When I was a little kid, I had a love-hate with road trips. I loved the destinations, but I hated the driving. I always brought my portable DVD player and would hunch over it with a blanket thrown over the top of me. Instead of staring out the window, my portable movie theater allowed me to watch such timeless classics as Fox and the Hound, Megamind, and G-Force. I never really realized just how many memories I was missing on all those road trips until the age-old saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” really clicked. The phrase that has been thrown around longer than sliced bread. I could never wrap my head around this saying as a little kid. Why would you stop and smell the roses? They have thorns and hurt you when you get close to them. It took me longer than I would like as my life went on to understand what this saying meant entirely. As my team and I are now a full ten months into State Office, this saying has become an essential saying to me. I don’t think of it as “Stop and smell the roses” anymore; I now think of it as “Don’t Blink.” It is a simple saying yet with so much meaning to me personally. This quote can be interpreted very simply as such stop and slow down. You need to blink and slow it down, like when you are staring out the window of a car, and everything starts to go by super fast. 

While it means that those two words can mean so much more, personally, it means to slow down time and embrace those little moments. These little moments have become my favorite part of life. They add so much joy, chaotic energy, and love for life. These are the moments I remember the most and the moments I tell stories about the most. “Don’t Blink” can also be interpreted as, remember why you are there. Remember the reason for the journey you’re on instead of only focusing on the result. This will allow those memories you’re making to have a much more significant meaning and impact upon your life.

I have missed so many little moments throughout my life. As just like that little kid hunched over the portable DVD player, I was so focused on the destination. I missed all of those little moments, and I will never be able to get those back. My personal challenge for 2022 is to embrace and focus on the little moments more than ever. I challenge that you focus on the little moments more than ever in 2022. 

-Your state Treasurer

JW Dippold