Life In A Nutshell: Stop And Smell The Roses. - LifeBites Blog at - 275729


Life In A Nutshell: Stop And Smell The Roses. 
May 21, 2012 1:03 pm 
Updated: Jun. 1, 2012 5:04 am

When I first got the news that I was to be an Allrecipes Ambassador, I was so unbelievably excited. I thought to myself that this was going to be an opportunity to get to know people, share experiences, and just have a really fun time. And it has been. I'm so grateful for this opportunity that I have been given.

Unfortunately I have not been able to perform the duties in their entirety and I am saddened by that for quite a few different reasons. Family issues that have increased in their severity this past year have recently become even more consuming this past six months, and have taken me away from many, many enjoyable things in my life. I'm not whining - please don't think that. And this isn't a blog about AR. It's just a gentle reminder that no matter what you are dealing with - you need to stop and smell the roses.

If I have learned only one thing throughout this whole experience, it's that you can't forget about yourself. I had poured so much of myself into someone else and taking care of everything that I forgot that there wasn't anyone taking care of me. I felt empty, drained of all energy and emotion, and I was quite ready to hang it up and throw in the towel. I'm not talking about "ending it all," just that I had begun to emotionally and physically shut down. I closed off people, going out with friends, doing anything that gave me joy and peace. I let the situation we are in completely consume me, which was unbelievably easy to do.

This past year has been one huge emotional roller-coaster of a ride and I'm tired. Sometimes I still find myself crying for some reason I can't pinpoint, but the difference is now I let myself do it without guilt. So what if I cry for 15 minutes? If it makes me feel better I'm o.k. with that. I let it out, pick myself up, and move on. And I DON"T feel guilty about it.

So, if you are dealing with something that just seems to be sucking the life out of you and you feel drained and empty, please don't forget to fill yourself back up. You can't continue to give, give, give, give without putting something back in. If it's stopping for coffee at your favorite place and bringing your book along for 15 minutes of solitude with your phone shut off, then do it. Take a walk, take a bubble bath, listen to the radio in your car for a while. Take the time. Take the initiative. Help yourself to breathe.

Take time, just a little bit of time, to smell the roses, regroup, and pour something back in.


