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Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community

enjoy life for websiteThis is a really amazing day.  A day that something exciting is taking place… a PROACTIVE, solution-based event.

Today we are installing a visual reminder to enjoy life… our Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community sign in Port Jefferson Station — the FIRST Enjoy Life Community ever.

The concept behind the Enjoy Life Community Project is simple.  It’s a bridge between organizations within a community and a truly positive momentum for us to work together to enjoy life.

Here is a link to the Port Jefferson Station / Terryville community page.  This is a place where the resources and contacts will be available to all:  Enjoy Life Community Port Jefferson Station / Terryville

Below is the press release we sent out for the Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Commuinity sign installation — the sign installation is in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service — as this is a first step in awareness and a positive reminder that it is most important for us to remember to enjoy life.

Please email doreen@timetoplay.com or call 631-331-2675 with any questions or for the full protocol on the steps to implement an Enjoy Life Community in your city or town.

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For Immediate Release

Contact:  Doreen Guma 631-331-2675 | doreen@djamesmarketing.com

Date:  Thursday, January 22, 2015

Time:  2:30 PM – 2:40 PM

Location:  Corner of Route 347 and Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station, NY

What:  In recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright will join the Enjoy Life Community™ Committee and members of Port Jefferson Station as the FIRST EVER Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community™ sign is installed.  The sign is a marker for positive things to come, bridging the communication throughout the community, and the work that will be done together by those who live in the Port Jefferson Station / Terryville community.

The Enjoy Life Community™ project is sponsored by the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.

“The main goal of the Enjoy Life Community™ program is to bring ALL community organizations, groups and businesses together to focus on the needs of the community as a whole and not the problems; to encourage everyone to get involved; to spread the new of the good works community groups and people are currently doing; to eliminate the hopelessness that people feel; to eliminate the thinking that they are powerless and encourage them to believe that, as a community, we can achieve anything,” said Doreen Guma, Founder of the Time to Play Foundation.

“So many people are doing such great things in each and every community, but I have found that many people do not know what the are working on or the resources within the community available to them.  Many times people feel hopeless and sit around and wait for “them” to fix things.  I believe we are all people living together and it’s up to us to make things happen to benefit us all.  Each Enjoy Life Community™ will become a “micro hub” where communities can create a wish list and everyone can “pitch in” so we can ALL enjoy life and make things happen.  Nothing is impossible when we work together,” said Guma.

The “Welcome to our Enjoy Life Community™ signs that will be installed throughout the community is an important part of the program.  The goal is for signs to be installed throughout the community to remind people of the importance to enjoy life, even if they are having a bad day; to trigger a positive momentum in the lives of all who live in the community; and to provide a positive visual focus to build community pride in the residents of the community.  Additionally, goals for the program are to encourage community participation and decrease social isolation, especially in at risk members of the community’s population including youth, veterans and seniors.

“With all the negative news every day, there is no better time than the present to focus on the positive and what our community needs to enjoy our life, and to work together to make it happen,” said Doreen.

Enjoy Life Community™ © 2014 by Doreen Guma for the Time to Play Foundation, Inc.

 

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Are You Ready to Change?

change

change

Something I’ve identified in my lifetime doing quality improvement and providing education to different groups of people regarding life situations (for example, I recently have been lecturing on diabetes prevention) is the concept of forever counseling.  I’ll even go so far as to call it a cycle of failure.

Although I truly hate the word failure, and I’ll discuss that concept a little bit later in this article, I felt it would be the best word to use to convey the concept I’m trying to describe here.  I believe many industries in our economy bank on our failure – the failure to successfully diet, failure to exercise, failure to have money.  Just look at companies that offer weight loss programs, or the pharmaceutical companies, or gyms.  They hope you fail so you keep coming back and spending your money.  As a matter of fact, the self help industry has grown to be an $11 billion industry.  I’m thinking success is not really the ultimate goal.

With 28 years in healthcare seeing the “sick and sad”, I decided there had to be a better way.  I developed the Time to Play Philosophy with the hope to trigger people to “take their life back”, to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance.  My goal since I’ve started this project, and now through the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit with the mission to inspire everyone to enjoy life, was to “plant a seed”.  What does that mean?  I figured we could have wonderful people (the whole project is built on a “people helping people” idea) with experience in each of these areas (happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance) who could educate others with SIMPLE tips or thoughts that anyone can easily implement into their lives so they could have a better life.

I’ve learned that you can write, talk, tell people and spread all the good ideas or suggestions you want, but unless someone is ready to change, it will not matter.  I’ve seen people go to programs, counselors, courses… they are “in” for the time when they are there, and then fall back into the same routine when they leave.

People close to me even speak about hating their job, not having enough money, or being displeased with a life situation; but still they remain in the same day to day (not mentioning any names here – but, hint, hint — Gregory).

Why?  It’s easier.  Jim, my husband, and I have spoken about this numerous times and he always reminds me about the concept of the path of least resistance.  Think about that for a moment.  Everything in our world does take the path of least resistance. Even water flowing down a hill will go around an obstruction first.

