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"It's not a problem, only an inconvenience"

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I have to admit it.  My husband, Jim, is the smartest person I know.

We’ve been married since 1988 and together since 1983.  He’s always been there.  My rock.  The guy who puts up with me and my crazy ideas.  Although he still cringes when he hears the words, “I’ve been thinking”, he listens and let’s me run with whatever I come up with.  We both share a passion for helping others and our community; hence the www.timetoplay.com project with the vision of people helping people and the mission to bring ideas to us “worker bees” to help make our lives better.

Unfortunately, we encounter so many things in one given day that we can become frustrated and lose site of what’s important and, sometimes, our ability to handle things we encounter.  Our lives are those of multitaskers, and while some of us are proud of the crazy quantity of stuff we can achieve in one day, I think it only increases our anxiety.  Many of us put a lot of self-inflicted pressure on ourselves.  We get tired.

Things that occur during the day can also create negative vibes for us and can shift us into being crabby or in a bad mood.  For example, my daughter was astonished at a person’s behavior yesterday.  She was volunteering at a charitable event and an attendee was absolutely rude to her.  I told her that there may have been a reason behind the woman’s behavior — you know, sometimes a reaction is because of something else that was encountered prior to the event.  I told her to let it go — it’s important because we don’t know the circumstances and the agitation is not necessarily against us – especially when you only encounter a person and they don’t even know you.  This person might have had an argument with prior to communicating with her, she may have had a hard day, someone in her family may have been giving her a hard time (it was a family event and sometimes these are trying when you have small children with you, and sometimes that, in itself is trying).  And, while it’s not o.k. to make excuses for someone else, it’s better then being caught up in their bad mood.  It has taken me a long time to realize this, and I have to catch myself from getting caught up in the moment (which does not always happen).  When you become frustrated, things can trigger you and only amplify your behavior (and you freak out a little).  I’m still working on realizing the triggers which push me towards a behavior I do not prefer, and sometimes it’s not until after the event that I realize what happened and, maybe, that I did not handle something the way I should have.  But, each day is a learning experience.  We learn so we can grow and change what we need to so we can have a better life.

And, many of us (me, me!) are totally inpatient.  Being inpatient, a hard day at work, or something else that we encounter during the day of high pressure that we inflict on ourselves really can wear us down.  I know, personally, that I expect too much from myself.

We are, after all, human.  I learn this from Jim.

After becoming exhausted, after having temper tantrums (admit it — we all do it sometimes!), he brings me back to reality.  “It’s not a problem, it’s an inconvenience”, he said recently.  Wow!  A light bulb went off and started me thinking!  Jim is a retired police officer.  He went on to explain that the only problem is when you have bullets flying by your head.  Good point.

I’ve always been a complainer.  After reading many self-help books over these past 2 years, I now understand that complaining brings negative energy to a person.  I wish I knew that sooner.  I grew up in a family of complainers, so  complaining is second nature to me.  In the mornings I’d usually list what the problems of the day were.  I always started it with “the only problem is_____” for my day — whether it was needing to get gas, trying to figure out how to fit things into the day time-wise, or making any statement.  Pretty much, something was always a problem.

One morning a few days ago, in response to my problem list, Jim gave me an example.  He explained that running out of coffee beans is not a problem, only an inconvenience.  “You can always just go to the deli and get a cup”, he said.  The light bulb again — there’s always a plan “B”.  I get it.  It makes sense!

OK, so I’m a little disappointed it took him 29 years to verbalize these amazing words of wisdom, but grateful he did.  “___________ is a problem” is no longer a normal daily statement that I make.

My mind triggers now if the bad 7 letter word (problem) comes out of my mouth and I immediately shift my thinking.  Realistically, nothing is a problem what a person can’t tackle by looking at it objectively, not just reacting.  When we just react it’s harder to find a rational solution to whatever the issue is.  And, I know that there is a solution to any problem if we just take a step back and figure out what to do next.  Although, after Jim’s words of enlightenment, nothing is really a problem, is it?

We make our own problems and worry.  I’m working so hard on stopping myself when I get into a cycle of down.  When you stop yourself and look objectively at something, things seem to work out.  And it makes for such a nicer day.

Hope your inconveniences are very minor and easy ones to solve.  There is a solution to any inconvenience.

