I went hiking again today and noticed that I was checking my watch a lot. I love to track my time and see how I’m progressing in my strength and stamina, but this level of tracking was excessive. I started to become more concerned with how quickly I was getting through the loop and stopped observing the world around me.
As I got close to the end, I almost missed a doe running up the trail. Her and I both stopped and watched each other for a moment. My dog stood beside me instead of running at her like he usually would have. The whole moment felt frozen and mystically beautiful, like something out of a Lord of the Rings movie. I thought about how I had been checking my watch right before I saw her and wondered if I missed her do something spectacular.
Deer aren’t special creatures in my mind, they’re actually kind of a pest. For being a pest though, they’re hard to catch a good glimpse of, especially up close. I find myself still wondering what else I may have missed while worrying about how fast I had made it through the trail.
There is a time and place to track your progress. There is also a time and place to stop and observe the world around you. I’ve always enjoyed seeing my progress, so I always hated it when people would tell me “stop and smell the roses.” As much as I hate to admit it, progress doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t supplement your happiness. Roses die, does run off, life continues on regardless of your observation. You have to appreciate the moments when you have the ability to catch it. Smell your roses today, for they could be wilted and grey tomorrow.