Are We All Too Busy?

Can we all stop for a minute and maybe just listen…

Love is the answer...

Love is the answer…


Love is the answer but what is the question? The question is, why are we all so busy rushing here and there and “doing” that we don’t take time to just “be”? And all this rushing around we’re doing makes us cranky and stressed out and so we just tune everything and everyone out.

We don’t take time to stop and smile at people anymore. If you happen to pass someone while walking on the street or in the grocery store and catch their eye(if for some reason they aren’t looking down at their phone) and smile, 9 times out of 10 they won’t smile back and they look the other way or they look at you like you are crazy. Heaven forbid if you say hello. They quite possibly may call the cops. “There is a crazy woman walking through town today and….she just said “hello” to me.”

I think everyone is just so focused on the next moment or getting to where they need to be that they lose track of what truly matters in life. People matter and if we were more kind to each other, stopped rushing and actually talked to each other, then maybe just maybe we would all be better for it.

“Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for.” ~ Unknown

A few things happened lately that caused me to stop and think about this. In the course of a week I had two encounters that literally forced me to look at my life and also look at the way I treat others. I myself until recently was one of the people that were always rushing here and there, so I know of what I speak. I was out walking one day a few weeks ago and happened to glance down and see some beautiful flowers in pots on the porch of a house down the street from mine. They were really pretty flowers and I stopped for a minute to look closer when a small white haired woman walked out from the side of the house. I quickly told her I was admiring her flowers. I didn’t want her to think I was going to steal them or something. She looked a little leery at first and then her face changed and she just beamed.

And so my walk was delayed for about 45 minutes while she told me all about her life. She told me that her husband had just recently passed and that she lived in the house for 62 years. She loves gardening and does it as often as she can but her daughter-in-law helps her now. She showed me around the back yard to see her garden there too. She was quite proud of her flowers and wanted me to see them and also wanted to tell me all about her life. Her name was Dotty and she invited me to stop by more often and have a cup of tea with her. I felt good as I left her, and I was also filled with the thought that I was supposed to meet her, that maybe she just really needed someone to talk to at that moment. And I was that one.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~ Plato

Then last week while shopping with my daughter we passed an older woman in an aisle we were in and we both remarked after passing her, how much we loved her top. It had mermaids on it and it was just beautiful. I had regretted not saying something to her and was a little mad at myself. A little while later I ran into her again in another aisle and didn’t want to miss my chance again, so I looked right at her and told her that my daughter and I were just saying how much we loved her blouse. She was taken aback for a minute and then lightly blushed and said thank you so much. She said you don’t know how much I needed that. As she spoke I knew she must have lived recently or grew up in Paris. I absolutely love a French accent and since going there is on my bucket list I wanted to chat with her awhile longer just to hear her voice.

As we stood there staring at each other she almost looked like she was going to cry and then began telling me her story. Her husband of 40 years had just left her because he just didn’t have anything in common with her anymore and of course there is another woman involved and also of course she is younger and more beautiful. I told her she was very beautiful and that she would survive this and go on to see this was all meant to be. She asked me if I was sure that would happen and I told her I was since I had gone through the same thing. She said she felt unimportant and dowdy(her words). I told her I thought she was beautiful and intelligent and that her husband was an ass. She laughed then and we talked about many other things. We had quite a long conversation.

My daughter finally found me in the aisle with this beautiful woman and I wanted to introduce her. I asked the woman what her name was and she said Colette. I said are you from France and she said yes. And then went on to say she had just the past week returned from burying her Mother there. That is when her “ass” of a husband decided to tell her he no longer thought she had any worth to him. She asked our names and I said Renee and my daughter said Michelle. She laughed and said we were destined to meet. I gave her a hug and we went on our way. I think all of us were better for the conversation we had that day in the middle of an aisle in a store.

“Everyone has a story that will stop your heart.” ~ Claudia Shear

So my message to you is, listen to your heart, stop and talk to that person you walk by every day. Smile at the neighbor you have never spoken to in the seven years you lived in your house. Say hello to the grocery store clerk and ask them how their day is going. They all may have a story to tell. Sharing their story could truly make their day and it could make your day a whole lot better just by the simple act of listening. So I will leave you as always with a question and another quote.

Have you ever had this happen? Would you stop to chat with a total stranger and stay to listen to their story?

“Ask people how they’re doing, how’s life? Everyone has a story and you may be the one they want to tell it to.” ~ Unknown



18 thoughts on “Are We All Too Busy?

  1. I love this! I do do it quite often and usually feel an afterglow and have made a few friends because of stopping to talk. But I also wondered if it was part of aging and does the other person view me as the needy old person. I think now it’s because I’m learning to live in the moment; I’ve relocated and enjoy meeting new neighbors. But in stores or other places I see a blouse or cute baby or cool shoes and I just start talking! I think I’ve always been friendly and smiley…nice to know it’s a good thing and I’m not the only one! Great post, Renee!

    1. Thank you Joan! I do it more now as well. I think we are meant to talk to some people and they need to talk to us…

  2. These are all the reasons why I’m glad I moved to the country. Life is slower. We wave to each other on our county road even if we don’t know each other. I love that! I see people I know everywhere I go, and I’ve only been here for two years! We have time for each other and there’s no traffic and very little stress. That’s why I like to call it “Be Here Now” Land.

    1. Awesome Laura, the little town I live in now is much like that…we all need to slow down no matter where we live..

    1. Exactly Laurie! I will be looking of more of these opportunities…I think you have to be open to finding them…

  3. Good for you! I am an engager. I will chat to everyone and I tell you I have been on the receiving end of more freebies, discounts and good feelings than I can count from just a short eye contact conversational engagement

    1. So happy to hear this Haralee! It does us all good to engage in a little conversation with a stranger every now and then..Thank you~

  4. This is such a good reminder of how much we all need human connection. I had a similar experience this week with a lady who knocked on my door asking me if I was interested in selling my house. I wasn’t but we had a nice chat and I ended up showing her the house.

    1. Great story Michele! Yes, we have to be careful these days but if we don’t talk to people we will never know their story…

  5. I try to do that whenever I can. Sometimes people will chat with you, sometimes they won’t. But I know I feel good about myself when I reach out to others so that’s why I do it. Plus it’s the right thing to do. I want to bridge a gap between the separateness of us all (is that a word?) Lovely post and so important. Loved it.

  6. I I think you know that I am a talker and certainly not shy around new people! Lol. I’ve been in a new city/state now for almost 2 years and have meet so many amazing people just about everywhere I go! Too funny that just tonight as I quickly stopped at the grocery store after Grant’s soccer game, I started a conversation with the woman in front of me…turns out that she was going to the high school graduation of the school I worked for and I know her niece. I love how small the world is!

  7. How awesome, almost made me cry. I pride myself in being the type of person who DOES smile and talk to total strangers, albeit maybe I shouldn’t, But inevitably, it ends up becoming a nice friendship if I do run into them again. Smiles go a LONG WAY and again I try to smile, even when feeling blue or down from personal issues. Oh granted, I GO OFF sometimes, but that doesn’t happen often. When I’m out at a store or somewhere and people are around, I always try to face them and smile and say hello. I know when they do to me, it does make my day. I hope you and the lady with the flowers do get together for tea and become good friends. That’s so sweet. If MORE people smiled and tried to be happy, the world would be a much better place, don’t ya think? So much sadness lately, its sickening. Live, Laugh and ENJOY is my motto. HUGS

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