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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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Our Voyage on Cunard's Amazing Queen Mary 2

photo 1After reading this blog, I think you’ll appreciate that Chris and I really enjoyed our recent twelve-day voyage on Cunard’s’ Queen Mary 2. It was a totally different kind of cruise (in a good way) that just can’t compare to the mainstream cruise lines.

You see the difference from the moment you enter the ship as you are warmly greeted by an international staff dressed in tuxedos and white gloves. You feel like you are taking a step back in time to the ocean liners of yesterday that you see in the old black and white movies.

Exploring the ship, we found luxurious common rooms full of beautiful fresh flowers. I have to admit that just strolling around was fun as we were able to “people watch” the many elegantly dressed passengers on board. As Anglophiles who love everything about England, we were enamored with the ship’s formal English customs like high tea at 3:30 pm with white glove service of tea, finger sandwiches, scones, jam and clotted cream. There were many people from the U.K. on board who had crossed over on the ship’s seven night cruise from Southampton, England to our port in New York.

photo 2The Queen Mary 2 boasts accoutrements that no other ship offers, like the largest dance floor at sea, and every afternoon during the tea there is a live band playing and people go out on the floor to dance. It’s just lovely. “Queen Mary 2 is the only ship to host a planetarium at sea. Take a virtual tour into outer space, view the stars and journey to the moon or take a course on celestial navigation” are just a few things you can do while on board on sea days. The Planetarium is also used as a movie theater.

Chris and I love to dress up, so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in four formal nights, including an amazing masquerade ball. Ladies break out the family jewels and some wear their long white gloves. The tone was set at the opening Captain’s Cocktail party where people came dressed to the nines. Gentlemen all wore jackets at dinner. This cruise is definitely not for folks who want a more casual “dine anytime” experience. Even the wait staff is a bit reserved. On many cruise lines, the staff is directed to be informal and chat with the guests. Here they were friendly and attentive, but very quiet and subdued.

photo 3Our part of the cruise left New York and we traveled up the coast to Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, and Quebec. On shore, we enjoyed the Newport cliff walk and toured the Breakers, both highly recommended. We traveled to the Saint Anne Cathedral outside of Quebec and an amazing waterfall – a special tour that was off the normal tourist path.

On board, the highest category of cabins are called Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites. Queens Grill suites feature a large sitting area, walk-in wardrobe, and a spacious private balcony. There is also a butler on hand to ensure your stay is perfect. Princess Grill suites are just a bit smaller and don’t include the butler, but you get a shared concierge. These passengers also eat in the exclusive Queens’s grill and Princess Grill restaurants; two separate restaurants where they have their own table and can eat anytime during set hours. We were in a regular balcony cabin that was about 200 square feet that was so well designed that all of our stuff (including for formal wear) packed away nicely. We never felt cramped. They also offer free washers and dryers, so you can keep up with your laundry – and pack less!

Not surprisingly, this is not a family oriented cruise, and it’s mostly baby boomers who can afford to enjoy this high-level of luxury and service. Most of the 60 people in our Mariner’s Club travel group are such big Cunard fans; they don’t want to cruise with anyone else. I met one mother-daughter team who had logged over 1,800 nights on Cunard ships! This cruise was sold out and many people had booked their cabins one year in advance. This is a very special cruise line … it’s so special that you can even reserve a kennel for your dog and “Fido” can come along on the cruise.

Cunard’s fleet includes the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mary 2, and the Queen Victoria ocean liners. If you would like to take a dream cruise on Cunard and experience this level of elegance and luxury, please give us a call and we can give you first-hand information on which itinerary would work best for you. The scones alone, are worth the journey and price of admission on the QM2, not to mention all of the other amenities and extras that would be included. Happy Travels!!!

CHRIS & SHEILA KORTE, ACC

www.kortetravel.com

Toll Free: (631) 893-4232 ~ 866-81-KORTE (56783)
Local: 631-893-4232

Babylon, NY 11702

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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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Korte Travel “Top Ten” Tips for a Safe Vacation

images (1)Your vacation should be stress free and provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.

You don’t want those memories to include the time you were scammed. Unfortunately, there may be unscrupulous people who will try to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers.

