Browsing Tag

Susan Tolles

— Life —

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Last week my husband and I went to a Blood, Sweat and Tears concert with friends we’ve known for over 35 years.  Yes, Blood, Sweat and Tears’s 50th Anniversary tour. Does that make you feel old? It did me. It was held at a small concert venue that seated 300 people. When we walked in, my hubby said “Good grief. This is a Geezer Fest.” The average age of the audience was at least 60. Yep, I’m a geezer now. But it was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in a long time.

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— Life —

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It’s a new year, time to focus on your plan for a successful 2017—a time to dream big, set new priorities and go forward with confidence, new ideas and energy. The problem with goal-setting is we lose steam by spring (if not sooner), and our good intentions are replaced by busyness and self-sabotage. For many of us, like Sara Cornell, it’s easier to start the year with no resolutions at all.

What sets successful people apart from those who stall out early in the game is living with a “success mindset.” Here are seven essentials for setting yourself up for victory instead of defeat.

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The first week of each new year, I devote time to reflecting on the previous year before I created a plan for the coming one. I consider what went well, what didn’t, and what needed to change. I try to make my celebrations list longer than my shortcomings, with more gratitude than gripes. But looking at the change list is where I determine my theme for the year. It’s where I find the things I crave more of and the words I want to exemplify both publicly and deep in my soul. Past years’ words have included shine, delight, flourish and change.

This year, my heart’s desire is for more joy.

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— Life —

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I was doing some end-of-year organizing in my office when I noticed a small, worn book that carried a big punch. Nestled among more contemporary works from John Maxwell and Malcolm Gladwell was a bestseller from 30 years ago, with advice that surpasses all the gurus of success. With a fresh cup of coffee, I set aside my busyness and read the entire book. Continue Reading

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December can bring many different emotions. Most of us equate the season with a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and the fa-la-la-la-la of friends and family, gathering to celebrate traditions. But for some, this season will bring deep sadness as they cope with loss or grief. No matter what’s going on around them, they don’t feel like having fun. Like my friend whose husband died, unexpectedly, Thanksgiving week at the age of 56, or the young woman who confided, yesterday, she’d just had a miscarriage. Or my two friends who’ve gone through divorces this past year. For these and countless others, the holidays will not be merry and bright, and January can’t come soon enough.

During this time of year how can those of us who have “normal” lives support those who’re grieving, and what do we say?

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— Life —

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Thanksgiving is upon us and the stress of the holiday season is looming. I look at my Christmas storage closet: 18 tubs of decorations, and I want to run away. Will the perfectionist in me rule again this year as I unpack garlands, candles, angels and hundreds of tree decorations? Would anyone care if I boycotted the lavish decor in favor of simplicity? No, but I feel the urge to repeat tradition. After all, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

As we embark on the busiest time of year, here are my favorite stress management tips to help you simplify, stay sane and giving THANKS instead of jumping off a cliff!

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— Life —

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Today is my 60th birthday. As you read this, I may be laughing, or I may be crying. Hopefully the overwhelming emotion I’ve experienced as I approached the big 6-0 has given way to great expectations about the future. And hopefully I’ll have celebrated with some great champagne and chocolate. Continue Reading

— Life —

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When was the last time you did something for the first time?

I recently spent an over-the-top fun weekend with my daughters and daughter-in-law in Boston. On the flight back to Austin, I chose a middle seat so my pregnant daughter could have the aisle. The plane was filling up when a woman asked to sit next to me by the window, and I breathed a sigh of relief that she was not a young mother with a crying baby in her arms. Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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The book, The Top Five Regrets of Dying, made me think about how I’m living my own life. Author, Bronnie Ware, was a nurse who spent eight years in palliative care. Her patients made a profound impact on her, sharing their regrets as they faced their last days.

When people reach the end of their lives, they don’t wish they had more money, possessions or achievements. They tend to reflect on what’s deep in their soul, regretting that self-sabotage got in the way of authentic living and wishing they’d worked less, not more.

Here are their top five regrets: Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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I attended a funeral for a cousin whose death came too early. She’d beaten breast cancer, twice, but years of smoking and living around heavy smokers finally took its toll. The experience reinforced my desire to spend eternity fertilizing the earth instead of being locked up in a box and forgotten. Continue Reading