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You can run but you can’t hide

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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

Responsibility

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As a woman, all my life, I’ve coddled and placated people when things haven’t gone right for them, saying things like, “I understand”, or “I know how hard it is”.

Until today. 

I have reached my limit for being able to listen to the blame game.  I woke up this morning aggravated, which caused me to alter my approach.  No more sugar-coating.  We seem to need a reality check we need responsibility back.

Truly, I understand that things occurred in our society that have caused our new woosy-like, entitlement way of thinking.  I’ve decided not to list specific examples here today; however, it just blows my mind how we overanalyze everything instead of addressing the root cause of the problem.  Where did the question “how does that make you feel” come from, anyway?

Our society has changed, in many ways, taking us from being independent to dependent. Where is our sense of responsibility? We wait for people to fix things instead of us going out there, rolling up our sleeves, and doing it.

I started www.timetoplay.com, first, for myself.  I had become tired and overwhelmed.  I started to become soft.  I realized I needed to learn things so I could take my life back, and then decided to build this project where resources could come under one roof to help others learn – the concept of people helping people vs. the “me” mentality.

The intention for www.timetoplay.com is to provide resources that enable people to take responsibility for themselves.  To learn what they need to know to enjoy life.

A long time ago I realized that people stopped being proactive in this society.  It was always someone else’s fault they were in the situation they were experiencing.  Poor health?  Not their fault.  Depressed?  Not their fault.  Not enough money?  Not their fault.  Doing bad at work?  Not their fault.

Guess what.  It’s our fault if we don’t have the ability to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and fix it.

Maybe things didn’t come along as easy as you thought they would.

Maybe things aren’t always going your way.

Maybe “times are tough”.

Face it.  There are no shortcuts or leprechauns at the end of a rainbow with a pot of gold.

Hard work and determination built this country.  Look at the greats that came before us.  People were determined to succeed, to explore, to blaze new trails.

We seem to have gotten away from that philosophy.

Toughen up, people, and stop having a pity party.

Learn what you need to know so you can take control of your life.  After all, we’re only here for a short time.

www.timetoplay.com – resources for a better life.  It’s time YOU enjoy YOUR life.

Foster Bold Dreams, Bolder Actions

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I‘ve been reading The Everyday Entrepreneur written by Rob Basso.  Chapter 5 was one in which I found myself reflecting on things I have been working on or thinking about, and wanted to share.

The chapter started off with pensive statements about what sets a WILDLY successful person apart from others: “Imagination, a solid plan of action and determination to break down barriers” (p. 71). Rob noted that the challenge to achieve is the main difference between true entrepreneurs and complacent business people. Hmm. This is something I need to reflect on. In my life I was complacent to get a job, to feel secure, to get a check. There was a course I recently took where they used an acronym for JOB: Just Over Broke. Interesting, right?

So, for most of my life I played it safe, had my 9-5 (or 6 or 7 and weekends) job and that was it. Do you have something in your heart you want to achieve? I know I do. It’s a burning, energetic feeling – and it drives me forward. This brings me to the “no regrets” / follow your heart sentiment noted by Ken Davenport on page 80, where he was headed to study law in college but went into theatre instead, “he decided to study acting so that he would have no regrets later in life about what could have been.” Can we all do this? Do we have the luxury? In my case, no. Early on I had to get a full time job to support my family. I was 17 at the time. But, my path seems to have led me to where I am now, to a life I believe has been filled with achievement. I have learned things I know I would never have learned if things went differently in the beginning. And now I’m using what I’ve learned to propel what’s in my heart. It’s never too late.

What is one to do if you have a passion, if you have an idea, if you have a desire? Well, Rob did cover that, too! Pretty much what I’ve been doing working on the www.timetoplay.com project – on page 83 he talks of Mr. Scott Snibbe of Snibbe Interactive who had to fit his artistic pursuits around his schoolwork first, and then his professional career, while developing his company. In off times you can make it happen. For me, I rarely watch TV. I find myself thinking and planning and researching when I do have down time to make things happen. I “squish” it in. Remember the “NO REGRETS” statement? That’s one of the goals for www.timetoplay.com. To bring people resources so they will have no regrets. To remind them to enjoy life and to learn what they need to know so they can. In this case, following your dreams and doing what you love is one thing, maybe the most important thing, in the world to a person so they can enjoy life.

