Remember to stop and smell the flowers

Published 10:16 am Monday, January 4, 2016

First, let me start by apologizing for missing you last week. A Christmas day phone call led to an unexpected family emergency, that had me changing plans and driving to Colorado Springs rather fast. While driving to and from Colorado, I had time to do some reflecting on life, how fast it goes by and the things we can miss if not watching for them.

A number of years ago, I lost my aunt to cancer. She was a simple person who had lived a very difficult life finding solace from her day-to-day stresses in simple things. She and I were very close and as I grew older, focusing on the future ahead of me, I would make sure I visited her whenever I had the chance.

Before she passed, we would visit on just about every topic under the sun. However, she could always see how my work demands would keep me stressed. She also understood me very well as a person and that my inner drive would keep me moving forward no matter how stressful things got, which is not always a good thing.

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Always with a smile, she would tell me, “Babe, it’s important to remember to stop and smell the flowers from time to time.” As I loved and respected her very much, I’d nod my head in agreement saying, “Yeah, you’re right,” but thinking “Smell the flowers? I don’t have time for that.”

As I’ve grown, those words resonate in my mind regularly. I hear her voice telling me “Remember to stop and smell the flowers.”

We spend so much of our lives focused on where we are going and how we are going to get there that we miss everything in between — the important things like good people, nice places and awesome things that will leave long lasting memories.

Many of those are very simple to notice and around us just for the taking. But most importantly, they help take your mind off the daily stresses of life, even if just for a short time. I try to listen to that voice now. I try to make time for the simple things that I can take along this journey with me.

As you enjoy your New Year and begin looking forward to what 2016 will be for you, I hope you can take time to stop and smell the flowers. And really enjoy it. It doesn’t take much time. Happy 2016! 😉

Rich Macke is publisher of The Port Arthur News. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @rich_macke.