That got me thinking about the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results”.  Think about that for a moment, as well.  I had written about that same concept in my book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” (www.ifIKnewThenBook.com) stating that history will repeat itself if we let it.

So, with that being said, I believe that, no matter what program, coach, seminar, book, class, or anything else you sign up for, nothing will change UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE CHANGE.  Even in the diabetes prevention class I recently taught, I would watch the participants come.  Week after week they had excuses why their weight did not change.  They would say they had a hard week, had an event, had no time to exercise, or didn’t have time to follow the program. Week after week they would have no results and become discouraged.  Week after week they did the same thing, expecting different results, but there were no different results.

There are no different results until you decide that it’s time for that to happen – that it’s time for a change.

This article was not intended to insult anyone or to make anyone feel bad or angry, but to spark a thought to consider what we each need to do to make our lives better.  Each of us, even if we live in the same community or even in the same house or family, needs something different in our own lives to enjoy life.  We are all living our own, different, experience, and we all have different needs.

BUT, I believe it is necessary, every once in a while, for us to take a moment to STOP and evaluate what’s going on in our day-to-day lives.  I believe we are put on this earth to love life and not be a “tortured soul” (explained in chapter 2 of my book).

Let’s expand on this concept of life evaluation.  I believe that we get so wrapped up in the day to day that, every once in a while, it becomes necessary for us to take a moment and look around.  Kind of like a performance review on our own lives by the most important person in the world to us (ourselves).

  • Ask yourself – are you truly happy, healthy, have money (at least enough to pay our bills so you’re not stressed out) and/or a work life balance?
  • Take a moment to evaluate your life situation and then take a moment to write down what things could make your day a little better.
  • Next make a list of possible things you can do (change / implement) to make those things happen.

You have to decide if you could commit to implementing the items on the list.  Sometimes the options are not realistic… I get it.  BUT, I believe that, if you do just one small thing to get from here to there, it could make all the difference.  Also, keep in mind that EVERY MOMENT of EVERY DAY is an opportunity for a “do over” in most cases.  So, take those “do over” opportunities.  Although I used the word failure when I began this article, I believe that, in reality, there is no actual failure, but just learning opportunities.  A learning opportunity that allows for that “do over”.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year”….

No matter what advertisement sounds good, or no matter who tells you that “you should do ___________“ (fill in the blank), in the end, it is up to each of us to decide if we are ready.

I have learned that there are no shortcuts or magic potions.  The answer is easy and lies within ourselves.

It is our own commitment TO ourselves.

So…. are you ready to make that change?  It’s time to enjoy life.

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life. – See more at: www.TimetoPlay.com

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2015 – Whatcha Gonna Do With It?

Empowerment

Empowerment

As I sit here on New Year’s Day eating a piece of leftover coffee cake (thank you to Carmela), I reflect on the pressure we find ourselves in to set “resolutions”.

On New Year’s we feel obligated to “start over”, to reflect on what we’ve been through over the past year, etc.

This article is going to be very short and sweet.  Yes, it’s New Year’s Day.  Yes, it’s a “fresh” start that we are celebrating with thoughts of untold opportunities and limitless possibilities.  But, guess what? Don’t forget that EVERY day is a fresh start.  As a matter of fact, 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year is an opportunity for a “do over”.

Probably the most important thing I’ve learned over these past years working on the Time to Play project is that NOTHING holds us back EXCEPT ourselves. NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE TELLS YOU.  Do you want it?  Figure out the best way, at that very moment, to make steps to get it.  Do you want it?  Figure out what is your next best move…. AND DON’T GIVE UP.

Not to say there is no purpose in New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.  I believe this celebration gives us hope and is a reminder and a time to spark us to think about our dreams and hopes.

BUT, I believe, (myself included), that many of us are creatures of habit.  Many times we start out with great intentions and fall into the same old routine.  I believe that, sometimes we “forget” to pursue something because priorities push us in a different direction.  Sometimes we get caught up in the “day to day”, and our vision becomes so distant.  Companies like Weight Watchers or the local gyms bet on it.

I found statistics (see below) that list those same old resolutions, the things we promise ourselves year after year.  But, like I noted earlier, it’s definitely our thought pattern that is the difference between “making” a resolution to seeing it to fruition.

What to do?

This year – and this day — CAN be different.

How?

It is time for YOU to make your resolutions or visions happen.

I tried to simplify setting a “wish list” that can enable us to reach those dreams.  First, I’ve learned that whatever we dream can happen, and whatever we think can happen. What I’ve learned is that it is important to focus on that desire.

Although people may disagree, I believe we have to combine intentions and goals.  I believe it’s important to trust and let things happen FOR you, BUT, I also am realistic.  I will never be able to separate having faith and not being an active participant to set out a list of things that need to be accomplished, finding ways to make them happen, and crossing them off my list.  I stand by the saying “God helps those who help themselves”.

My proposal – make it easy.  For this, the first day of 2015, or ANY day you are ready to make a change, put a “Wish List” together. The most important way to start is to identify what really is important and what are those dreams that you see for yourself.  Note:  One of the most important things I’ve learned in the recent past is that, if it doesn’t feel right, that’s probably not the way you should be heading or the thing you should be doing.  It might be helpful to keep this in mind while you are making your list.

