I woke up to this message on my LinkedIn this morning. “Congrats on Building Your Dream”. What better way to start the day?
Yes, I do believe I’ve “built my dream”. I’ll explain.
As many of you know, I’ve worked in healthcare since 1987, mostly in the field of quality improvement. I have identified that so many of us, young and old, work so hard, or get so caught up in the everyday or in life problems that seem monumental, that we forget we need to also enjoy life.
I’m not exempt from that philosophy. A few years ago I recognized that I had forgotten I needed to enjoy life, too. I lived always striving for more — more education, better job, etc., so I could be “good enough”. I won’t go into all the details here, but you can read the story in our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now”, in which 17 contributors share heart-felt stories of how they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and moved forward to enjoy life, (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com). If you don’t want to read the book, you can contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 631-331-2675, ask questions, and I’ll fill you in.
I truly feel that, in many cases, we’re doing life “wrong”. I know wrong is a strong word, but don’t know how to explain this in an easier fashion without going into many pages of text. Short version is that we can look at statistics of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, suicidal ideation, unemployment of our college students, or debt, for example, and the root cause and ramifications of these issues. The focus in our society, in my opinion, is the “band-aid” approach. We are very reactive instead of proactive. My husband and I debate this a lot. He asks, “How do I know I need education in something I don’t have”, and I explain that when we look at people and what they go through, we can give them tools and tips and “plant seeds” of information that they can utilize if they find themselves in a situation.
Hence, the Time to Play Philosophy was born… that is, you have to be happy, healthy, have money, and a work life balance to have quality of life. People have noted “have money” is not important — I beg to differ. If you can’t feed your family or pay your rent, you are not enjoying life. You are stressed out.
So, I’ve been learning — a lot — over these past years. But, this time it was for MY enjoyment and education in order that I could have the tools and resources I needed to put the Time to Play Foundation together. The Time to Play Foundation, Inc. is 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. We have an amazing Business Advisory Board and Council of Professional Resources.
We have built tools and resources: We have articles and information to provide resources so you can have a better life. We have built Club Time to Play™ to provide learning without labeling, as I believe we are so fast to label. I believe that, sometimes, labels hurt more than they do good. Sometimes labels create a “downward spiral” in our own minds and hold us back from enjoying life. Club Time to Play™ is a big idea to encourage us to learn what we need to know so we can enjoy life. We have created BExtraordinary® make-up and unisex fragrance. There’s a long story how this came to be, too, but it’s intention is to inspire people to BExtraordinary®. Sometimes we just need a reminder that we are. (If you want more info on this, go to www.BExtraordinaryfragrance.com and www.BExtraordinaryMakeup.com). We also have the Time to Play® clothing line, the intention of which is to remind not only YOU to enjoy life, but to spread the message to everyone who sees you.
The Pièce de résistance is our announcement of the Enjoy Life Communities™ project. (www.TheEnjoyLifeProject.org) This is truly a big idea — to bridge the good works of organizations already being done in a community, to enhance communication between those who live there, to eliminate duplication, to encourage people to work together, and to create a wish list of priorities that the WHOLE community can work together to achieve so everyone who lives there can enjoy life. It’s a POSITIVE instead of a negative. It’s a message of “Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community” instead of living in a neighborhood watch community, anti-bullying community, anti-drug community, at risk youth community, anti-crime community, etc. Not to diminish the importance of the work necessary to protect our people, but if we focus all of our attention on crime, drugs, at risk, bullying, etc., perhaps we’ll just attract more of this and bring people’s opinion of where they live down. How much better to live in an Enjoy Life Community™? Sometimes it’s just a little change in perspective. Everywhere a person lives can be the BEST community ever. It may only take a change of perspective and new found energy to make things change.
The other day someone called me a “tree hugger”. That’s not exactly an accurate term as I’m not an environmentalist, but I actually took it as a compliment. I would rather be a “tree hugger” and some people think I was annoying than be a pessimist, or “go with the flow” to believe that things can’t change and have to stay as they are. I’d rather be a “tree hugger” than think where I live, and the whole country, sucks. I would rather be a “tree hugger” and have hope that our children can have a better life — because if we leave things the way they are, we really are on a downward slide. Yesterday, one of our Business Advisory Board members told me that his daughter was at a store getting rung up and the cashier was exasperated. Somehow they got to speaking about the “mess” our children will be left with. I actually wrote about that in our book! I am tired of people saying, “What a mess we’re leaving for our kids”. Why leave it a mess? How about if we work towards making small changes to make things better? Just look at the news – or don’t if you want to have a nice day. There’s rarely a good story being reported. As a matter of fact, the other day, the news reporter said, “There’s a lot of sad news to report today”. I, for one, believe there is something good happening out there. Unfortunately, the good just isn’t as important as inciting fear, hatred, or riots. If it’s not a deadly illness that you will contract, it’s another story of horror or news that is slanted in a way to create pain, stress and division in our people.
After years of working on the Time to Play project, yes, I’ve “built my dream“. After giving up and quitting many times, yes, I’ve “built my dream”. After feeling like I’d never make it, yes, I’ve “built my dream”. Tree Hugger and all!
But, there’s still a long way to go and a lot of people to reach. The goal here is “people helping people” and “collaboration = success”. There are tons of people, not for profit and for profit organizations out there doing great things. We can all work together and get further faster.
There’s much to be done to encourage those who are discouraged that they have the power within themselves to enjoy life. I believe this with every fiber of my soul.
We’re all in this together. It’s Time to Play. It’s Time to Enjoy Life. If not now, when?
With much love,
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