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Stuff

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Photo credit: wikipedia.org

My sisters and I had breakfast together yesterday.  In our busy lives, it has been really hard to take time out to visit with each other.  Years ago I had suggested making a monthly family breakfast, and I’m actually glad this is hopefully becoming a priority.  Although our breakfast gathering was only for an hour and it was just the three of us this time, we were able to enjoy each other’s company.

I’ve learned over my 50 years that if you don’t actually schedule something and make an effort to make it happen, it never will.

Part of the conversation was about my husband thinking of selling our boat. We have owned a boat for over 30 years.  Jim is a true Pisces, and when we were first dating, he purchased a 21’ Mark Twain.  It had a little cabin and a porta potty.  Although very minimal, we had everything we needed while it was just the two of us, spending many days on the water and many nights sleeping out.  Our three kids grew up on that boat and at the beach, and the stories that boat could have told!  All of the years of fishing (or trying to fish but not catching anything), the sinking episode, the rainstorms we got caught in.  The kids grew up on that boat, rushing to “suicide hill”, a fabricated name for a huge pile of sand near our dock.  We had that boat for almost 20 years.  Jim had always wanted a little bigger boat, one that would be more convenient for our family with a little kitchen area and a real bathroom space that didn’t require taking the whole boat apart to get to.

Then September 11 happened.  If you have read things I’ve written before, sometimes, I believe, it takes a life event to provide the motivation to make today a “someday”.  I’ll explain.  So many times I find that we may say “someday I’ll do this” or “someday I’ll do that”. We can say “it”, we can plan “it”, or we can make “IT” happen.  That October, as a result, I obtained a home equity loan and made “it” possible.  We purchased a larger boat that was able to accommodate the needs of our family convenience- wise, although it did reduce the portability of the boat.  As a side-note, and something that wasn’t planned as the Time to Play project wasn’t in existence at the time, the used boat we purchased came with the name “It’s All About Time”.  This is a super strong message about priorities — the need to take time to enjoy life — that I coincidentally wrote about in paragraph 1 when I began this article.

Anyway, after the years following September 11 to the present, the kids are pretty much never with us and the boat is not used as much as it had been.  With that, my sister, who has two younger boys, discussed a recent conversation with her husband about getting a bigger camping trailer.

FINALLY:  The point of this article after this whole, long introductionWhat “stuff” do we need?

A few days ago Keith Richards Godwin, one of our valuable Time to Play Foundation team, invited me to be a guest on his recovery radio show on 103.9 FM LI Talk Radio.  On the show we had a brief discussion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the pressure society puts on us to have “stuff”.  We discussed how we needed to question if we, personally, have our basic needs being met including shelter and food, as well as if we really needed all the “stuff” our society tells us we need.

Certainly there is tremendous pressure on us to have things, but I have learned that things don’t make us whole.  At this point in my life, I have realized that anything I have needs to fill a purpose to compliment my life or to make something in my life easier.  I have learned that things are not a substitute for love or fulfillment, and cannot fill the basic needs we each have as a living and breathing human.

Years ago I heard a skit by, I believe, George Carlin, where he discussed how we live in a box where we never are because we are always working, work in a box, and pay for our car, another box, that we drive from our house box to our work box and park outside in a parking lot while we work.  I never forgot the message, which always comes to mind before I purchase something.  I wanted to share a video of the message here, but the best I could find when I Googled was this excerpt from one of George Carlin’s performances about “stuff” https://youtu.be/MvgN5gCuLac.

Back to the breakfast with my sisters and our discussion:  our boat is long paid for at this point, so this “stuff” we have only costs yearly maintenance and dock fees.  My sister would have created another payment for her family that she would have had to work harder to cover, so she and her husband decided it wasn’t necessary to get bigger “stuff” right now.

Benefit analysis is pretty important when any purchase is considered – for example, why do you want the “stuff”, will the “stuff” enhance and compliment your life?  Will it fill a purpose to make life better or more enjoyable?