Also, when you’re making your “wish list”, don’t forget, nothing is impossible.

No worries.  No pressure.  Remember, you have 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year to “start over”.

So, write down that list.  Post it in the bathroom or on the refrigerator or someplace you are guaranteed to see it to keep it top of mind.  I understand “life” gets in the way.  Something happens and you can’t do what you had scheduled or it is hard to stay on track because there are so many distractions.

But, keep at it.

Look at that list every day.

Opportunities will “pop up” to make what seems impossible become possible.  Keep aware.  Look for opportunities to make these things on your list happen. And, make sure to update the list. Cross off what has been accomplished and add new “wishes” as you move forward.  Seeing the progress is most gratifying and encouraging.

We are creatures of habit, but it is up to us to choose the habit in which we partake.

I wish you hope and many blessings for this year of 2015.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a not for profit organization with the intention to encourage others to enjoy life.  Please see www.TimetoPlay.com for more information and resources.

New Years Resolution Statistics — Included here just for fun:  Let’s break the cycle!  Source:  http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics

Statistic Verification
Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology
Research Date: 1.1.2014

 

Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014
1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family

 

News Years Resolution Statistics Data
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions 17%
Percent of Americans who absolutlely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Percent who have infrequent success 49%
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions) Data
Self Improvement or education related resolutions 47%
Weight related resolutions 38%
Money related resolutions 34%
Relationship related resolutions 31%
Age Success Rates Data
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year 39%
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year 14%
Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%

 

 

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Responsibility and Our Own Actions

Be the change you want to see in the world - Ghandi

Be the change

With the risk of making people angry at me, I felt compelled to write this article.  It’s not intended to insult anyone but to make people THINK on their own and to stop casting blame.  Guess what?  WE are part of every situation and the outcome of every situation.  The fault is not just of one person, but all of ours.  Again, my intention here is to plant a seed and to make you think.

I felt especially compelled to write this article today, the day of the funeral of fallen police officer Ramos.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

WE are powerful people.  When we are silent, things occur that may not be pleasing to us.  This is evident in EVERY area of our lives.  But, yet we don’t necessarily take responsibility for the outcomes and then we BLAME others when things don’t work out the way we prefer.  What do I mean?  Let’s look at some examples that may occur in our everyday lives.

Relationships:  This can be a love relationship, work relationship, a relative, or a friend.  Sometimes we don’t like the behavior of someone.  What do we do?  Do we sit down and have an intelligent conversation and “lay it all out on the table”?  Let’s be truthful… I would bet that, in the majority of instances, we don’t.  Instead, we complain.  Perhaps we go behind their back and do “stuff” that only exacerbates a situation to “get them”.  Just our own talking about whatever “it” is makes us more angry and frustrated.  A better way would be to talk about it TOGETHER and figure out the next step.

Maybe the person causing your issue isn’t aware of what they are doing?  Think about your boss.  They “make” you do stuff, or give you bad hours, or “take advantage”.  My own children complain about this type of situation.  The key word here is complain.  Complaining does not get you anywhere.  So, what do you do?  Perhaps your supervisor or manager is overwhelmed in their own situation or the pressures of their position.  Bringing them an awareness of what is troubling you or a hardship that is created may alleviate issues for you both.  I’m sure they would appreciate it much more than the hostility, hard feelings and antagonistic behaviors that result when these type of feelings are held inside. My oldest son recently had been completely overwhelmed with his hours at work and his workload at college.  Did he mention it to his manager?  Nope.  Would he have been better off if he had?  Absolutely.

Again, we can apply this to every situation in our lives. A relationship with a relative or a spouse would definitely benefit from sitting down and working things out.  Look at the ramifications of not doing this – the hostility, hurt, and the alienation that result when we don’t.  This is evident in situations with relatives in my own family – who doesn’t like who, who doesn’t talk to who.  And, how many people know someone going through a divorce?  It is an amicable parting or are they trying to “screw” the other?  Or, who knows people in a marriage that is “failing”?  I truly believe there is a way to work things out.  Talking about the feelings being harbored inside is definitely, in my opinion, the first step.  Human beings are not mind readers and there is no way we can assume another party knows that they are troubling us or causing a hardship.  Bullying comes to mind here, as well.  Just “food for thought”, but at what point do we stand up for what is right?  History repeats itself if we let it (I’ll explain this statement in a moment).  We know there are issues, but do we continue to be enablers?

Another important thing to consider is that we have to let the person bringing us a situation the opportunity to speak. Instead, do we get defensive?  I know I have been guilty of this myself… we justify our actions because, after all, we’re right, aren’t we?  It’s important to listen to what the person coming to you is speaking about.  Sometimes it makes sense to see what we don’t consciously see; even when something we did or said was not intended in the way it was perceived.  But, here’s the beauty of this.  We have the ability to work out whatever was the situation in a kind and amicable way.  Perhaps we can even start over with a fresh perspective to make things better for all parties.

