Are you too busy to really live life?

Strange idea, eh?  That we might be busily not-really-living.  I'm guessing you know that disconcerting experience of finding yourself somewhere without having paid much attention to the journey getting there.  How does that happen?  Automatic pilot?  Distraction?  Things can be a blur! 

But does not noticing mean we are missing out?  Not really living life?

A blur of poppies at Wellington Botanic Garden rose garden

A blur of poppies at Wellington Botanic Garden rose garden

Does it matter if we do things so automatically we aren't noticing what is around us?  Well, yes, if we are so absorbed in thought, or conversation, or such-like that we trip, bang into someone or something, miss the turn-off, etc.  That's kind of obvious.

But what else are we missing out on? 

A close look at a single Iceland poppy flower reveals a bright face with golden stamens and gorgeously crinkled petals

A close look at a single Iceland poppy flower reveals a bright face with golden stamens and gorgeously crinkled petals

Think about what it's like when you are in a new place and you are relaxed and able to notice and appreciate your surroundings.  You may be curious, fascinated, delighted, appalled.  Somehow the act of noticing makes it a rich experience.  That can make travel so special. 

And when someone visits you and is noticing all kinds of things about your familiar environment, you see it through new eyes, and maybe get a new perspective.  Very interesting.

You may not want to peer into each and every flower, and the blur/adrenaline/rush can also be attractive. 

But when the rush is all you get, you're missing out on experiences that can be simple, exciting, calming, novel - noticing, appreciating, and absorbing some more of what life can offer us.

Can you make time to register what is around you?  (like that old cliche about slowing down and making time to smell the roses)

How about you try it, try noticing:

  • could I have an open-eyed interest (like a tourist) in my home town? 
  • can I be an explorer in my familiar places?
  • do I see, hear, smell, and experience what is there? 
  • or do I prefer the blur? 
  • does it make me want to do things differently?

We're not all the same, but for many of us it does enrich our lives to make time to appreciate and connect with our environment.

How about for you?

Helen NelsonComment