Monday, August 24, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses...

Take a deep breath.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.


Smell the roses….

Don’t you feel better now?

While preparing for today’s blog post, my brain started whirring trying to think of an appropriate topic. I was under the gun, which is a usual occurrence for me lately. Changing policies at work, family emergencies, school starting, ACFW business, ACFW conference (Yay!), son’s graduation from basic training (hooahh!), seemed to escalate at once.

And then when I decided on a topic, my fingers started flying, thoughts began to jockey for position in my brain, my eyes darted back and forth across the page, while I made notes about the graphics I wanted to display… Sheesh! I can’t even put together a blog post without feeling like I’m on a roller-coaster.

Enough already!

Stop the presses!

Smell the roses!

Enjoy life!

Honestly, I’m beginning to think writers are the most spastic group of people on earth. Most of my writer friends talk of being so busy, so caught up the busy-ness of writing. They’re juggling promoting the book that just came out, editing the book coming out in six months, writing the book that comes out next year, AND plotting the one after that.

Pile on top of all that the fact that many authors (aspiring and established) have a day job as well, and it’s mind-boggling that we don’t go slightly insane. (I heard that, Ruthy!)

The only people I know who are busier than writers are editors.

So, I’m making a deliberate effort to s.l.o.w. d.o.w.n.

I don’t know exactly how I’m going to accomplish this, but I’m going to. I really am. I will take time to smell the roses, enjoy life, enjoy my family, and enjoy my writing.

I’ll start by…

…organizing my time better.

…not trying to fix everything for everybody.

…giving someone else an opportunity to volunteer.

…spending time with my husband.

…talking to my kids more.

…going out to lunch with my mother.

And I’ll end by …

…making this post SHORT so you can go and do likewise!

Enjoy your day and stop and smell the roses.


  1. Thank you for the reminder. And all the pictures of beautiful roses just helped with the sense of resting, relaxing and taking a breath. Just what I needed!

  2. Oh.



    Let me repeat.




    Okay, sorry, have to step away from the computer. I'll come back.

    With food.


  3. Sorry. Had to go back and re-read.

    Then re-read it again.

    Then check the author's fingerprints because no way in this world did my friend PAM HILLMAN write this.


    (note to everyone, pod-people never willingly identify themselves. One must check for green blood...)

    Someone has taken over Pam's body.

    Oh my stars.

  4. This is a good reminder that our times are in the Lord's hands.

    The pace here has picked up now that school has started. School includes homework, pep band, math club, reading minutes for our 2nd grader and on and on. Plus, harvest will start in about six weeks.

    Plus writing.

    We've had a cool wet summer here and my roses have been blooming "like gang-busters" as my grandpa would say.

    Coffee's on.

  5. Thank God. Ann brought coffee.

    Okay, I'm fine now. Really. Truly.


    Love this. Love this. Love this.

    I brought chicken/artichoke crescent puffs that we're practicing for Friday's wedding and juice to go with Ann's coffee.

    Great coffee, Ann!


    Ruthy (recovering from the shock now. Barely)

  6. I certainly feel like my life has been on a runaway train lately. You forget sometimes that there are so many things we really can say "no" to (or at least later). When we get so frantic and busy, we really don't do any of those things well, and we may miss out on the most important things of all.

  7. Thanks for giving me permission, Pam! So far you're the only person giving me permission! Ha. My husband keeps asking me if I've done my one-sheet yet, except he calls it my one-pager, or something like that. And the answer is no! But I literally stopped and smelled the roses anyway this weekend. While the kids were on a little field trip with their Wed. night class from church, hubby and I went to the huge old cemetery in town where about five or six Alabama governors are buried and other famous people I "know" from my research. It was so much fun.
    I LOVE old cemeteries. I did have a piece of paper and a pen to write down fun and interesting names for my WIP, but there was a rose bush on one of the gravesites. I stopped and bent over one of the cream-colored blooms and took a big breath. It smelled wonderful. I called out, "Hey, I stopped and the smelled the roses!" It was such a good analogy for our day.