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Embrace the timetoplay philosophy – you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  It’s time to Enjoy Your Life!

The Serenity Prayer – A Challenge

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Did you ever wonder where the Serenity Prayer came from or what the intention was when it was written?  I googled and found this on a website  http://www.thevoiceforlove.com/serenity-prayer.html  and I have reposted, as follows:

Serenity Prayer:  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.  Thevoiceforlove.com further noted that the “prayer” was written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the late 1930s to early 1940s as part of a sermon he was giving and that the widely known prayer is abbreviated and the entire prayer reads:  Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.

I’ll get back to this in a few moments.

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days and talking to people that have made me think even more.  For example, I recently learned of an organization called Head Start.  How blind we are (I know this is true because so many people I asked didn’t know what the organization was) in our own Communities!  I have passed the sign a million times driving past.  I thought it was just a preschool.  It’s not.  It’s a place where children who come from families earning less than $17,000 per year apply to attend (and they have a huge waiting list) where they provide education and resources to the children and the families – the children so they can, hopefully, be on an even par with more privileged children when they start elementary school, and families to help them get on their feet and “make it”.  And, get this, the organization was formed in the 1960’s.  Think we should know about it?  I was speaking with someone yesterday and we discussed the Head Start Program, and talked about how it had been invisible to me, and she said that was because it was not in my reality, as it helps our society achieve and is intended to fight poverty.  Realistically, this type of program should be in each of our realities, which leads to point out that a major mission of www.timetoplay.com is people helping people.  We are all each others people and should care about each other and help each other.

OK.  More thinking.  My daughter is 17.  She has been telling me about children in her school who have given up and have no desire to strive to get ahead, they have a “what’s the use” attitude.  I was quite disturbed yesterday during our discussion, and this isn’t the first discussion of this type I’ve had with my children.  My 20 year old told me the same thing that he’s noticed about many of his peers.  Many of his friends, he noted, know that it’s hard to find jobs, and that many view the job opportunities as low paying without job security, and that they’ve given up before they’ve even gotten started.  And then there is the alarming rate of depression and suicide in our Country, a tabu topic.   The following national youth suicide statistics were posted on http://www.teachervision.fen.com/education-and-social-issues/mental-health/57131.html#ixzz1yQlQZiWt.  I’ve included the statistics I felt were most disturbing:    suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens, suicide is second leading cause of death in colleges, that for every suicide completion, there are between 50 and 200 attempts, that the CDC (center for disease control) performed a Youth Risk Survey which showed that 8.5% of students in grades 9-12 reported a suicide attempt in the past year, that 25% of high-school students report suicide ideation (thoughts).  Probably the most disturbing was their notation that a recent survey of high-school students found that almost 1 in 5 had seriously considered suicide; more than 1 in 6 had made plans to attempt suicide; and more than 1 in 12 had made a suicide attempt in the past year.  And this is just teens.  There’s plenty of statistics for adults, including our returning soldiers, and the statistics for people with depression are crazy, too.  The CDC posted 7/11 that depression affects 1 in 10 US adults http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DataStatistics.html. These statistics and conditions show complete dissatisfaction people have in life and that they’ve given up.

Lastly, another thing that always has bothered me is how people jump on causes when it affects them.  How many people do you know that never worried about people affected by breast or another type of cancer until they or their loved one got it?  Or MS, or Diabetes, or Autism or Alzheimer’s . . . it’s an endless list.  I know we can’t all fight for everything, but shouldn’t we care about each other all the time?  Who is affected with a condition, who is struggling, etc.  Religious or not, everyone has heard of the 10 commandments.  One reads, “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”.  We’ve become so far removed from this.  I told you, I’m always thinking. . . I came up with something I call the Pilgrim Philosophy.  Early settlers relied on each other for survival.  We worked together to keep our communities strong.  We all had a job and a purpose, a place to live, food.  I feel we’ve become socially isolated, striving, alone for survival.  And with conveniences of texting, email, and other electronic communication media, we have less face to face time with others.  Could this be contributory to the statistics on suicide and depression?

What can we do?  First, this isn’t Doreen’s project to change the world.  She CAN’T do it alone.  This is people helping people, communities helping communities, businesses helping businesses, to succeed and to enjoy life.  We can’t wait for someone else to fix it.  The thought process of “Not in my reality” can’t exist.  Guess what — this is our reality.  And, ever hear of NIMBY (not in my backyard)?  Guess what — rich or poor, this is in our backyard.

