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Lessons of Time and Choice

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losing track of timeAt this point in my life I truly realize that every day is a learning opportunity.  Sometimes I wish the lessons didn’t take so long to get here.

Yesterday I went to the wake of a dear friend’s mom.  We hadn’t physically seen each other in over 20 years.  I think the last time was at our 10 year high school reunion.  We had been the best of friends all through high school, and, if I remember correctly, junior high, too.  We had participated in countless sleepovers and events – and then she moved away to go to college and we lost touch.  Our only connection for these past years has been the holiday cards sent to each other.

Seeing her yesterday at the wake for those few moments made me truly wonder.  Of course, firstly, I wonder where in the world had the time gone???  How could it have been possible that so many years have passed?  Time does go by so fast, and of course every day is filled with priorities.  But, every day we are lucky to have we are also lucky enough to have a new opportunity.

The swift passing of time is not an unfamiliar realization.  I’ve certainly heard people express this same sentiment before.  It is so easy to lose track of time.  Personally, my days are filled to the brim with things that I “have” to do.  In my personal experience, one day just rolls into the next.  The week is gone, the month is gone, the year is gone… you get the idea.

I woke this morning thinking about this and asking myself how she and I could have lost touch and how we allowed so many years to pass in this manner.

So, there it is… the lessons of time and choice. 

With this being said, I think about the saying, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.  In my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) I wrote how I marvel how someone, somewhere had said all these amazing quotes and sayings that have been passed down through the years.  They had “been there and done that”, and gave us all these secrets to have a better life.  There is so much wisdom from the past if we pay attention.

“Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”:  What is something you have wanted to do and/or a person you have wanted to call?

Perhaps today is someday.

I’ve definitely been crossing things off my “bucket list” of things I want to do; but, what about all of those other things that I should do?  We will make time in our busy lives if we really want to make the time.

Truly the days go by so fast.  Don’t let another pass you by without touching someone you “should” call.

If you “should” do it, you probably should actually make it happen.  I know I “should” have.

What do you CHOOSE to do today?  How can you make those things a priority?  And, if your day, like mine, is filled with the what I “have” to do’s, it may be time to reevaluate the “have to” and figure out how to create a schedule that suits life and love and freedom to do those things that we “should” do.

I certainly plan to reevaluate things a little.

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

Love,

Doreen

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.

Gliding

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motorcycle

I’ve written about my experience riding my motorcycle before, but I felt compelled to write about my progress after riding today.

I acknowledge that certain things come easily for some people. I also will say that the skills to skillfully ride my motorcycle have not come easy to me. I’ve got to take a step back so you can understand why and how I took up this hobby at 49 years old…

In 1986 I told my husband (then boyfriend) that I wanted to get a motorcycle. At some point he purchased one, and I sat on the back, as a passenger, since… until last July. One of the members of our firefighter motorcycle club suddenly passed away at 48 years old. With that, I decided “today was someday”, and not only got my motorcycle license, but my very own motorcycle.

Even though I had wanted to ride for almost 30 years, and even though I wanted to be so “good at it”, I admit I was a little fearful. I made lots of excuses to others and to myself to justify my skill set. I pretty much even talked myself into believing that if I had gotten that motorcycle at 20 years old it would have been easier to learn the skills to ride.

Nevertheless, I kept at it even though sometimes it was frustrating. There were a few times I internally quit and didn’t ride for days.

Riding a motorcycle, even though you wouldn’t think it because the people who ride make it look so easy, takes great skill (at least in my opinion).

Last weekend, we went on a long ride with 30 other motorcycles. Over 120 miles later, on the ride back, I went around a turn in a manner that was stiff. So stiffly, that I actually was deciding that, if this was how I was going to ride, I should just go back to being a passenger. In my mind I was recounting the many miles we had traveled. In my mind I was “yelling” at how I could still “not be good at this”. Riding a curve stiffly is not a good way to ride a curve. I couldn’t imagine, at this point, after so many months later, how I could not yet have the skills I knew I needed.