I know so many people who hate what they do in their career but become “STUCK”. They wake up every day and are exhausted, stressed or frustrated because they have to go to work. Can you change this? Maybe you can by fitting in some type of time to make it happen. . .

Rob’s Entrepreneurial Insight on p. 83 is “Find the space to nurture and grow your new pursuits”. Maybe it’s not to become an entrepreneur and start your own business, but maybe it is to study law, dance, guitar. . . something that you’ve wanted to do and think about all the time. Do you have something in your heart that you wish or want to do?

Do it.

Make it happen.

Rob also included an interview from David Becker, president of Philippe Becker Design, Inc. who noted that, “human nature [is] to trash new ideas”. Don’t let that stop you, either. In my experience, there are a lot of people out there who are so negative towards change and will push you down. Advice? Rob notes that you need people who support you to surround yourself with and perseverance. “I’ve got nothing to lose. . . what’s the worst that can happen? We won’t get the business. Or the best? We will get the business. But I can’t be afraid of what might happen.” David Becker, p. 82.

Onward and upward!

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Embrace the www.timetoplay.com philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  Check out www.timetoplay.com to get tips and read articles from amazing professionals to help you have a better life.  It’s time to enjoy life and foster bold dreams!

The Power of Now — a journey to discovery

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Don’t know if you have had the time to join in / read the book discussion re: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, but I’m up to page 65.  Here’s what I’m thinking about so far. . .

There are a lot of thought provoking statements in the pages I’ve read.  And, I start to wonder about how I do think and the “chatter” which has brought me so many good ideas and breakthroughs.  So where do you draw the line of what is good or bad chatter?  How do you turn it on or off as needed? Hopefully as I read more I’ll learn more I’ll figure this out.

Here’s an amazing, thought provoking paragraph (page 46-47):  “As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled.  Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things.  It needs to be both defended and fed constantly.  The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious and other collective identifications. None of these is you . . . The ego’s needs are endless.  It feels vulnerable and threatened and so lives in a state of fear and want”.

Wow.  I totally saw myself in this.  Did you?  The pursuit of career, completing my masters, my job.  These things defined me, pushed me.  If I had a good day at work, I was in a good mood.  Bad day?  Bad mood.  HOWEVER, at what point do you need motivation to pursue a “life”, and at what point are you kind of a hump of flesh (very visual, huh?) sitting on a couch?  BUT, the state of fear and want sentence makes you think, too.  Is this pursuit what’s causing us so much stress?  What do we really need or want?  Is that what we need to evaluate to have a good quality of life?  At what point do we not strive?  I’m still reading, so, hopefully this will be answered.

The author continued to talk about the past, the future vs. the now.  The life situations we are dealing with, not the LIFE.  I’ll leave you with this:  (page 63) “Your life situation exists in time.  Your life is now.  Your life situation is mind-stuff.  Your life is real”.  The author notes that we need to realize that there are no problems, only situations to be dealt with now, or to be left alone and accepted as part of the present moment until they change or can be dealt with, and that problems are mind-made and need time to survive.

Hmmmm —

Book Discussion continues:  Go to Book Discussion

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Embrace the TimetoPlay.com philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  It is time to enjoy life.  Check out the resources on www.timetoplay.com to have a better life.

It's Not OK

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It’s not ok to identify a problem and not solve it

It’s not ok to not recycle

It’s not ok to take advantage of someone

It’s not ok to ignore someone’s needs

It’s not ok to ignore someone’s rights

It’s not ok to feed our kids crappy school lunches

It’s not ok to not help each other

It’s not ok to lie

It’s not ok to be mean

It’s not ok to steal from someone

It’s not ok to not see the beauty in the world

It’s not ok to not take advantage of the opportunities that surround us – the beauty of the beach, the wonderful museums, events, etc.

It’s not ok to hurt someone

It’s not ok to make someone feel bad

It’s not ok to give up and just take it

Its’ not ok to ignore something.  Fix it.

It’s not ok to be inconsiderate or selfish

It’s not ok to always be working or to work too hard

It’s not ok to duplicate efforts – for example, causes for cancer.  If people with the same goals work together for the common good, we will get much further.

It’s not o.k. to not have friends

It’s not ok not to smile

It’s not ok to miss the little things

It’s not ok to not be free

It’s not ok to not make it better

It’s not ok for chemicals to be added to our food

It’s not ok to not be healthy

It’s not ok to be sad

It’s not ok to be overwhelmed

It’s not ok to be prejudice

It’s not ok to oppress others

It’s not ok to use our people as disposable items.