Don’t get me wrong, I love “stuff”.

But now, my intention is to get “stuff” that I will use to add to my life’s enjoyment.  There is no “stuff” that can fill any type of void in my life. And, of course, remember the saying, “You can’t take it with you”.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting or striving to get “stuff” that will add to life enjoyment.  It’s part of the joy in life, and why people make “stuff” in the first place!  I’m actually leaving this morning to go to Connecticut to pick up my new used motorcycle today, which will absolutely add to my life enjoyment this upcoming riding season.

I guess the message I’ve been trying to communicate here is don’t stress to get “stuff”.  Don’t put pressure on yourself to get “stuff”.  Not adding pressure to my life is a message I still have to remind myself of frequently.  I have found that pressure and stress lead to obstacles, and that life should focus on happiness and enjoyment.

If I only knew then what I know now.

I hope this helps spark a thought in you, and that you pass this on to someone else who may need it.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see https://timetoplay.com/ for more information.

“I’m going to die soon”

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I love my life“I’m going to die soon.”  Yesterday I spoke with a relative who said this to me.  Not, thankfully, because she has any particular health reason for the statement, but because she bought a new couch.

I asked her to explain.

She discussed how she rationalized purchasing a new couch for her living room because she hated the couch she owned.  She further explained that she was 67 years old and going to die soon, that no one lives forever, and that because she has maybe 10 or 15 more years to live, and that it was perhaps a silly purchase.

I was, truly, taken off guard.

I asked her if that is the way to live…. to wake up every day and think you are going to die soon…

I, for one, do not have the desire to focus my attention on this inevitable issue.  Fortunately, I am not aware of anything that truly predicts the exact day and moment of our individual expiration dates, and I am grateful for that.

OK… one more story.  You’ll see my point for including it here in a moment.

During Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago, a relative in their 70’s asked another relative in their 70’s, “So, what hurts you?”  I actually turned to her and asked if she truly said that.

So, here’s my opinion.

You can be 67 and start a fabricated countdown that is a focus point of each day, making decisions based on your personal expected longevity.  You can be 70, or maybe you are only 20 years old for that matter – age does not really make a difference here – and focus on an ailment, or something else, that creates a negative focus in your life.

OR, you can focus on the joy of being here and savoring the NOW.

I did not always have this mindset.  In my past I admit that I lived in frustration and “wished” my life away (for example, can’t wait till the weekend, can’t wait till the kids can do this stuff themselves, can’t wait till I finish college) in times when I felt challenged.  My only regret is that I did not learn to appreciate the NOW much earlier in my life experience.

A few years ago I read a book by Eckert Tolle entitled The Power of Now, where he noted that there is no past, there is no future, there is only the now.  Think about that.

Yes, sometimes we may dwell on things that happened in the past.  So many times this can effect our life for many years, sometimes in a negative manner, where we blame or makes excuses about our current situation based on something that had happened.  Keep in mind, whatever this may have been, we cannot change it.  In my recent past I have realized that it is our choice whether we want to let that “whatever” situation keep us stuck and paralyzed.  I have learned now that we only have the ability to move forward, but — I’m repeating it because it’s important — that it is our choice to do so.

And then there is Mr. Tolle’s statement that there is no future…  Yes, we plan for the future, as I believe we should.  We choose a career, have goals, plan and look forward to things.  Where would we be if we had nothing to look forward to?  I plan, and strive, and do; but, now I realize that we cannot 100% control how anything will turn out.  Personally, I love looking forward to amazing things to come, and expect only the best outcomes that will fulfill all of my desires.

Lastly, the fact (or concept) that there is only the NOW:  Only the present — this moment, this second, this day.

In my present life I choose to embrace this concept.