Then, it clicked. I can’t exactly explain it. I started “gliding”.

Gliding is the best way I can explain it. I was no longer stiff going around the curves, but the motorcycle skillfully went around them, smoothly.

How many times have we encountered situations like this, where we decided something was just too hard or “impossible”, and quit… If I had quit, it would have been just before I “got it”.

My reflection today is really just this. Coming to terms with the little voices within that tell us we “can’t”, or that, perhaps, we’re “not good enough” to accomplish something.

You know that if you really want to accomplish something, it is possible. We can be taught, but we have to “get it” on our terms and when it’s time for us to trust.

Don’t believe that you’ll never “get it”. Don’t give up on getting the skills you need. Keep at it.

Want to speak in public? Practice. Want to roller blade? Practice. Want to ride a motorcycle? Practice. Want to play the cello? Practice. Want to do ballroom dancing? Practice. Want to do gymnastics, play a sport…. ________________ (fill in the blank). You get the idea.

Knowing that most of us are not born with the skills to do those things that we admire, or things we think we could never do, I truly believe that those who put in the time and the practice do get there. Maybe it takes some people – like me – longer than others. That’s ok! If you keep at it, you will get there. I promise.

If it is something you truly want to do, take that first step and start. Don’t wait to have regrets that you didn’t give it a try. Just go and start.

I promise that, with some time and some practice, you’ll be gliding, too.

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.

Get Happy

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get happyI saw this on Facebook the other day. It is a quick visual that really puts things into perspective, and maybe will encourage a positive action to change our lives.

So many times, I believe, we get “stuck” doing the same old thing. Sometimes whatever it is we are doing in our day becomes drudgery, where we are dreading getting up to go to, or to do, whatever it may be. But, yet, out of habit or obligation we just keep doing or going.

My son is a prime example. He had a job he hated. It pretty much sucked the life-blood out of him, but he went. He dreaded going there, hated being there, and felt devalued as a person after he left. It made for an incredibly unhappy existence, as his whole world pretty much revolved around the distress of his job. To add to the despair, the salary he received was meager, and it was difficult for him to pay his bills. He stayed on with this for over a year, feeling like he was trapped and had no other choices.

And complaining.  He did a lot of complaining.

But, no matter what we told him, or how we encouraged him, or with any suggestions we gave to him, HE decided he was trapped and had no other choices.

One day he happened to go to a place that was hiring. Coincidence or not, he was able to change jobs and his whole demeanor shifted to enable him to better enjoy life. He was no longer a “prisoner” in a situation he facilitated, but had experienced a year of his life unhappy, frustrated and stressed out.

Is this something that you find yourself experiencing?

I have learned through working on the Time to Play project that our emotions are a guide. If we feel upset, uptight, frustrated, unhappy (you get the idea) in a situation or while doing or participating in something, that might just be a trigger that you need to change something.

Even though, as you read this, you might be thinking that it sounds easy but that is not possible to change your situation, you might be able to, at least, begin with a small change that can lead up to a larger change towards your better quality of life.

If nothing else, the exercise on the graphic is pretty easy.

Get out that piece of paper. Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. To “adjust accordingly”, make another column with options to begin the process to make the change towards those things. Pick something that is possible for you to begin with to make your change happen.

Just keep in mind that a list is just a list unless you actually cross something off.

Then it is a reality.

Life is short.

Maybe you can take out that piece of paper and make that list today…

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.

Gotta Start Somewhere

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Don't Give UpA few weeks ago I was feeling sluggish. I sit most of the day at work. My legs felt particularly achy, and the best way I can describe the feeling in my back was “crunchy”. Those of you who are 50-ish can probably relate to that description!

I decided to start a walking group in our community and posted it on Facebook. The first day we met, one of my neighbors said he always wanted to run the Tunnel to Towers 5K. This is an annual fundraiser in memory of Firefighter Stephen Siller who lost his life on September 11. (For more information about Tunnel to Towers: http://tunnel2towers.org/stephens-story)

I told him, “Hey, let’s do it!” At this point in my life, and through my experience with the Time to Play project, I will work to make anyone’s vision a reality if it is in my power to do so.

