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Mother's Day

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Make Someone SmileSo, today I reflect on Mother’s Day, an annual day of recognition and celebration.

First, I’ve got to note that I am a mom of three wonderful children, now all young adults.  I fully recognize that being a mom is probably one of the most important responsibilities and functions in our society.  I certainly can’t say life wasn’t hard or challenging when they were younger, especially during a time when my husband and I worked opposite shifts in order to care for them when they were younger. Certainly there were days I could not even imagine how I could accomplish everything that needed to be done, but somehow we made it through.

Being a mom has been a most rewarding experience, and I am so proud how all three of my babies have grown up to be the most amazing, caring, responsible and civic-minded individuals.  I could not have hoped for anything better and am absolutely so grateful.

Something does trouble me as I reflect on Mother’s Day.  I did read about the origination of Mother’s Day by a woman named Anna Jarvis.  She began her work to make Mother’s Day an official National holiday in 1905 after her mother died, and it took until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation to make the 2nd Sunday in May the national holiday.  You are welcome to read more about her, but it had been noted that she was very upset about the day being exploited by organizations to make profit, and even brought lawsuits to try to end the commercialization.

So, here’s the part that might make people angry at me.  I don’t believe anyone has to buy me a gift because I’m a mom.  I believe that people should appreciate each other every day.  I believe we should recognize and thank our loved ones, friends and family every day, not just once a year.  Every day should be a people appreciation day.  What a better world this would be if we thanked everyone we came into contact with, appreciated their service, time, assistance, or love.  Celebrating once a year is just not enough.

That brought me to thinking about other holidays like Veteran’s Day.  Personally, I thank our veterans every day.  If I see a veteran, I always thank them for their service.  I know my life would be quite different right now if these brave men and women did not sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms.

So, happy people day.  I appreciate all of you who contribute to our society and to the lives of others. I salute our soldiers and veterans, our teachers, our police officers, our healthcare workers, our civil service workers, and the rest who make contributions to our daily lives and making our lives the best possible.

As a mom, I am proud of you.  As a person who has a mom, I am thankful that she gave me the opportunity to be here to make a difference, the best way I can, in the lives of anyone I can.

Today I celebrate you and hope to make you smile.

Pass it on.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Celebrate Today – Don’t Wait

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celebrateI woke up thinking about celebrations today.  I guess it was a result of this past weekend being Mother’s Day.  My mother used to frequently say, “Mother’s Day is not just one day, but every day”.  True.  This is a thought we could actually utilize in so many aspects of our lives.

How many of us celebrate each day?  Let’s break that down a little, as I know that’s a bit vague.  I started www.TimetoPlay.com to relearn how to live and enjoy life.  I have worked in healthcare for 27 years and have seen what I term the “sick and sad”.  I have learned after these past years of this endeavor that life is short and meant to be savored. 

That’s a hard and vague concept for us, too.  It’s hard to grasp a concept of acknowledging each second of our day is precious when so much is thrown at us every day.  Job issues, family issues, health issues.  It gets truly overwhelming sometimes.  We are all human and may get caught up in the emotions and frustrations of our day.  My gift from working on www.TimetoPlay.com, becoming a life coach, and meeting people from whom I have learned amazing things has been my ability to recognize when I need to STOP, reevaluate and make a choice on how I react and to move on.  It is important to recognize when we are in a situation that is undesirable.  I recognize that some things we can do something about, and some things we can’t.  BUT, it’s ALWAYS in our power to change our reactions to a situation, to reevaluate, and to make the best choices to move forward.  We are NEVER without power.  Remember that.  Don’t let anyone, especially not your thoughts, steal your power.

Through www.TimetoPlay.com I have realized the importance of stopping what we’re doing or thinking, to be unplugged, to listen to a bird chirping, to talk to our friends and our children.  I have recognized the importance of celebrating each day, to see the beauty that we miss when we are part of the hustle and bustle to get things done.  Even as I sit here writing this, I have become more aware of my surroundings, listening to the sound of the fish tank and enjoy the shadows the sun is making in my home that I would have missed in months and years past. 