  8. Ah, me too, Jill. I love the smell of a deep red rose, and that last one just makes me want to sniff my computer screen! lol

    Wish I could have added a scratch and sniff for y'all!

  9. lol

    Ruthy, it was late, so maybe...

    I am a take charge kind of person.

    I fix things.


    If don't ask for help, even though I give it willingly. Okay, grudgingly, so I can whine and feel sorry for myself. lol

    That was okay when I was 25 and 30, but there comes a time when one can only do so much, and some of us who are "doers" have to realize that and start "doing" those things that really matter.

  10. Ann, praying for a relaxing, God and family filled Fall for you!

    And smell some REAL roses today.

    Think I could convice dh to pick me up some roses as a reminder of my new commitment??

  11. Ohhhhhhhhhhh ... you're supposed to SMELL the roses, not pick them. I knew I was doing something wrong with all the thorns in my hide ...

    BEAUTIFUL reminder, Pammy, and far, far nicer than one of Ruthy's kicks in the butt.

    Mmmm ... now to go live it ... OUCH!


  12. "Overwhelmed" is a word I've used a lot this past year. A lot of it was due to family things that I didn't have control over. But--(and I hesitate to say 'that's a big but')I've since been able to see that a lot of the pressure is self-inflicted. I agree, Pam. I can't do it all, I can't make them all happy, and I've put aside the obsessive list-making for awhile.

    Actually I'm trying not to smell the roses or sniff in any of the ragweed pollen right now. Is there ragweed in Denver?

    Ruthy, love the new do.

  13. Oh, Lee, you said it so well. I don't like not doing things well.

    Your train stops here, girl!

    Pray about what you can let go of. I realize some things are impossible to let go immediately, but once you make a decision, you'll be able to muster through until you can make it happen.

  14. Melanie! Real roses this past weekend! Yay for you!

    And, something else just occured to me. Don't ever beat yourself up for enjoying the roses. If you take a day or a few hours to relax and unwind, don't come back later and second-guess whether you "wasted" all that time.


    God gave us beauty and roses and puppies and children and kittens to be enjoyed.

    And yes, Melanie, old cemetaries, too.

  15. Excellent reminder, Pam, that life is finite and precious. We must not let it pass us by.

    The trick is finding ways to give ourselves time each day for those we love, including the Lord, while fulfilling our writing goals and obligations. Your point that we need to organize our time better is key.

    Some things are time wasters. E-mail. Ouch. TV. Easy for me. Attempting to keep a perfect house. Somewhere in between.

    Some things are time extenders or so we hope. Exercise, healthy diet, a belly laugh may actually lengthen our lives. Delegating chores, using small snippets of time wisely, cutting unnecessary chores like ironing can enable us to be more productive.

    Maybe the secret is living in the moment. When we take a breather, we need to enjoy it and refuse to let our minds travel to our To Do list.


  16. Last night I was feeling the tyranny of the to-do list. Thanks for the reminder that I control it, not the other way round.

  17. Pam, Great post. So on target for me. All this past year I've been hit on the head with Be Still and Know that I Am God. It is sooooo needed by us type A busy busy people.

    I'm so glad you're taking time and I am going to follow your advice and take time also. Loved the roses. And since I'm in Oregon, the rose capital of the world, I can do that.

  18. Excellent reminder, Pam!

    Just say No.



    I love it. Works great in theory : )

    Now, I just have to make it happen!!

  19. I like Janet's idea of time extenders. Especially ironing less and laughing more!

  20. This is so true I could cry.

    Great post, Pamelot.

  21. Okay, wait, I forgot to say, yes, I need to stop and assess my priorities.




    Kids grow up so fast. Don't let it slip past you.

    Thanks for the always timely reminder, Pam!!

  22. Did you know that roses that aren't from a greenhouse (yes, they can actually grow in the ground) smell fantastic?

    I've got a sister-in-law with a rose garden and every time she comes to see my mother-in-law, at least weekly, she brings about five roses in a pretty vase, they SMELL FANTASTIC.

    I'd actuall forgotten how beautiful roses smelled until Cheri started bringing them.