So… here’s the thing. Running is not easy for me. The last time I “ran” was in 2004 when I successfully completed a 5K in close to 31 minutes (long story on how I got involved in that!).  And, I do use the word “run” very loosely. I know there are diehard runners, and that’s truly not my skill level. That said, we started meeting every other day to train with a program called From Couch to 5K except for when our schedules did not permit. A few other neighbors also join us at the track periodically.

When my running partner left for a week of vacation, I went out by myself to continue the training program. I found it harder to follow the program without the camaraderie, and did not get as far as when we were at the track together… but, that’s o.k.!

I’m taking “baby steps” and I am still going.

The term “baby steps” may pertain to many things we attempt to do in our lives. Think about it. We sometimes have to take “baby steps” in relationships, job searches, diet changes, learning, or achieving a desire.

BUT, I believe that it is better to take a “baby step”, and to keep at it, then to not take any step at all.

Sometimes we may have to go out of our comfort zone when we’re starting something new. I believe it is rare when we do or try something one time and become an “expert”. There are many sayings that we can utilize here to emphasize this point, for example one I heard since I was little: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”.

Starting is never easy. But the key is to start.  Here’s a link to some more quotes that might drive you to keep going.

With that in mind, what is something you’ve always wanted to do? What is something in your life that you plan to do “someday”?

Well, maybe “someday” can be today.

What’s that first “baby step” you can take?

With the Couch to 5K app we downloaded, we don’t have to do much planning in order to complete the 5K in September. The 8 week program does all the planning work for us, and all we need to do to build our endurance incrementally to run the 3.1 miles is to push a button and following the program.

Maybe what you desire to accomplish requires a little more planning or a little more work to get from “point a” to “point b”.

Take out a pen and paper and start a list to achieve.

Again, the key word is “START”.

It’s time to enjoy life. It’s 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.

No Baggage

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No BaggageEvery morning I read a bunch of emails from different sources that fill my mind with thought provoking, inspirational and positive ideas.

Today there was an email with a concept I had to share. It gave me a visual “aha” that anyone can use.

This article is going to be much shorter than others I have written, as the message is simple, clear and something we can all understand. It’s a “key” that can be easy to remember any time we might need it, and might just be the spark to shift a person towards a happier life.

The message: “No Baggage”.

What exactly does that mean?

How many people take “baggage” with them on a daily basis, reliving something that happened yesterday, last week, last month, last year… how many people blame someone for something in their lives? Do you?

I believe it’s the “Baggage” that keeps us trapped and unhappy. It’s the “Baggage” that may cause us to find fault, give us doubts, or prevent us from loving ourselves.

We cannot change the past. There’s nothing we can do. BUT, when we keep taking “Baggage” with us, we continue to live the same cycle.

Think about how reliving the past keeps us feeling poorly. We can’t change it. Maybe it’s time to take a second to STOP, realize we’re doing this, and let it go. Maybe we can forgive the person who wronged us or the situation where we felt embarrassed that continues to paralyze us.

When we bring “Baggage” to the workplace, we may create a sense of tension. When we bring “Baggage into a relationship, we create an opportunity of displeasure. How many times have you heard a relationship failed because they “brought their old baggage” with them”?

We realize we and others do these things, but continue to let history repeat itself. Perhaps it’s time to break the cycle. Perhaps it’s time to focus on what’s good happening in our lives right now and stop bringing the “Baggage” forward to today and to tomorrow.

I believe the concept is an easy one.

“It’s not that simple”, perhaps you are thinking… maybe it doesn’t FEEL that simple, but I believe that, sometimes, we make things harder for ourselves and for others.

Keep the vision of the suitcase with you as a reminder if that helps.  And, please reach out to us if there is a way we can help you “unpack”.

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.

Expectation

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Expectation“This is going to be hard”

“This is going to ‘suck’ “

“I’m going to have a terrible time”

“I’m dreading going to work”

 

Sound familiar?