Responsibility — In today’s society there is so much thrown at us. So much news, so many opinions, so much stuff telling us how to think and what we should think.

Unfortunately, it is evident that this way is not productive.  We can see the ramifications when people are caught up in the fervor.  It’s the “lynch mobs” of yesteryear, the riots, like the time in our society of the Salem witch hunt.  A few sentences ago I noted the statement of “history will repeat itself if we let it”.  I wrote that in our book, If I Knew then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewthenBook.com). Unfortunately, we continue to let it.

The Salem witch hunt, to me, was such a sad time in our nation’s history.  We can see situations in our society’s history, again and again, of how fast people just “jump on the bandwagon”.  It perplexes me how this can be.  Perhaps an excuse for the actions of our people in the 1600’s was ignorance and lack of education.  But, in the year 2014 (and almost 2015) it is hard to imagine that this can be an excuse. I believe many of us now run on political agendas and “blame”.

Maybe it’s time to stop and figure out what is the next best step to bring unity to our people.  Look at the hardship and sadness that result from how we’re currently operating.  Look at the negative feelings that are building and building in our society.  Look at the instances where our politicians have forgotten who they work for an their harmful actions that cause irreparable damage.  Again, it’s the year 2014.  When will this madness stop?  Why is it always “us” against “them”?

It’s time for each of us to take responsibility for our own actions, to sit down, to act like intelligent people and to make the best choices for the whole.

That’s really the means to a simple solution.

But, unfortunately, when we are silent – and I’m not talking about the noise being made by the angry mobs roaming the streets of our cities, as I believe these are extremely unproductive – we get nowhere.

What is the next best step?  Where do we go from here?

Anger, frustration, hate, and fear are all unproductive.

Let’s figure out what is the best way for US to proceed forward at this time.  The key word here is FORWARD, instead of progressively moving backwards.  All we have to do is look at all the options and choose the best one – TOGETHER.  Let’s take responsibility for our actions, alone and together.  The alternative is just not acceptable.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

A statement worth repeating again and again; only WE, together, can effectively create that change.

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The Enjoy Life Community™ Project

Enjoy Life Community

Enjoy Life Community Announcement at Brookhaven Town Board Meeting

I was privileged this past week to have our Enjoy Life Community™ committee and members of the Time to Play Foundation’s Business Advisory Board attend the Town of Brookhaven’s Board meeting to announce the Enjoy Life Community™ Project.  The first Enjoy Life Community™ is in the process of forming in Port Jefferson Station, New York.  It is an amazing concept, and something that I know people will embrace so we can ALL have a better life and enjoy life.

I cannot describe the feeling I had presenting this to the Town Board.  This project is something I have been working toward for many years.

Thank you to our community coordinator, Christian Dideriksen and our core committee Christina Grimes, Michael Dorn, Dina Simoes, Jacki Kirsch, Charles McAteer and Jeff Kito.  Thank to to our dedicated Business Advisory Board Members of the Time to Play Foundation Dr. Joseph Rella, Nick LaMorte, Kevin McCormack, and to the Business Advisory Board Victoria Molloy whose intelligence and energy never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you to Jennifer and Councilwoman Cartwright – your support is a driving force behind us.

The following is the LONG version of what I did want to say at the Town Board Meeting, but I only had 3 actual minutes to speak, so I had to cut it down significantly.  I figured I would post it here to give readers an overview of what we’re aiming to do.

If you would like to get more information, please email me at doreen@timetoplay.com or call our office at 631-331-2675.  We have a whole protocol which we would love to share with your community – and this is applicable for anywhere in the country (or international if there is interest)!

It’s Time to Enjoy Life!

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Good evening Supervisor Romaine, Town Clerk Lent and members of the Board.  My name is Doreen Guma, and I am the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.

I am here this evening to make you aware of a new community initiative called the Enjoy Life Community™ Program, the first of which is launching in Port Jefferson Station, my own home town.  I am currently in the process of introducing the concept to other communities, as it is believed that every community should be an Enjoy Life Community™ .

We acknowledge that there are many organizations in EVERY community that do wonderful things.  As a matter of fact, our current inaugural committee, our enjoy life ambassadors, are still in the process of contacting and explaining the concept of the Enjoy Life Community to the over 50 organizations in Port Jefferson Station.  Our inaugural group has met a few times, but it is the goal of the Enjoy Life community to include everyone and every organization – for example rotary clubs, civic associations, business improvement districts, volunteer fire departments, schools, PTAs, clubs, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, girl scouts, boy scouts, healthcare providers, veterans service organizations, and our elected officials… we are all in this together.

The intention of the Enjoy life community is NOT to duplicate what is already being done by a community’s groups, but to provide an opportunity, through the enjoy life community coordinator, committee and enjoy life ambassadors, to prioritize projects and programs needed, collaborate together and achieve.  The enjoy life community will not focus on problems, but the goal is to proactively embrace what our community needs to enjoy life.

The enjoy life community also creates a cohesive way to disseminate the information about what our amazing organizations are doing and to identify ways to support each other and work together to identify ways we can make things better… and, then, to make it happen!