Mind you, I’m not perfect.  There are still times were I find myself dwelling on things that happen, or at times, still let things “in” that affect my personal behavior.  BUT, I am proud that I now recognize when this is happening, STOP and then shift my thinking.  Where something may have, in the past, affected me for a period of time, I am proud that I have developed an awareness so that a situation no longer effects me for too long.  I have also, and this is very recent, adopted a new mindset where I no longer hold things in that bother me.  I have recognized that not communicating only harbors negative feelings and frustration.  It’s a scary thing, but if someone says something or does something that bothers me, I tell them.  I recognize that we all are a work in progress.  I have decided to, and consciously make steps to, make every moment as enjoyable as possible.

In my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) in the very last page in the “Parting Words” chapter, I did create an analogy that I will explain here.

Due to the fact that our society revolves around money, I used the dollar bill to explain my thought in the book.  So, take a dollar out of your wallet.  Go ahead and do it.  Trust me.

Now, look at that dollar.

We purchase things we need and things we want with our dollars.  So, let’s use this dollar to “pay” for this second of our life.  Imagine that every second of your day you are spending one dollar.  As there are 86,400 seconds in one 24 hour day, that equals $86,400.  Pretty visual, huh?

So, imagine spending $86,400 to pay for your irreplaceable time today.  Remember that every second is a second you cannot redo.

Will you spend your dollars to bring you joy, or will you spend them in a way that does not make you feel good?

Think about it.  Take a moment to reflect on your experience.  And, here’s a concept to consider: The fact that, every second, you have an opportunity to change your next second.

If you are enjoying how you are spending your seconds, keep going in that manner.  If not, maybe it’s time to shift something — a job, school, a relationship, or something else in your current life experience, and make a plan so that you can enjoy your next one.  I believe that we all have the power within us to change our experience.  Sometimes, perhaps, all it may take is the awareness that we want to have a different life experience, and to take one small step to get started in a new direction.

Maybe today is the “someday” that we shift our plan of action to make our next second amazing.

I plan to love all my seconds.  I recognize, after 50 years in my life, that it is MY CHOICE on how I want to feel, and it is a waste of my seconds to feel badly in any way.

There’s one more thing that I’m going to add here before I end this, something that might help someone in their quest for quality of life.  One of our board members of the Time to Play Foundation, at New Years, said that instead of just celebrating the one day, “Happy New Year”, why don’t we celebrate everyday:  “Happy New Day”.  I thought this was brilliant and have personally adopted this celebratory mindset.  Happy New Day to you — every day.  Every day is a clean slate and a new opportunity to celebrate life.

I hope this helps spark a thought in you, and that you pass this on to someone else who may need it.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see https://timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Not listening Clogged My Chakra

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ChakraIn my book, If I Knew then What I Know Now, I wrote how there is so much wisdom in the past experiences of others and how people who have come before us left information behind for us to use in our lives.  I have also come to the realization that we don’t necessarily use this wisdom but reinvent… and reinvent… and reinvent “new” ideas.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m not trying to say we shouldn’t invent things that are new ideas.  People are forever thinking and dreaming, which is absolutely part of life and what moves society forward (perhaps that’s subjective depending on the subject – maybe we move backwards, sometimes, too).

However, introducing an idea of reflecting on what was learned in the past, and how the information could help us, was the best way I could think of to introduce the topic of this article and the following discussion.

I’ve been “dabbling” in learning about Chakras here and there over some years / months, but never really delved in.  Some people will say, “Oh, that’s hokey stuff”.  My husband is one of them.  BUT, I truly believe there is real validity in this knowledge.

Last night I sat at the kitchen table speaking with my daughter Jackie and her friend.  They are working very hard on reconnecting to “source”.  They are only in their early 20’s; and, with what I know now after many years of reading and learning, am so grateful that they are where they are at this point in their lives.  I only wish I had been more aware so I could have shared what they are learning now with them when they were younger.  At this point in their awareness, they have far surpassed my awareness, to which I am grateful.

So, after that long introduction and explanation, here’s what happened that has caused me, a person who will turn 50 in a few days, to consider this “new” concept that has been around well over 3,000 years.

