Smell the Roses and Smell the S***

Just recently I heard the phrase “smell the roses” twice in one day. It’s a common expression, so I didn’t think of it the first time. But when I heard it a second time, it sparked my interest. We’re told to “stop and smell the roses” and to appreciate life. Be it the things we have or just the moment in time, we should always take time to smell the roses.

However, we should also take time to smell the shit.

We should always be appreciative for the things we have and the opportunities we get, but we should also be able to reflect on ourselves and the flaws that come with each of us as people. Nobody’s perfect — yet another age-old adage — but too often we ridicule ourselves for not being the perfect son, daughter, niece, nephew, partner or human being. Why ridicule yourself when you can reflect and improve?

We all go No. 2. This isn’t “The Interview” where James Franco thinks a world leader doesn’t defecate. The sooner we accept the fact that we all shit — that we sometimes make bad decisions or say the wrong thing — the better off we will be.

I find the sayings “life happens” and “shit happens” to be synonymous. Life can be cruel and sometimes you just have to deal with it and move on. Every situation provides an opportunity for reflection, both positive and negative. Sometimes this means going through the situation in your head and just keep track of your reactions. Did you smile or frown? Speak up or observe? Other times, you might want to physically tally the roses and shit of every situation.

By no means am I telling you to become Harold Crick and do this so routinely and robotically as he does (if you haven’t seen “Stranger Than Fiction,” do yourself a favor and check it out.) Smelling the roses and smelling the shit should go hand-in-hand. Whenever you get down on yourself because something negative happened, close your eyes and think of your life and all of the opportunities you are afforded. Help yourself understand how lucky you are to have the things you have, but also take into account the shit and how that can make you a better person. It could be something you said that sparked anger in someone or the way you reacted to different issues, but once you smell the shit — whether it’s your doing or someone else’s that directly impacts your life —  you will learn more about yourself.

From there, it’s your job to continuously adjust and change to make yourself a better person in your eyes. What you see is different than everyone else, so work to become a better you for you, not them.

Sometimes life serves you a dish of bad Mexican food that’ll really mess up your system. Other times it’ll give you a giant slice of New York-style cheesecake that will make your night. Whatever the case, accept each one and learn from it. Whenever you smell the roses, take the time to smell the shit.

You can instantly flush the shit down the toilet, but you’ll want a bouquet of roses on your kitchen counter for as long as possible.

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