Therefore, the goal of the Enjoy Life Community™ is to bring ALL community organizations, groups and businesses together to focus on the needs of the community as a whole and not the problems; to encourage everyone to get involved, to spread the news of the good works community groups and people are currently doing; to eliminate the hopelessness or powerlessness feeling that people feel, and encourage them to believe that, as a community, we can achieve anything.

Another feature of the enjoy life community will be the welcome to our enjoy life community signs, which we envision installed throughout the community, to remind people of the importance to enjoy life.  It is hoped that the reminder will trigger a sense of pride and a positive momentum in the lives of all who live here.

The Enjoy Life Community will become a micro hub where we can create a wish list and everyone can pitch in so we can ALL enjoy life and make things happen.  Where we can focus on the positive of what we need to enjoy life, not the problems and negative, for example neighborhood watch communities which say “we have crime here”, or anti drug task force or anti anything which absolutely emphasize the issues and problems.  How amazing would it be to replace those “neighborhood watch” signs with “We are an Enjoy Life Community” signs.  We are not disqualifying the good works being done or discounting the value of these types of committees and functions.  We acknowledge that they may be necessary and that they may be part of the enjoy life community’s objectives… but, just think of the possibilities of turning to the positive and what the concept of the Enjoy Life Community™, can do.

Nothing is impossible when we work together.

The enjoy life community will also provide a centralized location, both online and off, to inform people of all the good work and great resources that are currently in our communities.  With every organization involved, the information about what’s going on and what the Enjoy life Community’s focus is will be easily communicated.

We believe that when people know the needs, goals and objectives of the Enjoy Life community™, we believe so many more will get involved in the initiative and be an active part of the good works being done and the good works that will be done, together.  We hope that people will feel good about and proud about where they live and become enjoy life ambassadors of their community, which is what we here, before you, are today.  I, and those next to me are the first enjoy life ambassadors for Port Jefferson station.

Each enjoy life community™ will have a coordinator and a committee made up of liaisons of all of the community organizations and any interested community members not yet part of an organization.  The enjoy life community will also act as a central repository for existing resources, and, together, the committee will develop a list of priorities where the community can work together to fill in the void where there is a need.

I am pleased to be joined tonight by an amazing and dedicated group – the first enjoy life ambassadors for the Port Jefferson Station community.  The committee coordinator is Christian Dideriksen, a lifelong member of Port Jefferson Station and volunteer firefighter.  Christina Grimes, Michael Dorn, Dina Simoes, Jacki Kirsch, Charles McAteer and Jeff Kito.  Also here tonight are some of our dedicated Business Advisory Board Members of the Time to Play Foundation Dr. Joseph Rella, Nick LaMorte, Kevin McCormack, and Board Chair Victoria Molloy, who fully support this initiative.

Over the last few months I have met with my Councilwoman, Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright, to inform her about the Enjoy Life community™ project.  We are looking forward to her participation at our first event and our first full committee meeting scheduled for 11/6.  It is our hope that the Town board will be supportive of this endeavor and that we will have opportunities to collaborate and partner in the future.

The Time to Play Foundation’s mantra is collaboration = success and people helping people.  We look forward to helping Port Jefferson Station and many more communities to Enjoy Life.

Thank you for your time.

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Enjoy Life Community™ Copyright © 2014 by Doreen Guma for the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to:  Time to Play Foundation, Inc., 1075 Route 112, Lower Level, Pt. Jeff Sta.,NY 11776 | 631-331-2675 | www.TimetoPlay.com | info@timetoplay.com

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Inspire Someone

 

Inspire Someone

Inspire Someone

The articles I have written for the past months have all centered on how to empower yourself and how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward, no matter what the situation.  Usually I base these articles on some type of personal life experience I have had or a thought that comes to my mind due to something in the news or something I have seen.

This article is a little different.  It’s more about looking at things outside yourself and actually seeing what is happening outside of your own daily experience.  That overview statement is not meant to be rude. I just know that we become so busy in our everyday that sometimes we don’t “see”.

How many people have you ever talked to, or met, who you thought had an amazing talent or potential.  Have you ever “taken that person by the hand” to help them aspire to be all they can be? We’ve all heard those sayings and phrases like “diamond in the rough”.  The concept here is seeing that diamond and helping it shine.

My son Gregory (he’s a psychology major in NYC) and I speak about people who have dreams and desires and wind up in “dead end” jobs instead of pursuing their passion.  I know that we all get stuck sometimes and have to take a job to feed the kids and pay the bills; however, from personal experience, (it took me 20 years to get my Master’s degree) and seeing others achieve that “life-long” dream, there is possibility for each and every one of us to do what’s in our hearts.

Sometimes, I’ve learned, we just have to chip away at “it” until “it” becomes reality – even taking those 20 years to accomplish.  I read something many years ago by Ann Landers – many of you may never have heard of her.  She passed away years ago and was an advice columnist that had a daily column in the newspaper.  Someone had written to “Dear Ann Landers” and said they were considering going back to school but that it would take them 8 years to complete.  She answered by writing back something like, “The 8 years will pass whether you go to school or not, so why not go?”  Truly, I’ve lived by those words.  I know you can make anything happen that you want to, and I do know the years will pass whether you do it or not.  But, when you choose NOT to do it, there may be regrets.  I choose to live life so I will have NO REGRETS.  What do you choose?