I believe what I learned this past week was valuable.  For those who think it is “hokey”, that’s o.k.

But, hopefully, my sharing my story and experience will help someone else.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a little stubborn.  I get an idea in my head and, no matter what, I will strive to accomplish it.  But, here’s the bad part.  I don’t listen.  I don’t listen when people say it’s not the right path.  This past week, my not listening fully affected my body, as well.

Looking back over the years in my life, I realize that “not listening” to signs and experiences have adversely affected my health and my body many times.  Remember the Time to Play Philosophy is “happy, healthy, have money and work life balance”.  When we do not feel well, being happy and feeling healthy certainly are disqualified from this equation.  Perhaps, based on the circumstances, we lose the “have money and work life balance”, the other two parts of the time to play philosophy, too.

BUT, if we are listening, we can circumvent a negative life experience.

So, this past week I actually created a physical illness in what I’ve learned was my root Chakra while fighting for something that I was told was not the right move.  I, myself, believed it was and was going to do everything I could to move forward.  And then, this past Thursday night, not only did I not sleep, but became physically ill including an upset digestive system, fatigue and joint pain throughout my whole body.  It was at that point I “woke up”.  Armed with the little knowledge I had about Chakras, I realized there was a root cause to what I was feeling.

So I went to the all-knowing Google and searched for the symptoms of a blocked / clogged Root Chakra.

What I read was what I was physically experiencing.

I have been following Lisa Beachy and her morning wisdom for some months.  I knew she had a meditation for clearing the Root Chakra (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol5rRFSC1_s – it is only 4 minutes long), which I took the time to complete. I included it here if you think that you may need it, as well.

Before this “aha” moment, I hadn’t really understood.

This whole experience was something I actually needed.  Almost 50 years of life did not give me the education that I did receive in this one stroke of awareness.  Once I listened, and “got it”, my body, physically and emotionally, started to become well.

I don’t intend to give anyone information that they may feel uncomfortable with, but kind of think this information has merit and is worth looking into and considering.

We all know we can make ourselves physically ill and have heard of people having a heart attack due to stress.

This chakra stuff has been around forever, originating in India between 1500 and 500 BC.  In my book I wrote how we make mountains out of molehills, and maybe investigating the Chakra system may be one path to search for what ails us and affects our quality of life.

BUT, please note – this is not an easy fix.  From what little I understand, the Chakra system starts with our mind and our thinking, two areas that may be the hardest to affect.

Something else I finally “got”:  How our emotions are our guide if we are doing something we should or if we are not.  I have been learning this, telling people this and reading about this, but, again, didn’t “get it”.  Hopefully now that I understand a little better what this whole emotional guiding system is, I can use it to better enjoy my life.  The concept makes sense, but reading and saying is much different than doing because you “get it”.

I learned I need to “Just Listen”.

Here is a table of information I found which includes a “Chakra Aches Index”:  http://www.inner-truth.net/healing/chakras/chakras.html

Additionally, please go to www.spritualgirlfitness.com and download Lisa Beachy’s “How to Eat for Your Chakras”.  I believe that the easy to understand information I listened to yesterday, and wisdom she imparts on her audio program, (it’s 38 minutes long) was very valuable to me.

If you are feeling crappy in any way – headaches, exhaustion, joint pain, etc., it may really be worth a few minutes of time to listen and look into.  I believe the whole thing makes sense and is useful to have in our “toolbox” of skills for life.

I know that every day is a learning experience.  I know it gets tiring to hear me say that, but, it’s true.  No matter how you think you’ve “gotten it”, learning is continuous.  I, personally, do not believe that any one of us is an “expert” in life, nor do I believe that any one of us is perfect.

We can just try the best we can.

Hoping my “aha” gives you an “aha”!

After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life.  It is time to play…

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see https://timetoplay.com/ for more information.