It’s not ok to not realize each and every person is important – that they are someone’s mother, father, child, spouse, friend.

It’s not ok for our soldiers to fight for our country and not get the support they need when they come back with injuries or post traumatic stress disorder

It’s not ok to not enjoy life

It’s not ok for lobbyists to persuade how our laws are made instead of our laws being made for the good of the people

It’s not ok for our politicians to not work for us

It’s not ok for our politicians to not work in our best interests

It’s not ok for someone to take away your (our) quality of life

It’s not ok to leave a mess someone else has to clean up

It’s not ok that there is a job where someone has to clean an animal with a toothbrush

It’s not ok to overfish our oceans

It’s not ok to hurt our environment

It’s not ok to be stressed out

It’s not ok to be frustrated

It’s not ok to not follow your dreams

It’s not ok to not achieve your potential

It’s not ok to not say it’s not ok

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It’s ok to start a revolution.

It’s ok to do something.

It’s ok to be outraged to move to action.

It’s ok to change it.

Copyright August 6, 2011, Doreen Lenore Guma, All Rights Reserved

Visit my midlife crisis project — my goal is to make people smile again:  www.timetoplay.com — Resources for a Better Life.  Let’s help each other.  Together we can make things better.

Twas the Week Before Christmas when . . .

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Twas the week before Christmas when all through the house, office, car…Sheer panic approached with a twinkling from afar.

With packages in a mound still unwrapped, and cooking and cleaning yet still to come, So many activities, I almost feel numb.

Still have to work a part of next week,

And I dread that the house will fill on Friday with hungry people expecting to eat.

Oh my, what is that sound that I hear? The stress in my heartbeat echoing in my ear.

As much as I know all will get done,

I cannot help but feel a little bit numb. Exhaustion is here to stay for a while,

But through it all I will try to bare a smile. For this is a magical time of the year,

And I will try to approach it in good cheer. It will be over too soon, as we all know.

The hours of preparing for moments, and oh! No matter how early we start to prepare,

There’s not enough time.  It just is not fair.

Family times, giving and love, With blessings and peace to all from above.

 

News from a recovering Boring-A-Holic

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So, the big day has come.  The Birthday.  45!  So fast the time goes. 

What accomplishments did I achieve?  (Check all that apply . . .)

  • Education: a masters degree and board certification – check
  • Kids: 3 children, ages 19, 16 and 15 – check
  • Husband: almost 23 years!  – check
  • Job: started my own company 5 years ago after working in corporate for 19 years – check
  • House: needs to be cleaned for the holidays, but yes, got one – check
  • Pets: a dog and a fish and a frog – check
  • Car:  bought a fun jeep! – check
  • Happiness:  I do believe I have this – most days, anyway – check
  • Health:  I’m certainly pretty happy with the health of myself and my family – check’
  • Friends and family:  I am lucky to have these wonderful people in my life – check

What else could anyone ask for?  Not much, I guess.  The only think missing is the “fun” I have feel I haven’t had — the ability to step away from my desk and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.  The need to take the time to talk to my kids, take that walk, go to a movie.  The mindset to be “light” and “free”.

My answer?  My midlife crisis project, the development of the www.timetoplay.com site, and my mission for it to be a resource for people, an assistance and an ability for them to find a quality of life while I, also, pursue the things that will additionally make me happy.

Although I don’t know who wrote it, I wanted to share a quote — “Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming … WOW! What a ride!”

It’s something to aspire to, and my intention, although not to hurt myself (I don’t like pain) for the next chapter in my life.

Aging. . . and appreciation

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For Thanksgiving we had the pleasure of spending the day with my husband Jim’s Aunt and Uncle.  Both in their late 80’s, and married 63 years, they have been in failing health recently.  And, not realizing it yesterday, I woke up this morning knowing I learned a valuable lesson from them.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of working in a nursing home.  My goal while I worked there was to help people have a great quality of life.  I always appreciated the residents as people with amazing history.  But, after spending time with our Aunt and Uncle, I realize the residents were only shells of who they once were.  Still functioning, still alive, but not the same.  For the residents in the nursing home we were their caretakers, and they were dependent on us.

So, yesterday, while spending time with them, in our Aunt and Uncle’s home, I realized they were so lucky.  Lucky to have been in such good health for so long, lucky to be together for 63 years.  Lucky to be independent, which is truly a gift. 