Inspire others is the hope to create awareness to look at the positives, to see the potential, and to stop labeling people as sick, sad, depressed, “no good”…  Perhaps it is time to look at the “diamond” and to see what they can be, to take them “by the hand” and encourage them to go for it.  In my experience this has been the absolute opposite of what actually happens.  I have experienced more people saying why they can’t or telling others why they can’t than actually making it happen.  Maybe it’s easier.  Maybe, deep down, they don’t want others to achieve what is in their hearts.  Maybe that’s tough to say or tough to hear.  Maybe we need to stop believing things can’t be done.

I believe the awareness, or a reminder that WE CAN, is all anyone needs.  Sometimes all someone may need is to take a moment to stop, take a step back, and look at the possibilities.  Sometimes, I’ve realized and I’ve seen, all it takes is the time to objectively look at and evaluate a situation, objective, or goal in order to find paths that will take us to where we want to be or to what we want to achieve.

That’s one of the driving forces behind Time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation.  To encourage people to not have regrets.  We only get one shot at this life, and there may not be an opportunity for “do-overs”. 

Today, when you go to work, the store, school, or anywhere else, don’t disqualify the people who do even the smallest tasks.  Take a moment to stop and talk to them.  What do they love, what is their passion, what do they dream about.

Over the past weeks I have been working to coordinate the I CAN BExtraordinary® Fashion Show to benefit Special Olympics at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, NY that will be held this Saturday, 9/13.

Why did I choose Special Olympics Athletes to be models?  These athletes inspire me.  They are amazing examples of not seeing an obstacle, of making something happen, of “going for the gold”.

These Atletes don’t let anything stop them from achieving their goals.

They are absolutely extraordinary, and absolutely a learning example to those who think they can’t do something.

They Can.  YOU Can.  Others Can.

Look around today.  Who is that diamond in the rough that just needs a little encouragement? 

Inspire someone.  Go for the gold.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma is a person who has believed in “people helping people” her whole life, leading to the founding of Time to Play (www.TimetoPlay.com) and the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit organization with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.  See more at www.TimetoPlayFoundation.org

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Setting the Right Example

If there’s one thing that parenthood has bestowed on us, it’s the desire to be a better person.  Suddenly with a pair (or pairs) of little eyes watching you closely, you become more aware of your habits (good and bad), your diet, your manners, and your temper – because someone is learning from you.  Well, there’s a biggie that most of us haven’t given much thought to: money.  For those of you with small ones, consider this time as good behavior training because even if your kids are too little to notice now, recent research indicates that children as young as 8 are ready to learn about money; and, the greatest impact on their knowledge is not any course they can take (if you can even find one) but on the behavior they observe at home.  The study went on to say that behavior modification in older children is difficult; the key is to catch them early.  So even though many of you have younger children, it’s never too early to get your household on track.  This way, the practices your children adopt will be healthy ones that will come naturally to you.  These simple first steps will lay a solid foundation:

  • When we have dessert, it’s served after dinner – When a child sees that Mom or Dad doesn’t always immediately gratify their retail purchasing urge, it teaches that not everything you want is needed, or some things are worth the wait.  With toddlers, the currency can be giving up the bottle or diapers to “buy” something that they want.  Having older children partake in saving for a portion of a pricey purchase can help teach them about setting goals and working toward achieving them, as well.  In addition, they will start to understand the sacrifices you make to afford your lifestyle.
  • Make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach – Showing children that bills are paid in full and on time sends them the signal that they need to keep a handle on how much they spend.  As you write the checks, let them know what you are doing and why you need to pay it on time.  If carrying credit card debt is something they don’t see in life, it makes them less likely to abuse the cards themselves.  This lesson is the single most important one to your future financial well-being.
  • If …. Then … Lessons – Show your kids the power of choices and the consequences to get across budgeting basics (e.g., “If we buy this flat screen TV, we won’t have enough for food.”).   
  • Do as I Do – There are no greater imitators than kids.  If they see you balancing the checkbook (even though they are not sure what that is), they will grow up knowing that is part of an adult routine.  As they get older, you can even enlist their help in calling out the check numbers.
  • Make Saving a Game – When they are really young, nothing is more fun than the clink of change in a piggy bank, or a change sorter.  As they get older, encourage kids to put away a portion of any gift money they get, as well as dedicating a portion to gifting.  When they are old enough to get a bank book of their own, take them down to the bank.  It will be a day they remember.
  • Story telling – Do you have a family member who overcame adversity (such as coming to this country with no money) only to live a successful life?  Let them know that Grandpa started up his business with nothing in his pocket.  Better yet, let him share the story.  Kids love to hear true stories, and they’ll be better off for having heard these words of wisdom.

Starting early in their lives will make all the difference, and it will be time well spent for all of you.  Remember:  They are watching.