It’s not just pickpockets anymore. The crooks have gone high tech, and you need to know how to protect yourself. Here are some tips that Chris and I learned from our years of traveling:

  1. Don’t use open Wi-Fi in a hotel, café, or on board ship – especially for banking and other private information that hackers can easily see since you have already let them through the first security wall.
  2. In Europe, all credit cards come with built in chips that offer more security than the magnetic strips commonly used on American cards. American Express will now issue you a chip card for free (if you ask for it). Some Visa and MasterCards are also moving to chips.
  3. Set up you credit cards and bank accounts for email updates on account activity. Watch out for charges and debits that you don’t recognize so you can catch fraudulent activity – and nip it in the bud.
  4. Believe it or not, crooks are using RFID readers that enable them to “grab” your credit card information (even newer passport info) just by standing next to you! I carry an RFID-protected wallet and shoulder bag that blocks these readers. They’re available on Magellan’s and Travel Smith, and your bank should also have credit card size envelopes that will protect your card.
  5. ATMs for cash are everywhere these days – even in grocery stores. I personally won’t use an ATM unless it’s in a bank, because crooks can attach readers to ATMs that don’t look any different to the naked eye. In Cape Town, South Africa, we tried to use an ATM that wouldn’t accept our card. Right away, a woman was there who wanted Chris to hand her our card because “she wanted to help.” We got very suspicious, started yelling and a guard called the police. The woman jumped in a car, and the bad guys even drove through a barricade to get out of there quickly.
  6. In the airport, get down to baggage claim as soon as possible so you’re there when your bags hit the turnstile. People have been arrested for grabbing unattended luggage and leaving the airport.
  7. Don’t put valuables in your checked luggage. Baggage handlers are notorious for stealing anything of value from luggage.
  8. Put valuables in your carry on – BUT – the overheads may get full and the attendants may want you to check your carry on. Don’t bring your best jewelry with you and be ready to open your carry on to quickly remove valuables like a jewelry pouch and laptop. I also keep a small luggage lock in my carry on pocket to lock the bag if it has to be checked.
  9. Don’t allow someone to separate you from your valuables. Last year, we went to an upscale Caribbean resort with other travel agents. As soon as we checked in, the management wanted us to tour the resort. They told us to leave all our luggage and they would take it to our rooms. Only a few of us demanded that the manager lock our bags in his office. Sure enough, the luggage of one of the agents was delivered to the wrong room – that guest claimed he never saw it. Management actually waited for him to leave his room, and found the missing bag under his bed.
  10. Know where you’re going. Every city in the world has its “shady” areas and you don’t want to go wandering into a bad situation. The Frommer and Fodor guide books are great sources of information on where to walk, and your hotel can also update you on safest areas.

Follow these tips, use common sense and keep your “travel radar” on. Like a deal that seems too good to be true, if a situation seems to feel strange, go with your instincts.

Keep safe, and happy traveling! For questions or help with your travel planning call us at (631) 893-4232 or email Sheila or Chris at skorte@cruiseplanners.com 

CHRIS & SHEILA KORTE, ACC
skorte@cruiseplanners.com
Winners of Best of Long Island Travel Agency 2014

www.kortetravel.com

Toll Free: (631) 893-4232 ~ 866-81-KORTE (56783)
Local: 631-893-4232

Babylon, NY 11702

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The effects of inconsiderate behavior on others

Impact on othersLook around.  It’s everywhere. 

I like to learn and observe.  It’s how I understand things and how I grow.  Over and over again I have become more aware of examples of behaviors that completely adversely affect others.  I truly believe, deep down, that we might not actually realize our impact on another person and the effect it might have. 

I recognize the idea of cause and effect and know that something a person may experience may cause a domino affect in their behavior.  That domino affect can cause them to act inappropriately to another.  Again, sometimes we may just get caught up in the situation we are experiencing and might not even realize what our impact on another may be.

I believe this is a very hard topic to discuss without making someone angry.  I started thinking about this topic this morning after receiving a text from my son.  He was at work, and he texted that if he could not transfer stores he was quitting his job.  He is currently having a bad experience with a coworker.  I felt so bad for him because I can feel his pain.  We’ve all most likely been there and can all agree that it’s an experience that is so unnecessary.

That got me to thinking about a news report I saw only a few days ago on TV regarding people’s dissatisfaction at their jobs and the huge statistic that had been reported as part of the story regarding bullying in the workplace.  I did Google to try to find the report and came up with an article published on Forbes.com on 9/18/14: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2014/09/18/one-in-five-workers-has-left-their-job-because-of-bullying.  The article discussed that nearly 1/3 of people have experienced bullying, a statistic that crosses over gender and racial lines; men, women, Caucasian, Asian, African-American – it doesn’t matter.  The article also discussed that people in management positions were also experiencing bullying.  In the article a woman named Rosemary Haefner was quoted in a statement that, “Bullying impacts workers of all backgrounds regardless of race, education, income, and level of authority within an organization.” 

Just imagine how the behavior of one or more in a workplace affects others.  In a work situation, the unfortunate scenario is that many people cannot just quit a job because of family obligations.  The behaviors of others can significantly impact a person where they will be so affected and frustrated and stressed that they will not be able to let the feeling go; hence the domino effect.  How do you think they will interact with others if they have to deal with a situation that is disturbing to them?  A situation they know they cannot change and that is causing significant distress in their lives?  And, how does this effect the atmosphere in the workplace as a whole and, to go further, the lives of their family and friends?

