Take Time To Smell The Roses

Christmas is just around the corner, shopping malls are brightly lit with decorative lamps of a myriad of colours and peppermint candy canes are selling like hot-cakes. Just about the right kind of festive mood to set you up for a shopping spree. I wish!

Speaking of Christmas, back when Christmas was in winter for us, my brother and I used to receive gifts in shiny wrapping papers with big bows to complete. We had very loving French neighbours whom despite knowing we didn’t celebrate would nonetheless leave gifts at our door when we were out or personally hand them to us when we were in. It was a time we actually looked forward to.

Believe it or not, as much as the hype of girls owning Barbie dolls, my parents never bought me any. The four (or was it five?) Barbie dolls I ever owned were all given to me. As a child, I spent most of my free time playing outdoor games with my brother. Cycling downhill whilst feeling the cold wind brush against our faces; playing Frisbee; making snowmen; climbing trees; bugging our kind, tolerant neighbours; conducting silly treasure hunts; making mud cakes and the list just goes on and on. How do you put all that into comparison with playing and changing attires of a Barbie doll? Beyond comparison!

When the weather was unbearable for our frail bodies and our boots could no longer contain our numb feet, we resorted to indoor games. Some may sleep with their stuffed toys but we… we rode on them. A blue Smurf and Snoopy the dog were our constant victims. We held poor Smurfy and Snoopy by the ears, sat on their backs and pushed with our feet racing each other to the ‘finishing line’. On other occasions, when we grew tired of manually pedalling with our legs, we would make somersaults from the radiator and land on our queen-sized bed flipping all sorts of moves one could imagine. It’s a wonder how I have all those images still vividly tucked somewhere in me.

True as it is, you’ll never forget the best times you encounter in life. It just replays and replays transporting you to a time when everything was close to perfect. Probably one of the reasons why God gave us memories, so good times could be recounted in times of bad ones. We all deserve that bit of happiness.

On a fresher note, 2004 is closing in and 2005 embarking in just a few days. Some resolutions have been achieved… others I guess will just be carried forward (I know you do it too). It has been a challenging year for me, over humps and in dark valleys but the experience I gained has been richly rewarding and hopefully beneficial in the future. For some of us who have been working hard, take time to smell the roses. It doesn’t hurt to sit down and count your blessings. May the commencement of the New Year and throughout be a wonderful one for all of us, forever blessed under the wings of His grace. InsyaAllah.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. –Robert Brault


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