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You can run but you can’t hide

you can run but you can't hideThis quote, “You can run but you can’t hide”, attributed to Joe Lewis, American Heavyweight Boxer, popped into my mind the other day.  It can’t be more true.

As I sit here writing this, I think about the dentist appointment I’ve been putting off and the other things on my “to do” list that I prefer to ignore.  I absolutely know that there is no room in our lives to put things off.  They will always come back to haunt you; sometimes with a vengeance.

This quote perfectly pertains to the Time to Play Philosophy, which identifies that you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  In my experience, and my belief, you cannot ignore any of these areas in achieving balance. 

As a person who has worked in healthcare for the majority of my life, I absolutely can attest that if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything… Grandma used to say that all the time, and, trust me; I have seen people living in nursing homes with health issues that may have been preventable. This is a subject discussed in our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com).  I recognize that if you ignore a health concern, it just won’t go away. 

What to do?  We all, deep down, know what’s right and what’s wrong.  You know if you’re eating the incorrect things.  It’s all definitely a choice, and I’m certainly far from perfect.  As a person with a gluten sensitivity, many times I’ll default to a food item that I know is “safe” as far as gluten is concerned but that is a non-preferred food choice as far as “health”; for example, potato chips – something that has become a “go to” when I’m at a party and there is nothing else available.  Being too busy to eat the way I know is best is also a great excuse I make, even now at 48 years old. 

I know that planning ahead in most every area of life is key, but I am old enough to recognize that planning ahead can sometimes be overwhelming. 

I also know now that each moment of each day enables a new choice, which is a very reassuring thought to me.  This enables practical behavior and an opportunity to change whatever I’m doing, at any time, to accommodate whatever my needs are at that given moment.

However, with age, it becomes even more apparent to me.  I now know you can’t hide.

You can’t hide from troubling issues that impact your happiness, whether it is a work relationship, a personal relationship or a family relationship.  If you ignore something, it’s still there.  Not only is it still there, but it’s in your mind all the time.  Sometimes it is hidden, but it always, somehow, makes it back into your thought pattern.  Sometimes the thoughts become haunting and can take you from having a great day to bringing you down.  Thoughts may be triggers that can, if you listen, make you aware that it is time to address something, change something, or do something.  If you are in a situation that affects your happiness, it may be time to reevaluate that, too. What is in your current experience that will enable you to make a change? 

Change is hard and people resist change.  We’d rather just deal with the situation that is known vs. trying something new.  However, there definitely becomes a time when what we’re dealing with, if it’s not working for us, has to change.  My husband and I ask our kids all the time who the most important person in the world is. Do you know?  It’s YOU.  Sometimes I think we forget that.  In reference to happiness, perhaps it is time to look at your options and move forward.  It’s better to address a situation than to let it linger and affect your every day living.

You can’t hide from financial concerns.  This is a big one that, in my experience, gets pushed to the back burner.  There is a lot of help out there for people if they are overburdened.  Just Google debt counseling in your area.  There are always options.  A quick story in reference to this topic. My oldest son was very big on complaining that there were no jobs available.  He stayed in a job that he hated and that paid him less than he needed to make his rent and other bills. We encouraged him to apply to others, but he stayed in that job that created financial hardship for him and that also made him feel stressed and frustrated every day for almost an entire year. Throughout my life I’ve seen people stay in situations like this for many years. I now believe that, where there’s a will, there’s a way.  If you cannot find a job that accommodates your needs, make one!  That’s in our book, too.  No one ever said you have to work for another person.  We are all powerful and have amazing talents.  You can be what you want to be.  I know we sometimes forget the enormous power we have within.  I know that, sometimes, we lose our power and that, sometimes, we feel helpless.  Especially in this time where there is so much fear of losing jobs in our current society.  I acknowledge that, yes, “things” have changed.  However, I also realize that we all have to change with the times. 

What are you good at?  What do you love to do?  Figure out where and how you can “work” in what you love.  This ties in with the work life balance, the remaining part of the Time to Play Philosophy.  It’s been said many times that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.  I believe that 1,000%. 

Is making a change easy?  Not necessarily.  Does it take work and does it take persistence?  Absolutely.

However, I truly believe we all have the power within to make it happen. I know you know you can do it.  All of it. 

It’s up to YOU to make it possible. 

Perhaps today is the time to stop hiding.  Perhaps it’s time to take that first step to enjoy life. I guess I’d better get on the phone with that dentist.

Oh, and if you need guidance or support, we do have an amazing team of professionals who are available to help.  Just reach out and we’ll guide you to the right one.

