Stop, look and listen

As kids we were given robust safety instructions. Not to talk to strangers, not to accept food from strangers or get into their cars, or keep secrets that make us feel uncomfortable.


Don’t STOP believing. Image via Flickr CC –

We were told to be careful about trusting people, to be wary of deals that were too good to be true and to check under the bed for the boogie monster. And we were told that when we were attempting to cross a busy street we needed to Stop, Look, Listen.

Stop. Look. Listen.

In other words, be present, be mindful, be aware and take the time.

Of course as we grew we revised those instructions that were intended to keep us safe. We challenged the collective wisdom of generations past and we decided that we could pretty much make our own decisions. In most cases that was OK. I mean who still checks under the bed for the boogie monster?

In other cases though I think we threw the baby out with the bath water. We have become so desensitised with the constant hum of busyness we have missed the signals that danger is ever present.

We have forgotten to be vigilant.  We don’t listen or look. We never STOP.

Our day to day is so crammed with emails and text messages and the busyness of everything, the constant bartering of time and soul for income that will pay the rent and feed the family, that we have forgotten to stop and actually live.

To feel the rain on our faces. The tenderness of our loved ones’ arms. The cherished dreams we dare not share.

And the biggest danger out there is not that someone will burgle our house, or run over our dog, or hurt us but rather that we will reach the end of our life and find that we forgot to live. Especially in the busy times. We forgot to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

I visited the counsellor the other night and as I snotted through my hour’s session she listened sagely and then set me a challenge.

“If you were to do things for yourself, and make time for you, what would you do?”

“Write them down in a list, ” she said. “They don’t have to cost much, if anything.”

So. Here’s my challenge to you. If you could do something for yourself that made you feel alive, and actually living your life, not just passing GO, what would you do?

I’ll start –

1/ A warm bath with a lovely glass of wine (not cheap wine but beautiful wine) and lots of sensual bubbles.

You’re next. What would you do? Or have you forgotten in your busyness to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN?


'Stop, look and listen' has 10 comments

  1. November 7, 2013 @ 11:20 am Rachel Lees

    I sometimes still check for monsters hiding in the wardrobes when I’m home alone. But seriously, that’s a great question from the counsellor to get you thinking. I would love to curl up with a jolly good book in a big, comfy old chair by a roaring, crackling fire on a rainy day.


    • November 10, 2013 @ 2:26 pm vegemitevix

      Sounds fab. Though I might swap out the rainy day for a sunny one, and the comfy chair and fire for towel on a sandy beach. 🙂


  2. November 7, 2013 @ 11:56 am uniquenique01

    I would and sometimes do take a wonderful bubble filled spa bath with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. My other favourite is taking a walk in the rain with my loved ones we always seem to find something to create an adventure from. Everyone is always busy but sometimes it is good to just be just to tune back in to who you are as a person 🙂


    • November 10, 2013 @ 2:29 pm vegemitevix

      Love bubble baths. In fact it’s my go-to when I’m feeling really stressed. My mum taught me that when I suffered my first breakup with my first boyfriend.


  3. November 7, 2013 @ 11:57 am Nicky Perry

    I’ve asked myself this, but I honesty don’t know. Nothing just pops into my head, which worries me… or maybe it’s too many things pop into my head and I can’t decide which is the most important thing for ME?


    • November 10, 2013 @ 2:31 pm vegemitevix

      Isn’t it weird how we end up in that way of thinking? Where once upon a time (before kids) we used to just take it for granted that we would do whatever we wanted – go to a movie, out for a drink, down to the beach, have a bath – and now we can’t even think what we might do if we had the chance!


  4. November 8, 2013 @ 2:09 am notefromlapland

    oh a hot bubble bath and wine sounds ace. I’m off to spend 2 nights alone in a hotel this weekend. I think there may be a couple of big bubble baths had 🙂


    • November 10, 2013 @ 2:32 pm vegemitevix

      Big secret reveal here – I love being away from home and on my own in a hotel! YAY! I can have a big bubbly messy bath and not worry. I can rearrange the bedclothes to how I want. I love that space. Does that make me weird? Anitsocial?


  5. November 8, 2013 @ 8:12 am Bright Side of Life

    Okay, this one is a big one…. get ready! I would go to New Zealand to spend my 50th Birthday with my mum, three sisters and their kids. I would go alone without my husband and my children. I NEED this so badly. Oh, you know the boogie monster? The Zulu word is tokoloshe…. and most Zulu speaking people raise their beds on bricks to keep the tokoloshe away! 🙂


    • November 10, 2013 @ 2:33 pm vegemitevix

      I would so love you to do that. You could come and stay with us on your way down country. You are from down country aren’t you? Can’t remember. Love the Zulu word – tokoloshe. Love it. Might start using it.


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.