that ridiculous? How could we let what we accomplish change how we feel about who we are? I wish it hadn't taken being retired for me to understand this.

The other day I gave myself a day off from my to-do list. And yes, even tho' I'm "retired," I still have to-do lists. On my day off, I exercised, because I wanted to, not because I had to. And I curled up with a book for most of the rest of the day. I can't remember the last time I did that.

I guess some would say I did accomplish something - I started and finished a book. I could even delude myself by saying it was "research," since I'm now writing fiction and reading fiction is part of what I do to make my writing better. But that wouldn't be the truth. Because really, all I was doing was enjoying a good read and paying attention to my soul, which needed a time-out from all other activities.

So, how about you? Do you stop to smell the roses?


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

This is hard for me, but I did take a day off a couple of weeks ago to read a book that really had me hooked. It was a very happy day! Glad you had such a nice one, too. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sure! I can chill with the best of them. And still keep up with stuff - that's why I have clones, remember?

Tonja said...

My happiest moments are when I stop and just hang out with my kids and listen to what they have to say or play another game of monopoly with the older two or color something with my little one.

But my life philosophy is that we should accomplish as much as we can in this life.

Karen Walker said...

Elizabeth, yeah for you!
Alex, oh, I forgot about your clones.
Tonja, yes, there needs to be a balance between being and doing, for sure.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes I feel my life is one big to-do list. We did get out a few weekends ago and I took a lot of photos, which was fun.


Yes I too stop to smell the roses,
In this busy world to linger awhile at nature is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I sat and chatted for over two hours with my neighbor yesterday. It felt wonderful. We need to give ourselves hours/days off. Good post. :)

Claudia Moser said...

Loved the title, sounds like a great motto!

L.G.Smith said...

I do usually feel guilty if I'm not attacking the to-do list. But every now and then, usually during a bout of the blues, I'll just say screw it and take a day off and indulge in whatever I want to do instead of what is supposed to get done.

Carol Kilgore said...

I do! Sometimes more than others. Here lately, I think I've done it a lot because I'm having difficulty getting myself back on a schedule.

Jack said...

Stopping sometimes is good, I've been told. And reading, what a better way to stop and smell the roses?


Luna said...

Rest is very important. It helps the mind, body and heart to heal. While it is good and fulfilling to be productive sometimes a period of rest is also fulfilling and good.

Arlee Bird said...

It's a good thing to break from the bustle of life and just reassess where I am now and where I am going. We can miss too much scenery if we travel too quickly.

Tossing It Out

Sharon Lippincott said...

Yay! You did accomplish something besides reading a book: you took the day off to do it! I have not problem taking a day off to read. Like you, I call it research and usually write a review. Because I want to, not because it's an assignment.

What book was so gripping? Now I'm going to log off and go back to Mary Pipher's memoir, SEEKING PEACE: Chronology of the World's Worst Buddhist. She wrote that book specifically for me ... I know she did.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I find I can only take time off if I plan to do something with someone else - like coffee with a friend, or shopping with my mum. Left to my own devices, I will end up working on one thing or another.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I expect I'll have time to smell the roses next year now! Well no - I must curl up with a book shortly for Alex' blog fest ..

Glad you took time out - we can only do what we can do ... I've learnt that ... have a great week ahead - cheers Hilary

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm learning to stop and smell the roses a lot more than I used to...it was hard to break the work habit when I retired in 1998, but I think I've almost got it under control. :D