Love, Doreen

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive with 28 years in healthcare and a certified professional life coach.  Contact her at doreen@timetoplay.com or 631-331-2675

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College Bound Concerns

Anyone who has a child getting ready to start college for the first time probably has a list of concerns a mile long.  Among the worries is the handling of money.  Whether your child is going away or staying home, there is a real opportunity to start your son or daughter on his or her first journey into financial responsibility.  While it might be hard to look at your “baby” as an adult handling money, there’s no time like the present to learn these important lessons.  These tips will help your child get off to a strong start.
1. Consider what income sources are available.   Will your child save money over the summer or have a job while at school?  Will you be supplying extra money?
2.  Decide on who is paying for what.  Sit down and be clear about what you are paying for, and what you are not paying for. This will allow your child to ballpark what his/her expenses might be.  Go shopping together so your child can get a real sense of what things cost; then put together a rough budget.
3.  Look at ways to shave the expenses.  For example:  Does your child really need a car?  Is public transportation an option?  Can used books and supplies be bought on line or at the book store?  Can a roommate share the costs of a refrigerator or rug?
4.  Make a final weekly budget.  Based on the figures from the three previously mentioned points, put together what can realistically be spent each week and allow for 5% savings as a cushion.  I recommend a weekly budget, because it is a big task to stay balanced for a whole month; breaking the task into a series of smaller ones may be more manageable.
5.  Use cards with caution.  Explain how debit cards work.  There may be fees associated with them and, if lost, they can pose a danger to the account if not reported promptly.  Using ATMs at another bank can get expensive, as well.  Credit cards also require caution.  Show your child why finance charges are not an option because they make the cost of purchasing goods much greater. If credit cards are used, have him/her keep the minimum low, and keep spending below the minimum.
6.  Record keep.  Encourage your child to always balance the checkbook.  All transactions should be entered in the checking account ledger (cash/debit card transactions, checks written/deposited, and credit card purchases).  This recordkeeping should be done immediately, and not when it hits the bank/credit card statement, so that your child always knows what actual funds are available.
These steps will lay the foundation for good money habits for years to come.

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Fight for Our Own Empowerment

Empowerment

Empowerment

This article was sparked by our unexpected trip through Gettysburg, Pennsylvania yesterday. We actually were in Pennsylvania “playing” at the York Fairgrounds Jeep show and passed a sign for Gettysburg National Park and Cemetery. Jim thought it would be a great opportunity to visit Gettysburg, as we were so close, so we went.

For anyone who does not know about Gettysburg, it is a place of tremendous honor. It is a place where thousands of soldiers died fighting to support what they believed to be right. For me, it was a place where I felt a tremendous sadness; I had many thoughts running through my mind while we were there. The Civil War divided our great Nation and families within. In five years of fighting there are estimates that 620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War, with new estimates of that bring the number of dead closer to 820,000. This number of loss was staggering to me, especially as it was our families fighting ourselves.

In reality, this article really is not about war, at all, but about a concept. This article is not about slavery nor does it have anything to do with the civil rights movement or movements of other people who fought for their rights throughout history – or about those in other countries still fighting for what they believe is the right way to live.

It is more about how I can’t understand how one person feels it is appropriate to gain power over another. This is a struggle that is apparent throughout history and continues today from what may be a simple relationship to, perhaps, a leader of a group, to, perhaps a leader of a country. The concept is more that of oppression and the creation of fear.

I, certainly, am not one who has any ability to figure out why anyone would think they are better than another, why people think certain groups, for example, women (as I am one of them), are not equal – even in today’s world. However, it is not up to me to determine how a person could feel superior to another and how they can feel good about themselves to do whatever is in their power to create obstacles to assure they stay that way. I believe people are people – living and breathing — and that everyone has the same right to enjoy life. I believe in people helping people and collaboration = success; that we can get so much further working together to make things better for us all.

With that hopefully explained, this really has more to do with concepts, awareness, and OUR OWN feelings, inside of OURSELVES, which hold us back. It is about tolerating our current situation or becoming aware to change our own environment, to the best of our ability. It is intended to spark an idea that could re-empower ourselves to move forward in life, and to stop being prisoners in our own lives. To begin an awareness to find and to learn what we, ourselves, need so we can enjoy life.

History repeats itself if we let it. This concept is more fully discussed in our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com). I believe there are no “these people” or “those people”. I believe we are all people. I believe that if you are currently in a situation where you feel violated, abused or bad, you have to find a way to make a change to make your life better. I’m speaking about any situation here – whether a living situation, a health situation, a work situation, a financial situation, a friendship, a family relationship – anything that makes you feel bad or inferior. The first step is awareness. The next is to come up with ideas or ways that you can make the situation change – to weigh your options, to seek assistance, to make things better.

It pains me that there are situations out there where the benefit of the few creates negative situations for the many. I was going to go into some examples, but I thought it would become too political, and that is absolutely not where I wanted to go here. It is more about individual capabilities and individual choice. NO ONE says we have to stay in whatever present situation where we currently are. I believe we can choose to let things happen to us, or we can, individually, create the living situation(s) we desire. No one says implementing a change is going to be easy, but I hold to the belief that it is possible. We might start and fail, but we can try again. If we think it is impossible to make anything change, we are holding our own selves back.

 If you don’t think “it’s time” to do so, ask yourself, “If not now, when”? Life is short. Every day that passes is a potential missed opportunity. After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life. I believe it is “time to play”. 

www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a Better Life.  It’s Time to be Happy, Healthy, Have Money and a Work Life Balance.  It’s Time to Enjoy Life.