The information in the article is not new.  Just Google bullying in the workplace – there are many articles available for you to read.  I’m sure there is also a lot of information in studies available, in general, about the impact of making others feel badly about themselves.

History will repeat itself if we let it.  This is something I wrote in my book, If I Knew then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com).  I also discussed the saying “Words Cut Like a Knife” in the book.  Both of these statements are, sadly, true.

I believe it is so important to really think about the impact we have on others – what we say, what we don’t say, and our actions.

Have you promised someone you would do something and then gone back on that promise?  If it’s your child, it could be something so simple like playing ball or going for ice cream – something so simple that can have a negative impact on them for years to come.

How about a spouse?  Have you promised something and not followed through?  How about something you promised a friend, or a co-worker?  Have you kept your promise or obligations? Have you returned that call, email or text???

Our actions, or non-actions, can make impacts others that we may not even consider.  You know how our brains work and how people sometimes dwell on things.  I hate to even go there, but, I believe that sometimes what we say, do, or don’t say to another can even cause a situation so significant that it can have a life or death impact.

I believe we’re here to encourage others, to embrace the dreams of others, to make things happen.  I believe we are people that are supposed to help people. 

I personally live by the mindset of people helping people and collaboration = success.

I believe that when we respect each other and when we work together magic WILL happen.

Stop fighting.  Stop blaming.  Stop finding fault.  Stop not following through.

What have you promised?

What will your actions do to another?  Will they help them or hinder them?

Think before you speak or act . . . something that may seem so simple or not important to you might really cause someone to hurt inside very deeply and impact their lives in a truly negative manner.

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 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.TimetoPlayFoundation.org 

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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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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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In Praise of America

As you know, Chris and I have the “travel bug” and we just love to grab our bags and go.  While we certainly have enjoyed our recent overseas excursions, including our trips to Europe and South America, I want to remind you that our great country offers an incredible number of places to visit and experiences to share with family and friends that are close to home. Here are just a few that we are personally excited about:

GlacierBayALASKA: Cruising the coast of Alaska is simply breathtaking.  Our recent Alaska cruise was on a Holland America ship and it was very special because of the size of the ship and the itinerary.  The smaller cruise ship enabled the Captain to take us closer to the wonders that Mother Nature offers including Alaska’s majestic fjords.  Having had the experience, Chris and I can help you explore a wide array of land and sea journeys that combine the wonder of cruising by glistening glaciers and the chance to venture inland to places like Denali National Park to see moose, caribou, and grizzlies in their natural environment. The best time to go is late May through September, so start planning your trip now so you can check Alaska off of your bucket list for next year. Also, most cruise lines currently have the Alaska itineraries on sale now.

downloadMISSISSIPPI AND OHIO RIVERS: Chris and I are excited about our upcoming American Steamboat River Cruise in September.  We will “step back in time” and experience river travel from the days of Mark Twain aboard the magnificent Queen of the Mississippi, a modern and luxurious paddlewheel ship.  We’ll travel from Cincinnati, Ohio to St. Louis, Missouri, with stops at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, Cave-in-rock State Park, and the River Heritage Museum.  We’re looking forward to this opportunity to take in the beauty and history of the mighty Mississippi.

New England Fall CruisesNEW ENGLAND: In October we will be boarding the incredible Queen Mary 2 for a 12-day cruise from New York up to Quebec, Canada, with stops in Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, St. John and Halifax.  The Queen Mary 2 is Cunards’ flagship and one of the most magnificent ocean liners ever built.  She offers an amazing amount of space on board and an array of state-of-the-art facilities including a 3D movie theater, planetarium, and a Canyon Ranch Spa.  Combine that with the beautiful fall season in New England as the trees burst into colors and we can’t wait!

We are so fortunate to have so many beautiful places to visit that are virtually in our own backyard.  For many of our clients, vacationing in the 50 states is comfortable and gives them a feeling of safety, security and appreciation for the beauty of this country.

And while Chris and I are cruise experts, we plan more than just cruises.  We can help you plan all kinds of vacations.  Don’t forget that when you work with a travel agent, not only do you get access to our experience and knowledge of where to go and how to get there, you also often get bonus perks that hotels and cruise lines only offer to the clients of professional travel agents.  Give us a call and let us help you plan your next adventure. Korte Travel  (631) 893-4232  skorte@cruiseplanners.com

Chris & Sheila (2)

CHRIS & SHEILA KORTE, ACC
skorte@cruiseplanners.com
Winners of Best of Long Island Travel Agency 2014

www.kortetravel.com

Toll Free: (631) 893-4232 ~ 866-81-KORTE (56783)
Local: 631-893-4232

Babylon, NY 11702

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I Can't Do It

Suzuki Boulevard

Doreen’s Motorcycle

How many times have you said “I CAN’T”.  How many times have you heard others say “I CAN’T”.

