Browsing Tag

Susan Tolles

— Life —

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I  just finished reading In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson. It is based on a not-so-familiar Bible story about a young man named Benaiah who was confronted by a lion that threatened his life. However, unlike most of us who would have run the other way as fast as we could, Benaiah chased the lion into a pit and came out the victor. Instead of letting his fears get the best of him, Benaiah took a giant risk, not looking at how big his foe was, but claiming just how big his God was. He chased the lion into that trap with a simple spear, and provided a lesson in faith and courage that speaks volumes about how we should approach opportunities today. Continue Reading

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My, how times have changed.

There are two budding entrepreneurs in my neighborhood who occasionally have a lemonade stand close to my house. I always try to stop by, encouraging them with my words and my money. I’m not sure how much they actually sell, as we live in a pretty rural area, but these elementary-age ladies are showing early signs of the creativity, risk-taking and drive that makes self-starters successful.

However, when I stopped by over the weekend, there was something new on their table. When I asked what they were selling, the “boss lady,” who is probably 10-years-old said, “stress balls.” Stress balls? There on the table was a lineup of brightly colored balloons filled with cornstarch. Continue Reading

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Everywhere I go these days, I’m surrounded by Nomophobes. Whether it’s at a luncheon, a business presentation, or a casual dinner, these addicts are showing their disrespect and lack of social grace in record numbers. This addiction has swept the nation! It’s the fear of being without your cell phone.

Nomophobia is the abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia,” and it’s used to describe the anxiety we experience when we run out of the house without our phone, or we’re out of cell phone range, or the flight attendant says, “Turn off your mobile devices.” If you can relate, then you are a Nomophobe.

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It happened in the blink of an eye. There it was… Confirmation I’m officially “old.” Without even having to whip out my photo ID or my AARP card (which was shredded upon receipt), I was given a “senior discount” at the hospital cafe.

I’ve been visiting my tiny grandson in the NICU for the last four weeks. He was born nine weeks early, and since then, trips to the hospital have been part of my regular routine. I frequent the coffee bar in the cafe, and never pay much attention to the cash register when paying for my decaf nonfat latte, aka “what’s the point.” Today I just happened to notice a senior discount was applied to my purchase. Immediately I went into a tailspin. Continue Reading

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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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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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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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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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