May 21, 2012 1:13 pm
hi sweet caroline! it can be difficult to take the necessary "me" time.i'm in a similar situation. some days are better then others. it's extremely hard to see someone you love struggle so valiantly. i know we need to stop and smell the roses, but the needs of others must come first here. no critism sweety...i just wish i could, but there is no other care-giver available now. and no, i won't impose on other folks.
May 21, 2012 1:20 pm
I hear ya Caroline! I have been having issues here too and have been pretty stressed out. I thought I was handling it pretty well till I heard from my husband to the contrary. I stop every so often and put all the problems behind a door in my head and then slam it shut. I haven't opened any yet LOL! Take time for you especially if you are being a caregiver for an elderly or sick person.
May 21, 2012 1:21 pm
Gderr, you should see if there isn't something in your area for caregivers. They have classes and assistance available here. I know your wife isn't elderly, but it would still apply.
May 21, 2012 1:36 pm
Great blog Caroline! Thanks for the reminder. At some point in time most family have a memeber who gives their all to a situation and forgets themselves and family.
May 21, 2012 2:14 pm
Lovely blog, Caroline...glad to hear that you're finding some balance...It's been a tough year here, as well... I'm doing ok but, the roses just don't seem to smell as sweet...........
May 21, 2012 3:20 pm
Great blog and fantastic saying. Very touching!:)
May 21, 2012 4:32 pm
gderr - I hope you are able to find the time just once in a while. I understand it is difficult and at times it seems impossible to "take a moment." Just know I'm thinking about you always and praying you find some time to breathe.
May 21, 2012 4:33 pm
Sassy - thank you for the funny visual of slamming that door! :D I have some slamming left to do myself, lol!
May 21, 2012 4:34 pm
Thanks for the kind comments Cliff G and CookandBakeGirl! :)
May 21, 2012 4:39 pm
EAKE, you have been on my mind so much this past year and I've been praying you are well. I know your particular ordeal has been so very hard and I send you hugs whenever you pop into my mind. The roses may not be as sweet, but I still hope you let yourself enjoy them just the same. ((Hugs))
May 21, 2012 4:48 pm
Caroline, I am so sorry you've had to deal with such difficulties. But it is wonderful that you are encouraging others to remember to take just a little time out to recharge and rejuvenate themselves. I love when people share out of their own life experiences. Since you've been there, you know how to encourage others who might need it. Thank you.
May 21, 2012 5:39 pm
Caroline-my heart goes out to you. Your blog certainly makes you stop and think. It is difficult for most people to reach out to others and express their feelings. Especially, when life throws curve balls at you. No one can tell you how to feel or how to best handle things. It is my feeling you have to find your own way to smell the roses as you say. For me, when I am feeling stressed, I like listening to music. I have made myself a CD with all my favorite songs on it. I play that CD and it has helped me through difficult times.
May 21, 2012 10:21 pm
Paula, thank you for your very kind words. When in the midst of something all-consuming, I know I certainly needed a reminder to breathe. Just wanted everyone else to know that they are important and shouldn't be neglected either, especially by themselves.
May 21, 2012 10:24 pm
Lela, thank you so much, and yes, music is a great way to de-stress. Depending on my mood, I have a few cd's I listen to. Sometimes I need a good stress-relieving cry and reach for the sappy songs, and sometimes I need to sing at the top of my lungs and just let it all out - that's when the 80's edition goes in! :D
May 22, 2012 4:04 am
Caroline, nice blog to remind us to take care of ourselves too! It has been really tough for the past six months taking care of my elderly in-laws. Just about lost it yesterday, but got a fat book (it is taking forever to read!) and headed for fast food. When I got home I turned on the tunes and lost myself for a bit. Some days I put on the headphones and pull weeds, great way to get rid of anger! If I know a good cry is needed a DVD goes on. Hang in there, gonna go smell my pretty roses!
May 22, 2012 4:32 am
Caroline, I am new here, but I feel your pain. Sometimes, life throws you a curveball and takes the wind out of your sail. Its easy to neglect yourself and deny yourself the quiet time to reflect on your life, and all of its positives. Caroline, take time to enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a walk thru a garden or swing on a park swing. You deserve to be happy and well rested. This is a great blog, thank you for reminding me to stop and smell the roses. I wish you the best of luck.
May 22, 2012 4:33 am
Caroline, I am new here, but I feel your pain. Sometimes, life throws you a curveball and takes the wind out of your sail. Its easy to neglect yourself and deny yourself the quiet time to reflect on your life, and all of its positives. Caroline, take time to enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a walk thru a garden or swing on a park swing. You deserve to be happy and well rested. This is a great blog, thank you for reminding me to stop and smell the roses. I wish you the best of luck.
May 22, 2012 5:41 am
That is so true. Remembering to take care of "self" is difficult. But do at least, stop to smell the roses even if in passing (even if you actually pluck one and take with you) enjoy it! Think about it's maker and all the wonder in life!.
May 22, 2012 9:23 am
Lucky Noodles - taking care of the elderly is such a stressful and difficult thing to do. I'm so glad you have ways to retreat and let off steam now and then - so essential in stressful situations. I wish I had a garden to pull weeds from! :)
May 22, 2012 9:23 am
thunder - thank you for the kind words and sentiment. Swinging on a swing is something I haven't done in years! I think it's time I do it again - act like a kid for just a few minutes! :D
May 22, 2012 9:23 am
Ms. Denise - You are so right. There is wonder all around if we just take a moment to glimpse it. Thank you!