I believe that these two words used together should be banished from our vocabulary, as well as from our minds.

As a student of everyday learning, I will use a recent experience as an example.  I know we’re not alone in what happens to us, and so many have experiences where they learned something that could be shared that can help another (see our book, www.IfIKnewthenbook.com). 

My recent experience is a great illustration of the power of “CAN’T”.

I had wanted a motorcycle for the past 28 years.  After a friend recently pass away at 48 years old (my age), I decided today was “someday”.  Sometimes it takes something to occur to motivate us into action today instead of waiting for the someday.  This was the tipping point. 

I enrolled in a class, never before sitting in the driver’s seat of a motorcycle but on the back of my husband’s for all these years.  I did pretty good driving, I thought, only falling over once due to operator error making a very small u-turn at a speed a turtle couldn’t even turn at.  I actually did that a total of three times in three different instances – kind of just falling over, not really “dropping the bike”, at the slowest speed ever trying to make a u-turn.  No big deal, I just picked it up, got back on, and continued to go cautiously slow and putt along.

On with the story…

So, now I have my permit, some skills education and a motorcycle that my husband and son drove 10 hours to pick up for me.  It’s a cute little Suzuki Boulevard, 650cc, 352 pounds, small enough so I can put my feet comfortably on the ground when I stop, and powerful enough that I can drive on a main road.  As a driver with a permit, a licensed motorcyclist has to be with you at all times and no more than ¼ mile away on the roads.  Jim, my husband, who has been riding for 30 years, and my son Nick who has had his own motorcycle for the past two years, took me out that very night after returning home.  I drove around a little in the local school’s parking lot, doing “o.k.”  After practicing two other evenings, I decided I sucked driving the motorcycle because I couldn’t turn well.  It seemed the more I drove around the parking lot, the worse I was doing.  Straight was no problem, but the ability to turn just seemed to perplex me.  I even watched YouTube Videos on how to ride a motorcycle and considered taking more classes.  I felt more overwhelmed and unsure of my skill level than I had the first day that I had sat on one.

I woke up yesterday morning deciding “I CAN’T” turn well enough and that I was not sure I wanted to continue in this endeavor.  Key words: I decided I CAN’T.  Nevertheless, Jim decided we would go out driving again last night.  I suited up (all the gear, all the time!), got on the bike and we drove to the junior high school parking lot 1/4 mile away from our home.  We drove around the parking lot a few moments, and I stopped in the middle of the space stating that I had quit.  I told Jim that I felt I just didn’t have the skills, that I didn’t feel the effort was worth it, that I was done with the endeavor and wanted to sell the motorcycle. He looked at me, said fine, and proceeded to drive out of the school driveway to what I believed was towards our home and our garage.

Instead, he made a right turn out of the parking lot.  Remember the rules – I had to be within ¼ mile of him… I cursed a bit and was absolutely in disbelief that he did not turn towards our home, but I figured he would just be going to the one side street that also looped to our home.  Nope.  He kept going straight.  I cursed a little bit more… but followed.  He went around the very quiet back streets in our neighborhood, and I followed.  He stopped and I pulled up along his side.  “Feel better?” he asked, and, surprisingly, I did.  He started driving again, and I followed.  We crossed at a few stop signs where there were actual cars waiting for their turn, and I had to cross.  After a little bit further, when he pulled over to check in again, he said we were going on the MAIN ROAD.  I asked if he thought I was ready.  He said he had life insurance if I was not – funny right?

He went.  I followed.  I made it.

I CAN.  But I had let my mind believe I could not. 

Allowing our minds to take over with a “CAN’T” can, and will, steal our confidence.  For example, thoughts or verbalizing to others statements like, “I can’t get that job”, “I can’t do that task”, “I can’t pass that test”, “I can’t go to school”, “I can’t ___________” (fill in the blank).

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”  His words ring true to many people every day.

Aside from this public testimonial that Jim is amazing and that I’m really glad I have been his partner for the past 31 years, it never ceases to amaze me what we can learn every day about ourselves and what we can achieve. 

Later that night we talked about the experience and I thanked him again for what he did, his patience, and his belief that I could ride my motorcycle.  I told him that I was in disbelief that he made that right turn; that I truly was heading home to our garage never to sit on that motorcycle again.  He said it was a split decision, that at the school’s traffic light he realized what would happen and decided to make that right turn. 

What a difference one little decision can make in our lives.

What decisions have you made?  What can you do to break down a task or a goal or an objective that seems too large, or not possible, to make it possible?  To achieve it?  To conquer it?

Henry Ford is right… it is our mind and our “can’t” that we have to combat sometimes to turn around a situation where we feel defeated. 

I CAN. 

Can you?

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It is Time to Play.  www.TimetoPlay.com = It’s time to Enjoy Life.  The Time to Play Foundation, Inc. is 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.