 

Responsibility and Our Own Actions

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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.

Fight for Our Own Empowerment

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Empowerment

Empowerment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Remembering Those in Need

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Remember

Remember

This article was triggered by my frustration trying to help a lovely woman in need and my inability to rally people to help.  It breaks my heart how one person can give so much and can wind up so alone, fighting insurmountable obstacles. 

With this being Memorial Day, I started thinking broader about the silent plight of so many. 

I am a person who looks at an issue and sees the “big picture”, not just what directly affects me.  I continuously marvel about how today’s “problems”, in many cases, are not new.  Many of these issues are recurring in our society.  Time and again I marvel at how history repeats itself – it we let it – which I did go into greater detail in our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life” (www.ifiknewthenbook.com).  

I continuously assume people will feel the same urgencies I do for certain things and about situations that affect us as a whole.  Time and again I wind up frustrated, disappointed or surprised.

With this being Memorial Day, I am reminded of a conversation I had with an elected official.  I asked him why we don’t hear daily reports about our military personnel or the plight of our veterans.  He told me that, unlike during the world wars when everyone was affected, only 1% of people in our country are currently connected to military personnel or situations. 

My family does not have anyone in the military, but I totally believe that we should care about the men and women who are protecting our freedoms, at home and abroad.  I believe we should know what they need, how to help, and how to care.  Not just on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, but every day. 

Did you know that 22 soldiers a day commit suicide?  http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/02/05/22-the-number-of-veterans-who-now-commit-suicide-every-day  Did you know that many Veterans are homeless? There are many articles that gave a statistics that approximately 58,000 veterans were homeless in the year 2013.  It is so hard for me to believe that someone could fight for our freedoms and end up in this manner. Through my work experience in healthcare I have learned that many don’t know where to get help or the resources available.

If you look into history, these situations that currently affect our Veterans are not new.  We still hear the term “the forgotten war”, and many talk about our current Veterans fitting into this same category. 

Working in quality improvement for many years, I have learned that you cannot ignore issues – things will only continue to get worse.  I have learned that it is better to weigh your options and implement the best possible solution when first identifying the problem.  This can be applied to anything; for example a hole in a pipe will get larger and larger (it won’t go away), health problems will continue to compound, or a car that is in disrepair will eventually stop working. 

I am acutely aware that one person cannot be involved in and deal with everything, but I am also aware that many people might just say, “That’s too bad” and move along in their day.  I believe there are so many things that get put on the back burner without getting the proper attention that it should.  In the end, issues will just get larger and continue to reappear.  Just watch our nightly news and the stories that we hear over and over.  We see the same situations, on a daily basis, just reported on with different names and dates.

With this being Memorial Day, please take a moment today to reflect on our Veterans, their dedication and sacrifice.  Perhaps do a quick “Google” search to find one of the many organizations working to help our Veterans.  Perhaps there is something you can contribute.  If each one of us does one little thing to help, we can make things better.  That’s the concept behind “people helping people” and Time to Play (www.TimetoPlay.com).

I’ll even inappropriately venture out on this Memorial Day and ask you to stop a moment to consider the plight of others, those who may not be Veterans.

In reference to my dear friend, she has been going through a horrible health crisis for almost a year.  She’s just one of many who are going through a crisis in their lives or the lives of their loved ones.  I had believed she had a stronger support group than she actually does have.  Maybe I just want to believe that everyone has some type of support group or a person they can count on in their time of need.  The more I’ve been working on the Time to Play project, the more I realize that just isn’t so and how many people are out there truly out there on their own. 

In this particular case, I’ve been trying to do a fundraiser for her with not great results.  Maybe it’s because she is not a young child, maybe people just have too much of their own stuff that they are dealing with.  Through working on Time to Play, many have said to me that, unless something directly affects a person, it is hard for them to wrap their minds around the plight of another. 

I will never be able to accept that. 

We all need to care. 

People Helping People.  Collaboration = Success.