In this race of life have we forgotten to savour the journey?

Bike race
Bike race by Brian1 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

Something happened last week that pulled me up out of my ordinary, every day world and made me take stock and afterwards it got me wondering are we all too caught up in the race of life that we forget to savour the journey in our rush to the finish line?

With our heads full of dates and people and places to be, our bags crammed with stuff to do lists, our email boxes full and our voicemails overflowing, is it any wonder that we cannot hear through all the noise or see past the overwhelming tasks that confront us.

Busy by Krnlpanik courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Our minds are teeming, filled with the minutiae of our lives, shuffling our priorities about constantly to address the need that seems most urgent at any given time. We owe it to ourselves to seek out a little quiet time to recharge those batteries and simply be, not do or think but see and feel.

Sometimes we need to step back, breathe deep and give ourselves the head space to think, something which, when confronted with all the extraneous white noise, is fiendishly hard to do.

Sitting on the top of the worldm
Sitting on the top of the world by Daftcain courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

We are all familiar with the expression “breathing space” – an opportunity to pause, relax, or decide what to do next. The term originates from the 1600s and was used to describe packed public gatherings where there literally was little breathing space so tightly packed were the people. In modern times it is used far more frequently to describe our need for space in a more internalised rather than externalised way. Where once our physical safety may have given rise for the need of breathing space now it is our mental and emotional wellbeing that is at stake. It is a concept our ancestors would struggle to comprehend given that most of us are not grappling with overwhelming religious or moral dilemmas.

Quiet pleasejpg
Quiet please by Paolo Fefe courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

Life today is complicated and fast. We are reaping the whirlwind of modern technology. In so many ways modern life is safer and better than humans have ever known but it comes with its own inherent dangers. Only we can take the decision to step back and relax. Modern life will never encourage us to do so, the fear of missing out or of failure to achieve the goals set for us by others or ourselves, will always drive us on if we let it.

It is up to us to find our own breathing space. So take some time for yourself. Step out of the race for a moment and enjoy just being instead of doing.

No one has ever wished they had worked more when they are on their death beds.


Leisure by William Henry Davies (1871-1940)

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.


4 thoughts on “In this race of life have we forgotten to savour the journey?

  1. John Jackson 13/04/2016 / 7:50 pm

    It is too easy to charge through life without noticing what surrounds you. I’m old(er) and disabled and I can’t do half the things I used to do, or hoped to do in my retirement. BUT – what I CAN do, I make sure I enjoy, and try to wring every ounce of enjoyment from whatever comes my way.

    if I won the lottery this weekend, that would be nice, but it won’t get me a new leg. So I’ll just go on, enjoying what I can for as long as I can.

    Carpe diem!!!


    • ellieholmesauthor 13/04/2016 / 8:10 pm

      Couldn’t agree more, John. Life can change in the blink of an eye. As Shakespeare put it so beautifully in Hamlet ‘The readiness is all’. Live life with the knowledge and understanding of how lucky you are and how fragile life is and you really begin to live. The alternative is an existence on auto pilot which is no life at all. Thanks for commenting.


  2. metamorphicborderline 13/04/2016 / 10:03 pm

    I love this. I am so trying at the moment to just stop periodically and become aware of my life and priorities. A great read…


    • ellieholmesauthor 14/04/2016 / 5:23 am

      It’s so hard to achieve but worth the effort. Living life on auto pilot is not a good alternative – see my earlier comment to John. Good luck and thanks for commenting.


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