May 22, 2012 10:18 am
It is so true what all the others have already said. I have had a trying time in my life the last 4 years. I keep telling myself that(If God brings me to it , then he will bring me through it. He has done that so far. I have found that exercising destressing me more than anything else.
May 22, 2012 4:10 pm
I too have had a tough year.....I finally started meditation exercises for the first time and they have helped me refresh myself in 15 minutes or less. I guess you can teach this old girl new tricks :) Take care.
May 23, 2012 4:07 am
Oh, Caroline! ~sigh!~ I understand that feeling of exhaustion! [I'm sure so many of us do!] Many years ago, I was the mother of three little ones with a husband who was deeply depressed. I couldn't leave them in his care. I had no time to myself! Many nights, I would wait until everyone was in bed asleep, and I would just get in my car and drive. I would go to nice neighborhoods and look at the pretty houses (= Just to get out for a bit . . . [Backfired on my one night when I drove for a bit and turned around to go home. I drove and drove - and then saw the "Norco" sign, and realized I was driving in the wrong direction! I was so tired and just wanted to be home!] You are absolutely right - you have to take care of yourself - even if it's a "little" thing. We're here when you need an ear (= mauigirl took my line - "take care!" {{{{{hugs}}}}}
May 23, 2012 7:46 am
Oh, dear Caroline, how very brave to open your heart to us all. You have great insight because of your experience. We CANNOT give of ourselves to the point of depletion. A few years ago, I had a very sick adult child. I went and went and went until I was a zombie. I finally started taking one, just ONE day a week for myself. Massages, picnic in the park with my favorite book, hiking on a bird trail (I'm an avid Birder, wondering through a museum or just a looooong drive in the beautiful Oregon countryside. These things plus consciously counting my blessings and being thankful for all that was good saved my life. And, sweet Caroline, AR is one of those GOOD things. Thanks for a wonderful and timely blog. NOW, get you some "me time!"
May 23, 2012 10:03 pm
Char - you are so right - on both counts. :D Thank you for your input.
May 23, 2012 10:04 pm
Mauigirl - I have often meant to try meditation but I'm clueless as to how. Does that sound silly or what? Any pointers or websites you used to learn that you would recommend? New tricks - lol! :D
May 23, 2012 10:05 pm
Xraybarb - I can definitely see where going for a drive would be a way to decompress. Even in your not-so-happy stories you make me laugh though - the wrong direction! That would so be me! I'd probably end up in Timbuktu or something!:D And thank you for the ear - I really do appreciate everyone here so very much.
May 23, 2012 10:05 pm
Candice - I agree - AR is one of the "good things." So many here are willing to give a kind word, tell a story, or make you laugh when the days are rough, and I am so grateful for it. Thank you for your kind words and sharing.
May 24, 2012 8:45 am
I'm a little late here but I read your blog when you first posted. I just can't find the words to express to you how I feel for you. There are many roses here on AR that can help if needed. Just ask mauigirl.
May 24, 2012 11:22 am
Thank you bd. So many have reached out and shared on this blog - it's been absolutely wonderful. I keep re-reading the posts and just can't get over how thoughtful everyone here is - it's no wonder why I love this place.
May 24, 2012 8:55 pm
Hang in there, when you think you've hit rock bottom there's no place to go but up.
May 28, 2012 4:04 pm
Great and very touching blog Caroline! You made me think about myself and helped me to put things in perspective. Thanks for the wake up call!!! :)
May 28, 2012 4:25 pm
Caroline, when I was younger, I couldn't wait to be "all grown up". Sadly, there are many things I didn't know about being grown up--things like taking care of responsibilities and learning how to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Having to learn that I couldn't just do as I pleased was a rude awakening! As I think back, most of the adults I knew simply "hunkered down" when things got rough. We know better now, and it sounds like you have found the key. Most knowledge of any value comes at a great price, though, and I feel the sadness and exhaustion that were the currency of your lessons. Thank you for sharing some of your pain. I hope that writing helps you. I also hope that having the support of others while caring for yourself will help you through the dark days. In the words of the ancient middle eastern poets, "this, too, shall pass".
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About Me
I'm currently a SAHM and loving it. I have four children from college age to preschool, and have been a professional cake decorator for years and when it all comes right down to it, cake is my life. :) I love to cook and bake for my family and especially love doing large meals for holidays. I also blog outside of AR - if you'd like to stop in and visit!
My favorite things to cook
I love finding the unusual recipes and trying them out. My grandmother's recipes are often my favorites - watermelon pickles, three (really four) bean salad, etc. I like to find very old recipes (and recipe books) and bring the forgotten recipes to life again.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family is actually quite large but VERY spread out so our cooking traditions usually center around holiday fare. Good, hearty, home cooked dishes and stick-to-your-ribs casseroles and such. And butter. Lots and lots of butter.
My cooking triumphs
Finally being able to work with yeast! I had never had the knack for it until recently when I was determined to get over this love/hate relationship with yeast - I loved to use it and it hated me for it! But now I feel I have maybe developed the patience for it? I always seemed to be in a hurry before, but now things are working quite nicely.
My cooking tragedies
A beautiful dish made up solely by me at around age 10 - an astonishing grape jell-o and rice dish that was, oh, how shall I say it? "Different." :)
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