Ep – 88 Stop and Smell the Roses

Our monthly one-on-one conversation

Stop and smell the roses. No one knows where that phrase or sentence comes from. If you know, please leave me a comment below. I like discovering the origin story of some of our popular phrases and words.

I found that golfer Walter Hagen used the phrase frequently in my research. It makes sense that Walter is credited with helping Bobby Jones learn to control or deal with the stress of big-time golf.

For me, stopping and smelling the roses is a good reminder to slow down and appreciate where you are, where you have come from, and even where you are going. Too many times, grandpas and many other people have developed a kind of momentum where it is hard for us to hit pause. Even when you think you are relaxing and taking a minute, are you?

All of us need to learn to smell the roses. That pause we take is the best way I can think of truly allowing ourselves to appreciate the accomplishments in our lives. For most of us, our accomplishments are hidden and not celebrated in the way that maybe they should be public. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t need a special card for every little thing we do, but often there is no one around to congratulate us for our hard work.

Our spouses, friends, and other family members may occasionally acknowledge us, but do they know that you have been taking the stairs at work lately? Do they see you cutting out sugar or spending time each day writing that screenplay or novel? They may or may not. If you are like me, chances are you mention some of the things you are doing, but our little accomplishments get lost in the daily shuffle.

Let’s face it; sometimes, we don’t know how to communicate what might be a small victory from the outside is a massive win for us inside.

If you slow down once or twice a week to smell the roses, you need to use that time to celebrate your wins in your mind, no matter the size. This celebration helps set you up to keep moving forward toward your goals and your desired state of being, no matter what that is.

The other part of slowing down and smelling the roses is that it allows you to focus strategically on the challenges and opportunities in front of you. You may have started with a clear vision of how your week, month, and year would progress, but let’s face it, life happens.

Life happens. We know this, but if we don’t allow for course correction, ad hoc planning, or rallying tired troops (ourselves), we are on too tight a plan. Hitting the pause button lets us have a chance to check-in and think strategically about where we are and where we need to go next.

Others might have a different opinion, but I say using the pause button or smelling the roses is the perfect time to think and visualize what needs to happen next. There is plenty of time to write out goals, plans, action items, etc. but do this AFTER you stop and smell the roses. From that place of calm and positive energy, you WILL have a better frame of mind to create a winning plan.

How do you stop and smell the roses? What do you do to slow down and celebrate YOUR WINs and think about your next accomplishments? Leave me a comment below. I would love to learn what you are doing.

If you found this episode helpful, please share it with a friend. I want to share the good news about how everyone can grow and develop meaningful relationships.


Click HERE to visit the Fascination Street Podcast – Remember to subscribe to this show. You will not regret it.

Click HERE to order your copy of The Success Principles

Click on this link to learn more about Peekabond.

Click on this link to learn and sign up for Readeo.

EP – 84 Priming the Pump

Our monthly one on one conversation

“Welcome back, my friends to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend! Come inside! come inside!” – Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

I am happy to have a moment with you. I enjoy these one-on-one conversations, and I hope you find them valuable for your grandparenting journey.

This month, I want to discuss steps you can take to ‘prime the pump’ or, in other words, plan your next visit with your children and grandchildren. Some people will tell you that the only actual planning you should do on your stays (assuming you live out of town) is when you arrive and depart. They will say that should be enough planning and that the trip should be an organic experience.

I say that not having a plan is a recipe for miscommunication and missed opportunities for your adult children, grandchildren, and YOU.

I am not saying that you have to have every minute of your visit planned but what I am saying is that you need to have some plans for your trip, AND you need to build up some anticipation about your stay with the grandchildren.

Put yourself back into your early parenting days for a minute. How would you have liked to have your parents or in-laws show up at the house for a few days, a week, a month with no idea what they wanted to do or not do? Think about the level of stress that would manifest itself with so many unknowns. Do the grandparents want to have a big dinner at some point? Do they want to take the grandkids to the park or zoo? What days is all this going to happen? What about play dates? Times that I was going to work on the car? Painters coming to the house? There are a lot of unknown questions here AND a lot of potential stress.

Grandpa’s, we need to help make sure that our time with our children and grandchildren is as stress-free as possible so that EVERYONE can enjoy the time together.

Here are a few tips that I do and that I have found to help set expectations and reduce stress for those days when my wife and I visit our children and grandchildren.

Start communicating early and often about the expected arrival and departure dates until your travel dates are 100% locked in.

– If you are planning Grandpa/ grandchild activities that are more than an hour, start talking about the dates and times of those activities as early as possible. The parents and grandchildren have schedules that they will need to adjust for your fun activities.

– Ask the parents what activities they think the grandchildren would like. Children’s tastes, activity levels, and interests might have changed since your last visit.

– Use text messages or emails to write down the loose itinerary for everyone. Talking about the calendar AND seeing the calendar may trigger forgotten activities that the kids or grandkids had planned. “Measure twice cut once”

– Leave some blank or ‘zero days.’ Everyone needs some flexibility for last-minute plans and some “grandpa is pooped out” time. 🙂

– Start priming the pump with the grandkids early. This activity is age-dependent, but 30 days out is a good rule of thumb.

– Send video messages about the visit talking about the fun you will have with the grandchildren.

– Use snail mail to shoot a postcard talking about a fun activity. Maybe print out and send tickets to the Zoo, Waterpark, or something else that requires tickets or a pass with older kids.

Your list and planning activities may vary from mine, which is okay. The important thing is to recognize that some pre-planning and a lot of communication will reduce the natural stress that a visit from grandpa and grandma can produce. After all, we want every visit to be memorable for the good times and feelings and not hurt feelings or misunderstandings that can happen when we visit our children and grandchildren.

Be sure to like and subscribe to the podcast if you have not done so already. Also, please share this episode and podcast with a friend. Sharing is the best way to spread the information people need to grow and maintain relationships with their family and friends.

Click on this link to learn more about Peekabond.

Click on this link to learn and sign up for Readeo.