On October 28, 2019 I published a blog titled, Be Open: Inspiration Comes from Everywhere.  In my opening I wrote:

Many people act as though the future is something that happens to them rather than something that you can create every day. Have you thought about what inspires you? It is interesting to consider that inspiration comes from everywhere if you are open to the possibilities.

This week my blog and a refreshed perspective on life resulted from a comment on ESPN, a song, a podcast, and a book.  

A Comment on ESPN:

While watching SportsCenter on ESPN this week the announcers referred to a quote attributed to Lou Holtz.  “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it”.  Their point about the quote is that Holtz’s intent may have been about attitude.  As I thought about this quote and researched various interpretations of it, I found that it applies to life.  Flom (n.d.) We all carry loads, and we all carry them in different ways.. the key is to carry your load the right way. That means with your head up, back straight. Bend at the knees so the load is distributed better and doesn’t wreck one part of you. If it’s too heavy to carry alone, ask for help. Keep moving forward so that momentum is on your side. Where you were when you picked up the load doesn’t matter. Where you’re headed with it does.

A Song:

While doing errands this week I was listening to my favorite streaming station (Lee Greenwood Gospel).  I like to songs and there is good variety.  The 1974 song Stop and Smell the Roses by Mac Davis came on…I sat in the car and listened to it a couple times.  This song connected to Holtz quote, Flom’s interpretation, and to my Visual Blossoms post Piecing Together Life… “Life is a journey, and there are bumps in the road.”   It is important to find a way to carry your load the right way and count your blessings. Some of the lyrics are:

Hey Mister
Where you going in such a hurry
Don’t you think it’s time you realized
There’s a whole lot more to life than work and worry
The sweetest things in life are free
And they’re right before your eyes

A Podcast:

When I bike, I usually listen to audiobooks (leisure reading) or podcasts (for blog ideas).  I chose a Psychology at Work podcast by Lankow and Johansson. They “envision a world of work where people realize their significance and purpose.”  They “explore how to make positive meaning of our relationships and contributions (and what can get in the way), which leads to being more engaged, present, and effective.”  Based on the ESPN comment and the song, I chose the (2019) podcast “Eustress, Distress, We all Stress.”  They discuss and reiterate ideas that stress is not always a bad thing. 

Wack (2020) defines eustress as a term for positive stress that can have a beneficial impact on your life. “Eu” is a prefix meaning good or well, also used in words like “euphoria” and “eulogy.” Eustress can refer to challenges in work and life that put pressure on us to grow and improve. 

Coor (n.d.) defines distress as typically accompanied by feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, which are perceived as negative and unwanted.

The key is to be mindful and control what you can…do not let your goals become a form of distress.  In other words, carry your load the right way and take time to smell the roses.

A Book:

The quote, the song, and the podcast led me to search for books related to finding opportunities for growth.  I found an interesting choice written by Jeff Goins titled, The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.  The book explores searching for a breakthrough, loving the journey, and life worth the wait. “The In-Between is a call to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives by helping you find personal meaning in the times that make the least sense and hone the underestimated art of living in the moment.”

The expression “stop and smell the roses” is not simply about flowers, but rather about how to live your life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us. It reminds us to slow down and notice the little things that make life worthwhile. Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment; otherwise those moments will pass you by. Herst (2019)

My New Anthem for Life:

Pause, reflect, appreciate, move forward 

“Don’t hurry. Don’t worry.
You’re only here for a short visit. 
So don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.”
Walter Hagen