Toy Store Memories Packed Away

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I recently read that Toys R Us is closing its doors.  The reasons are unclear.  The only thing I know for sure is that a store dedicated to one theme, and one theme only, will be gone.

Also gone will be the memories formed as children run into a toy store, eyes wide opened, so excited about the treasures that lay before them. 

For me, it was Marshall Field’s in Chicago.  In the 1950s, they had a massive toy department on the fourth floor.  Every Saturday, like clockwork, my mother and I would climb on the #62 bus and ride it to the State and Randolph bus stop.  Entering the store was magical, and as we took the escalator to the 4th floor, my excitement grew and grew until I felt like I couldn’t contain it any more.  Surrounded by toys, I would run from one counter to the other, filled with joy and dreams.  I was immersed in the world of toys – what a wonderful memory.

Now, today, we have Amazon.  Yes, I know – it’s much easier and more convenient to order the toy of choice on your computer or iPad or phone.  I wonder, though, if our children will find the same excitement by looking at pictures on the computer.  I sincerely doubt it.  Personally, I’m saddened by the loss of a store dedicated to toys, and only toys.  I’m saddened for the memory many children will never experience.

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Explore and Find the Fun

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Today is the first day of spring.  As I wrap my scarf around my neck, slip on my down-filled coat and reach for my gloves, I wonder “What happened???”  It’s more than half-way through March and I’m tired of being cold.  My feet have been freezing for the last four months. 

So, being the queen of positive attitude, how do I turn this around?  How do I find something good in this?

I know!  I’ll play a game.  Something fun that I learned from my good friend, Mary Helen.  Here’s how it goes:

Find a pocket of time when you can explore and embark on a new adventure. 

Climb into your car.  Drive in any direction for 20 minutes.  When you come to a stop sign, flip a coin.  Heads you turn right; tails you turn left.  Drive another 20 minutes, and when you stop, flip the coin again.  Heads you turn right; tails you turn left.  Drive 20 minutes again.  Then stop, get out, and explore the area.  Of course, first and foremost, make sure it’s safe.  When you have decided it’s an OK place to explore, tighten up those shoe laces and walk around the area.  You’ll discover all sorts of new things.

Now, feel free to adjust the time so it fits your surroundings –  you get the idea.

And if you don’t have a car, or you’d like a little variety, try this game on foot.  You can discover new neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, trails, parks – the list is endless.

So when you’re ready for a little adventure, and lots of fun, give this game a try.  Make it your own.  The end goal is to have fun and discover new sites you didn’t even know existed. 

As soon as the cold wind stops blowing and the mud dries up a little, this is the first adventure I’m going to take.  Hopefully warmer weather will be here by June!!! 

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Overwhelmed? What’s Your Trick to Gain Control???

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog titled I Need a Vacation.  So I followed my own advice and I took one.  It was short and sweet.  I simply drove to Chicago, only three hours away, and spent a few days visiting my friends – laughing, sipping wine and enjoying our time together. 

I purposely didn’t take my laptop.  I committed to FUN and no work.  Now that I’m back in my office – YIKES!!!  I don’t even know where to begin.  How will I ever catch up???

So here’s my question to you:

What’s your biggest time saving trick?  When you feel so overwhelmed that your head is spinning, how do you gain control?

I just tried the timer trick.  You’ve probably heard of this one before.  You set a timer for 50 minutes and concentrate on one task at hand.  That means no interruptions – absolutely none.  No phone, no coffee break, no emails.  It keeps you focused on your project so you can complete it – or at least get a good start.  It really works for me, but today I need more hours to work than the day will give me.

So what do you do to gain control of those never ending emails and ever growing piles?  I – WE can all use a little help!

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Sound Advice From Sweden

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Imagine starting each morning with a positive attitude and a belief that today will be one of your best days ever.

Ahhhhhh – wouldn’t that be great!

Well, it’s not as far off as you may think.  The people of Sweden actually have a word for this.  They call it Gökotta.  Since the word really is untranslatable, the best description I could find goes something like this:

To rise at dawn in order to go out and listen to the birds sing.  To wake with a feeling of gratefulness.

Now, since I’m not a morning person, I doubt that I will be waking up at dawn, but I think this idea can work no matter what the hour is.  Focusing on waking up with gratefulness will definitely bring peace and joy to your day. 

I may have to make a few adjustments, though.  Personally, I’m going to start with replacing my obnoxious alarm clock with something softer.  Since Gökotta suggests the singing of birds, I’ll find an app on my phone to help wake me more gently.  Surely there’s an app for that.  

In the meantime, don’t delay.  Find your own recording of “birds singing.”  Start right now and see if tomorrow morning brings you more gratitude and joy and peacefulness, simply by waking to the sound of birds singing.

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