When we approach something with drudgery, what happens?

Our expectations never fail us, do they?

I think, many times, we create these scenarios by accident or based on previous experiences. And, worse yet, we may even impose our beliefs on how things will go or turn out on others or our kids.

I don’t believe our actions are really our fault.

We just need to be aware we’re doing this, and it’s a really hard thing to do. I believe we’ve become conditioned to “expect” what will or might happen, and our energy put into that expectation can certainly make it so.

Our society runs on expectations. We expect the weather to be a certain way, a person to be sick or well or act a certain way, to get (or not get) a job, or a divorce, or that we can or cannot achieve something, or that you won’t get that call, or _________________________ — you fill in the blank.

Take a moment to reflect on this. What do YOU expect?

Are you sometimes disappointed because you were “right”?

Perhaps it is time to break the cycle. There’s only so much time in our lives to expect the worse case scenario to materialize.

How about if we expect a POSITIVE outcome? Expectation can be a very powerful thing.

Maybe it’s time for that call to come or that “thing” to work out. How about if you begin expecting that this will be: “The best trip ever”, or “The best day at work”, or “The best time with my kids”, or “The best time with my spouse”.

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.

WITH vs. FOR

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WITHI’ve had an “AHA” moment which caused me to discover why I’ve had a disconnect throughout most of my life.

I don’t believe in “FOR”.  I’ve lived my life with the vision and expectation of “WITH”.  I’ll explain.

When I work with people, I never consider them working “FOR” me, or me working “FOR” them, but “WITH” me as part of a team.  I now understand why I’ve been met, time and again, with disappointment or frustration.

I’ve gone through life pretty much with this expectation – that no one does things (or should do things) “FOR” me, but “WITH” me. Even with my kids, the “WITH” has always remained prevalent. I believe that they should (or could) recognize things we needed to accomplish as a family unit.

I don’t really think the team mentality is always prevalent in our society.  With my “AHA” moment, I started to think further and realize that, perhaps, it’s hard to change the philosophy of people when we’re in a society that emphasizes “US” against “THEM” instead of “WITH”.

I believe the transition is hard, but not impossible.

I work “WITH” people.  I look for opportunities for “US”.  A way we can ALL benefit.

I believe that should be the goal, in the end, for all of us — whether it is in our jobs, our communities, or our relationships, families, to work WITH each other.  This simple concept can truly end hostilities and unrealistic expectations so prevalent in many families, relationships, organizations and communities.

“WITH” is really not a difficult concept, but more of an awareness of how our actions affect others.

As part of a collaborative effort, things will move farther, faster, while creating a much more peaceful, loving atmosphere for us to share.  So we can ALL enjoy life.

We can look further into this idea with the evaluation of the intention behind the action of another, as well.  What are we trying to attract?  What are we trying to create:  Love or hatred?  Camaraderie or separation?

We see examples of this in our everyday lives:  In companies who create insecurity and fear in even their most loyal employees where one day their positions are “poof”, just gone.  In our youth who create separation and hard feelings through bullying.  In our political arena where partisan politics divide our elected officials, and our society, and resolutions to issues are not reached.  In a scenario where there is “dog eat dog” competition or blame.

“WITH” is such a simple concept.

What is the best option for us all if we work WITH each other?  What can YOU do, TOGETHER, with others?

Think of the possibilities if you just could ask someone their opinion and find a peaceful and common ground?

It’s time for us ALL to enjoy life.  It’s 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.  Time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

 

I AM Love

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I am loveThe other day I woke up with the Beatle’s song “All You Need Is Love” playing through my mind.  There is nothing closer to the truth than what is written in these words.

(Love, love, love)  There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done; Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung; Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game; It’s easy

There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made; No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn to be you in time; It’s easy; 
All you need is love; All you need is love; All you need is love, love; Love is all you need

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known; Nothing you can see that isn’t shown; There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be; It’s easy

 All you need is love, all together now; All you need is love, everybody; All you need is love, love;
Love is all you need   — 
Songwriters LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL

Let’s think about it.