Start to celebrate the little things.  It will make your heart happy.  Try it.

Celebrate yourself… your beauty, your smile, your achievements, your surroundings.  Things may not be easy, or things may not be exactly as you want or had envisioned, but celebrate what you are and what you have at this exact moment in your life.  You are special the way you are.  You are the only one of you.

Celebrate others… I know from experience that we usually wait for milestones to make people feel special for their “special days” during birthdays, on holidays, or during special events.  I do my best to compliment people any time I can.  Do it and watch people’s reactions.  We all work so hard.  It’s nice for the sales person to get a, “Wow, you did that checkout so fast, I’m so impressed”, or “What a nice smile”, or “You are so pleasant, I enjoyed shopping here today”.  Try it.  It not only brings an amazing smile to their face (and a look of shock and awe), but I promise it will bring a smile to your face, too.

Celebrate family…  How many times do you say, “I love you” but mean it?  How many hugs or kisses do you bestow?  How many times do you sit down for a special dinner or a celebration or do something that’s not “required” due to a holiday, birthday or a day like Mother’s Day?  How many times do things feel more like work and not something you are doing from your heart? 

My babies are 22, 20 and 19 years old.  They are not at home very often anymore, and it seems to get harder and harder to even talk to them on a daily basis.  I know that I always had made efforts to create special days, projects, “field trips” and events when they were small, but savoring memories is not living.  Doing is living, and I strive to make what I can fit into my day as special as possible.  Let them know they’re special, not just a “job” or an obligation.  See and feel the difference it makes in your heart and in your relationship. 

Last but not least, how about our spouses.  Appreciation is everything, and, in our day to day, we may take them for granted.  It’s so important to acknowledge each other.  We are all so busy, but I’m throwing it out there to not just wait for an obligatory reason like a birthday or holiday to celebrate them.  Things are different and much faster today than when I was younger, and I know, personally, how we can get so caught up in things that are not important.  I’m asking that you take a moment to thank them for just being them, for doing the things that they do, and for being who they are.  That’s why we loved them, in the first place, isn’t it?

Love – the word of today.  Love life, love each other, love yourself. 

Don’t wait to celebrate. 

Every day is a reason for celebration.

Celebrate yourself and everyone around you.  Feel the feelings you get.  Try it.  You, and those around you (after they make you go to the doctor to make sure you are ok) might even smile.

Looking at Achievements – Here's to 2011!

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So. . . 2011 is here.  We have bucket lists.  We have goals.

As a newbie to Facebook, I have noticed people posting when they are working on something or when they have finally accomplished “it”.  I think that is one thing Facebook has given us.  A way to spread an accomplishment to more than just immediate friends or family.

There are those who are writing or have finished writing books.  I didn’t realize how many people I “know” that wanted to write a book or had written one.  It is pretty amazing — they have taken words of wisdom, something they love, etc. and put it down to share with others.  They have made “a mark”.

For others, speaking engagements, publicity, published articles — sorta 10 seconds (or hopefully longer) of fame. 

First thoughts — wow. . . how could they have done that?  How did they get contacted?  How did they get lucky to “make it”.

But, then, thoughts of sincere and heartfelt awe — they worked hard, maybe for years, to get a little recognition that they absolutely deserved.  Good for them!  Get far!!!!!  Ride the wave of success!

I feel proud that they achieved what they set out to do.  More power to them!  It is amazing to know that they actually achieved what they wanted to do.  They didn’t just say “I should have” or “I should do _______”.  They did it.  They achieved.

Don’t just think it or say it.  Do it.

I hope we all accomplish something this year that we can celebrate.  Make 2011 a good one.  I wish you much happiness, prosperity, success and achievement.

Happy New Year,

Doreen