Sometimes you just have to stop for a minute or two and take it all in

I don’t know if it’s a sign of aging but life certainly seems to be moving quicker than ever these days. Even with Covid restrictions dictating how we live at the moment, the days / weeks / months seem to fly by.

If you’re anything like me, this isn’t helped by having a short attention span. It’s a combination of being easily distracted and having numerous thoughts running round in my head at any given moment, meaning I find it difficult to concentrate fully on anything in life.

Regular readers will know I like an early morning walk. I like to see the sun come up and prefer to be out when it’s quieter and there are fewer people around. However, despite the peace and tranquillity, I still find it difficult to ‘empty my head’ at these times and concentrate fully on the surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoy my time outside, but I’m rarely able to stop my mind racing and simply get lost in the moment. Perhaps that’s why I just can’t get into meditation – I’ve tried it a few times now though I find it very difficult to focus on that one pursuit and nothing else. It just hasn’t worked for me yet.

One simple approach I have recently started which is showing signs of working is stopping for a minute or two and taking in my surroundings. If I’m on my favourite early-morning walk, I’ll stop halfway round the reservoir and just look around for a couple of minutes. If I’m sat in the spare bedroom I rather grandiosely call an office whilst working from home, I’ll stop a few times a day and just stare out into the garden. If I’m driving and see something I like the look of (as in the attached pictures of the sunset and the horse in the frozen field), I’ll stop (if it’s appropriate and safe to do so, of course…) and take it all in. The revelation in trying to do this recently is just how much there is to see. I’ve gained more of an appreciation for just what is right in front of us each day. Fields, trees, wildlife, plants, buildings, the landscapes on our doorstep. There is much to see and yet I’ve realised I’ve previously missed so much whilst strolling around by constantly thinking about other things. I don’t particularly care if it may look a little odd if I suddenly stop walking and just look around – I’m getting a lot from it. I’m now trying to do it on a daily basis, wherever I am. We miss so much by charging through daily life, often without realising it, and that is a crying shame when there is so much to see.

So, if you have the time and don’t mind what people might think of you, just take a minute at some point soon, stop where you are, and take a good long look around. Even if you’re somewhere you’ve been on many occasions in your life, I’m certain you’ll find something new and amazing…

As always, thanks for reading, stay safe, and please do try to be kind to others and to yourself.

Best wishes and take care.



  1. Great article Mick. Me like you am always thinking of work, food, family and others and not stopping to appreciate what’s in front of me. Tomorrow on my walk and throughout the day I will spend just a few moments to look. I’m privileged to live in a abeautiful area so have lots to see. Thanks 😊

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