    ALSO, Pammy, I know what you mean about asking for help. I just can NOT do it.
    I've practically destroyed every group I've ever been put in charge of because I seem physically, mentally, emotionally incapable of asking for help. I know it's rooted in not wanting to be a burden or a pest. But then I CAN'T do it alone, then I start scrambling and cutting corners and BOOM the end.
    I won't even list all the things I was the LAST president of. Sad, really sad.

    Maybe that's why writing works for me. No one is supposed to help you write the book.

  23. A DOUBLE AMEN, Pam! My To-Do List is 10 miles long and growing daily. Not enough hours in the day to keep it whittled down. But before it got dark last night, I treated myself to a 30-minute walk through the neighborhood. A leisurely one, not my usual "power walk" for excercise purposes.

  24. Awesome.
    I liked:
    "Honestly, I’m beginning to think writers are the most spastic group of people on earth."

  25. Fantastic post. Timely. Needed. A definite 'spirit prick'.

    I was going into 'life' overload last week (kids starting school, new teaching semester, writing deadline...and other stuff) and my agent sent me an email that read "Pepper, panic-mode is never from God."

    Well, that was a kick in the bum. I think God gave us children, pets, and nature to help teach us the importance of simply living.

    I think God's been trying to get that point across to me lately. Even the sermon was about worry...or not worrying (as the case may be) :-)

    As far as taking time to smell roses - thankfully it doesn't take very long, but boy does it make a difference in our perspectives :-)

  26. I'll be walking to town later today to check the mail. There are roses along the way, and I will stop and smell them. Taking time away from the computer and constant pull of my T-do List is so important. Thanks for the reminder.

  27. Fabulous post, Pam. Think we all needed that.

  28. Wow!

    Such beautiful pictures. And, yes, scratch and sniff would have been great.

    I'm taking deeper, slower breaths and relaxing now.



  30. Pam, I agree completely! It's so easy to get stressed from everything we have to do. I think I'll buy some rosebushes to remind me.

  31. I'm having a hard time dealing with the real picture of Debra Marvin.

  32. You're on the right track if you want to save your sanity 8-) One of my favorite books is IN PRAISE OF SLOWNESS. Gave me a lot to think about. "Be still..."

    Kristi Holl

    Writer's First Aid blog

  33. What gorgeous photos, Pam!! And I truly think I could feel my blood pressure lowering as I read. The cadence of your words did that.

    I bet reading poetry could lower blood pressure.


  34. Wow, thanks for all the comments everybody.

    Pepper!! I love this: "Pepper, panic-mode is never from God." I need this engraved on my forehead!!!

    Even though I had to go to work yesterday, I had a good day. Just knowing that I’m in CHARGE of my day, my choices, my to-do list, just made the day much smoother, more relaxing somehow.

    And why did I not get back in to Seekerville to wrap up the day?

    Well, dh was surfing the net catching up on the news, while I sat an arms’ length away catching up on downloaded emails, and reading the comments here in Seekerville. We shared parts of our day, and just relaxed.

    Instead of going into Pepper-panic-mode that I couldn’t get back online, I prepared a comment-in-waiting for you guys to post this morning.

    Have a great day, and look for the roses along the way.

  35. Missy, poetry sounds good! Might be why the Psalms can be so soothing, eh?

  36. If only my computer monitor had scratch-n-sniff capability.

  37. I'm coming in so late to this garden party. . . but I sense God's timing that I read this now. Lately, I can't stop at my rose bush without fretting over dead-heading and weeding. But tonight I made progress. I put the computer away until after the kids were in bed and I watched a movie with them. I feel like I accomplished something genuine.
    Thanks for this post, Pam. It is God's bouquet to me today.

  38. Tara, me too. Everytime I look at that huge crimson rose, I take a big, deep breath.

    I just can't help it!


    I figuratively sniffed a few roses this week.

    How about you?

  39. Pam,

    Gorgeous pictures.

    Beautiful post.

    I'm stunned, really and wish I'd read it sooner.


  40. Pam,

    Gorgeous pictures.

    Beautiful post.

    I'm stunned, really and wish I'd read it sooner.