And, not that I didn’t see it before, but it became increasingly apparent how finite life is.  In their case, at 87, how many good years are left?  How many more years can they live on their own, cherishing each other and the precious time they have together?

That same question does go for each and every one of us, too — every day is a gift.  Did you ever see the movie, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas“, when his heart melted and he found appreciation?  That is how I feel.  With this Thanksgiving, I found appreciation.  For my family, for my husband, for my children.  I realize how important it is to recognize their individuality.  So, maybe my kids’ grades aren’t perfect, but they are healthy and happy and pursuing their way in life.  They are their own people, truly individuals, sorta fun to be around, and I am proud of them. 

Life is a learning process.  I feel a little sad that it took this long for the “wakeup call”.  And I appreciate my visit with Jim’s aging relatives to help me along.

Do I expect to relish in this appreciation every day?  I’m sure not — I’m sure things will get me down some days, or the work stress will take precious time away.  But I will strive to stop myself if I become overwhelmed, or exhausted, and reflect on the good things in my life. 

My goal?  To smile.  My desire?  Just to have a nice day.  Every day. 

And, my hope for you, too.

Weekend plans for a recovering Boring-A-Holic

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So, it’s Friday.  People are supposed to have weekend plans on Fridays, right?

I had gotten an invitation for Friday night for a wine and cheese party.  A get-together with old friends.  My husband is going to a retirement party and I’m going to be alone.   I said I probably wouldn’t go.  He’s making me.  After all, I’m supposed to have fun and talk to people.

After that, a friend who has a band is playing in a local bar.  I don’t go to bars.  Ever.  I’m supposed to go out, so I’m going to pop in and listen to him play.  By myself.  Something I’ve never done.

A friend invited me to coffee Saturday morning.  And, on Sunday, we’re supposed to go on a teddy bear run motorcycle ride.  A little cold out, but that should be fun, and rewarding, because the teddy bears are given to children.  On Sunday afternoon we’re going to our cousin’s for an adult only (no kids) Thanksgiving dinner.  More conversation and friendship.

This is kind of amazing.  I rarely have anything nice on my schedule.  My normal weekend is mostly spent at my desk at work, then food shopping, cleaning, and just being tired.  No play.  No fun.  And, on Mondays, I drag myself into the office exhausted because I’ve had no break.  Maybe this upcoming Monday will  be better — at least I’ll have something to talk about “around the water cooler“!

So, where could all these activities come from?  Maybe someone, somewhere, knows I’m trying to become un-boring.   That’s great, because planning fun stuff when I know I should be doing work stuff is difficult.

The weekend is here with the promise of being different from the others.

Time to play.

What should be here? Is this blog boring?

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So, we create stuff.  We look at it.  We reevaluate.  We had a discussion in my office that this blog is boring.  That it’s too pensive.  That it’s not fun.  And, I certainly don’t want it to be a rehash of the same old thing.  I thought taking profound words and extracting the deeper meaning was kinda cool.  But apparently it’s not.

So — what should be here?  What should I write about?  What is my  mission?  A quest for quality of life.  This journey started approximately 5 short months ago when I realized I was going through each day without having any fun.  Working, chores, exhaustion.  Add to that the fact that I’m really not a fun person — all business, no pleasure — which is another challenge that I have to overcome.

Guess what?  It’s not easy to change.  I’m in the rut.  I try.  I say, “I should go to the gym”. Why?  Because I like to go to the gym.  But I don’t.  I’m too tired.  Or  I have to work, or go to a meeting, or pick up a kid.

I should have more fun.  But I don’t.  Why?  Something gets in the way. But the real problem is I don’t know how to.

However, I’m trying.  At least I’m noticing that I’m thinking of trying even though I’m not actually doing.  You know the saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  I’m an old dog. My birthday is in 2 weeks, and I’ll be 45.  Kinda scary.  Especially when I know I want to “play”.

But, isn’t thinking about doing something kind of a first step?

Every day is a challenge.  But I promise to get there.  I realize that you do have to work at something to have a change.

So, back to the question — what should be here.  Should this be about my personal journey?  Perhaps.  Or perhaps it should be about my journey intertwined with some amazing people I meet along the way that have had a similar epiphany.  I kind of like that better.  I take pleasure in seeing someone fulfill a dream or accomplish something.

We’ll just have to tackle this, together, one day at a time.