When you do something that comes from LOVE it feels so good. Now think of how you feel when your actions come from another emotion or motivation: anger, fear, hatred, despair, stress, jealousy or frustration.  It is truly not the same feeling.  How about the feeling of “Can’t”.  That’s a big one for many.  I’ve personally experienced “can’t”, and, not only is it not a good feeling at all, it paralyzes.  Can’t certainly does not have a connection to love.

If we look at people past and present, there is wisdom to incorporate love and patience into our lives. There are many messages that are familiar:

“It’s Love makes the world go round” – W. S. Gilbert

“Love will find a way” – Christina Aguilera

“Love Conquers All” – Virgil – 19 BC

How about the reading performed at every Catholic wedding I’ve ever been to – even at my own: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

This is a message that has been around for quite a long time.

When I Googled the passage to include it here, I found that the section continued.  I couldn’t recall ever hearing this part, and am guessing that is probably because the emphasis at a wedding is not one of potential failure.  The section continued:  “But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away”. – 1 Corinthians 12:8

That’s pretty thought provoking, isn’t it?  So, what I hear in this is that, without love, we fail.  There is despair. Think about it.  Truly, there cannot be a war if there was love.  There would not be actions of hatred, abuse, or bullying.  How about if we had self-love… could that eliminate depression, or worse?

Maybe we should take a step back in order to become more aware so we can speak and act in love.

As I write these weekly posts, I do a lot of self reflection.  A man I know really bothered me this week.  He constantly is negative and ridicules others.  I’ve spoken about him during a few conversations this week.  I realize, as I write this, that when I spoke of him, even though my conversation originated because of my inability to understand his motivation and how he could be so hurtful, that I was not speaking love or understanding.  I realize my own actions this week, through these conversations, have robbed me and others of life enjoyment and even had spread unnecessary negativity.

Every day gives us a lesson, if we listen. 

I do strive to always hear these simple messages and I am always questioning why we don’t listen to those who came before us and why we haven’t learned such valuable lessons.  There is so much wisdom that we should share. I did write in my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) how, “History will repeat itself if we let it”.  History repeating is truly evident and something we see in action every day.  I really work hard not to personally let this happen and to learn, everyday, how I can make change.

So, today, I AM Love.

Perhaps love is a simple solution that we could consider for ourselves.  Maybe it can change our circumstances.  If acting through Love became a priority in our lives, perhaps the motivation behind our actions would result in compassion, patience, camaraderie and teamwork.

I plan to question the motivation behind my actions and to become more aware if they are being fueled by love.

So, as you look around today, maybe there is a person in distress.  Reach out.

It’s really simple.

Share love.

I truly believe that love does conquer all.

Working together, looking out for each other, we can all enjoy life…  I believe it is certainly time to enjoy life.  I believe it is time to play.

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.  Time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Do you see beauty in the world?

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tall trees in lake georgeWe recently had the privilege of attending Americade, held in Lake George, New York, the beginning of June.  Americade is a motorcycle rally.  The first year we went, back in 2010, there were 30,000 motorcyclists who attended.  Not a rowdy bunch, but a group of older motorcyclists who just loved to ride.

We’ve gone to Americade three times in the past five years – something we had wanted to do years before, but the kids were younger and it was hard to take the time away.  Adding to that was that only two people fit on a motorcycle.  Americade wasn’t the ideal family vacation for us while the kids were younger, for sure.

Nostalgically, Americade is where the first ideas behind the time to play project began.  We were driving around, enjoying the scenery, when I started to wonder at what age we begin to prioritize life enjoyment and take that most important “time to play”.

Before it’s too late…

But that’s a topic for another discussion.

Today’s reflection is simple.

One thing I love about riding on motorcycles is how big and vast your surroundings can be.  It is a completely different experience than driving in a car.  Living on Long Island where things are generally flat, I was amazed when we rode through the Green Mountains in Vermont.  Driving up and down those roads with huge mountains on both sides of us was a most unforgettable and humbling experience.