So, how does the Serenity Prayer enter into this?  I think it encourages complacency.  Especially the long version.  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”.  Is there really something we can’t change?  Think about it.  I truly believe that working together, people helping people, we can change anything.  I challenge you — and all of us — to make things change.

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

Ugg. I Choked. Lesson Learned.

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So, I had a great opportunity yesterday.  I was on a live radio show to promote www.timetoplay.com — my “midlife crisis” project that had taken a good part of my life last year.  My passion.  My “pebble in the pond” to start the ripple to make a life better for — well, I’m shooting for everyone.

So, we get to the radio station early.  We talk to the interviewer.  I’m psyched and ready to go.  Since we were early he suggested we relax outside on the patio while we waited.  “Sure,” I said (as I’m always so accommodating).  What I should have said was “let me set up my stuff first and get all ready”.  Well, lesson learned.  At 2 minutes to 1 when we are supposed to go on the air, he comes out and said “let’s go”!  I’m not ready.  I’m scrambling.  “10 seconds!”  I still didn’t have my notes out.  I choked.  I couldn’t recover.  I couldn’t focus.

Lesson learned.  Throughout my life I’ve always been so accommodating to everyone.  Always trying to please – even if it was at my own expense.  Even if it didn’t make me happy.  Why?  Not sure.  But this is something many women do.  There are lots of articles on it.  We don’t say what we think.  We hold it in.  And then we become frustrated, sad, ruin relationships, become unhappy.

Lesson learned.  Next time I need to take more control.  Next time I need to say what I need in order to succeed.

OK.  I know it won’t happen.  I’ll be as accommodating as always.  But I will think about this experience and, hopefully, it will start to help me.

If anyone has suggestions on how to speak your mind or if anyone knows why we don’t (I think more so for women), I’d love to hear from you and to start a discussion on this.

In the very near future I’d like to start a podcast to help people through the www.timetoplay.com site — you know, to help provide the whole resources for a better life thing.  This might be a very good topic to cover.

Let me know what you think.  Comment here, call me 631-331-2675 or email @ info@timetoplay.com

Doreen

A Labor of Love

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Today is the day the www.timetoplay.com site “launches”.  It is finally done.  And the TimetoPlay van is rolling!

We’ve worked on this for over 10 months.  “It’s done”, I’d declare.  But, it was not done.  We’d go back to the drawing board, adding this, adding that.  This went on week after week, I’d think I was happy, but I was never satisfied.  www.timetoplay.com, my midlife crisis project, never was able to showcase what I was trying to convey.

Through persistence, and some tears, we finally were able to evolve the concept — Resources for a Better Life.  I swore Leta, my web designer and my friend, who has truly put up working with me since 2005, would come and kill me in my sleep.  But she hung in there, like a trooper, to change pages, links, words, forums, etc., almost weekly.

I’ve worked in healthcare since 1987.  I’ve seen sick and sad people and situations.  I’ve seen people rely on drugs to help them through everything.  I’ve seen people who had been prescribed to take 29 medications a day.  I’ve watched and read literature as our population increases in cardiac illness, diabetes, stress, depression.  And, most of all, where we, the working people, don’t have time left over while trying to get through our day to have quality of life, or had worked so hard all our lives that, at 70 years old, are trying to do everything  to enjoy life before it’s too late.  Luckily I had an epiphany before 70.  At 45 years old I realized I didn’t have quality of life, either — that’s how it started.  My midlife crisis project.  My way to give back.  My way to start the “pebble in the pond” and get people to work together, give resources, help charities and make our own lives better.  You never know how far the ripple will go.

My goal for www.timetoplay.com is to help people — to provide anything I can think of — and more will be added along the way — with resources they can utilize to create a better, happier, healthier life.

From finding something a simple event, to finding a club, to encouraging a person to do something they love or have always dreamed of doing.  And, to inspire them.  That is my ultimate goal.  Life is short.  Get out there.  Do it.  Take the “Pledge to Play” — take 10 minutes a day to do something you love.  It’s a start.

Check it out.  Let me know what you want to see.  We all need to enjoy life.  After all, it is now TimetoPlay.

With Love,

Doreen

News from a recovering Boring-A-Holic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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