This year at Americade, I could not help but marvel at the amazing, massive pine trees we drove past in Lake George.

I have a lot of time to think when I ride as a passenger on the back of Jim’s motorcycle and not on my own.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the residents who live in the beautiful area we drove through notice those amazing trees.  Or, because they live there, do they not notice them.

I wondered if they noticed the smells of the passing foliage that change as you drive down the roads.  I couldn’t help but wonder if they noticed, or, because they lived there, if they did not.

Or, perhaps, were they too busy running through their day that they forget to notice.

I’m sure that most of us rush around without really noticing the beautiful things we may encounter in our day.  Do we notice the sunshine?  Or, if it’s raining, do we notice the beauty of a reflection in a puddle?  Or the smell of fresh air?  Or a bird chirping?  Do we stop to take it in and to embrace the amazing beauty around us, or do we just pass by without noticing because of a priority to on our “to do” list?

I have come to realize that there is so much beauty in every moment of every day.

Now, as I have become more aware of my surroundings and the importance to enjoy life, I try very hard to remember to notice and appreciate things I encounter every day.

It was not always like this.  I truly had years where I was shocked to notice leaves on the trees and wondered when that might have happened.  And then there were the years I was shocked to notice the leaves had fallen off the trees; again, wondering how I could have possibly missed that.

I was just too busy to see.

It is a privilege to see the beauty in the world.  To stop, even for a moment, to soak it in; to catch a smile from a passerby; to smell the ocean air.

Personally, it is a privilege for me to notice something that I might have missed in those past years.

Look at the beauty in the world.  Embrace it.  Welcome 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 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.

Fix It

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bump signEvery time I pass a sign like this, I wonder what stops us from just “fixing it”.  This idea is something that I believe can be carried to all areas of our lives.

How many things in your own life need “fixing”?  Perhaps we add “it” to our list promising to do “it” later.  There are always priorities and things that become more important or that will take precedence.

As I sit here writing this, many of my “to do’s” are popping into our mind.  I find there are many personal “to do’s” for my list like making time to exercise, or that appointment for the doctor or dentist, or emailing back a colleague or potential client, or there’s always that list of chores…

But, like the sign, I also think of the “to do’s” that we’ as a community, could work together to address that could improve quality of life for us all.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the studies that are done that just tell us information with no plan of correction.  Recently I read an article about the hardest places to live in the United States in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/upshot/where-are-the-hardest-places-to-live-in-the-us.html). What frustrates me about an article such as this is that it’s great someone took the time to collect this data, but what are we actually doing about it?  When you look at the map in this article, it is evident that there are more states that appear to be “doing worse” than “doing better”.  I can only hope that someone, somewhere, saw this article and has started a discussion in their community.

I find so many things we do to be in a reactive manner or in a crisis situation.  Working in a quality improvement mindset for much of my career makes me see  all types of areas where we should do something – together—to make things change.  I think that’s the key word.  Together…  Together we definitely get further faster.  Together…  Many hands make light work.

What’s happening in your community?  What is your wish list?  Who needs help?  I find that many times we know there are issues or problems but think, perhaps, the issue is too big; we just have no time to address it; someone else will take care of it; or how many times have we just thought “it’s just a shame” and then go back to whatever we were doing.  I have found, again and again, that people don’t pay attention to stuff that doesn’t directly affect them.  But, guess what.  In some way, everything eventually affects all of us.

Not one of us can single handedly “save the world”, but together… imagine what we can do.  I believe it’s time for us to band together to take action; not wait for others to do it; not wait for legislation to change it; and especially not just be a Facebook warrior.

This is the big idea behind the Enjoy Life Community Project, a way for us to work together in our own communities to make things change – for the better – for all of us – so we can all enjoy life.   I believe every one of us has something to offer that can help someone else.  Nothing is insignificant or too small.  We have all had experience or have some type of expertise to make change happen.

People helping people; Collaboration = success:  These are the principles that drive the time to play foundation.

It’s time to enjoy life.

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.