Caution: Children at Play

I’ve been writing about how necessary it has become for me to slow down to the speed of life.  Things had begun to get out of control, because I’ve been moving too fast and I’ve allowed things to pull me in too many different directions for too long a period of time.  My priorities started to shift and the most important people in my life started to feel less important.   I’ve been working on all of that, and in the last month; I’ve seen and done a few things that caught my attention in new and different ways, because I’ve opened my eyes and switched from “auto-pilot.”

I watched my son pitch his first strike-out in a Little League game, and win the coveted game ball.   Had I been fifteen minutes late to the game (which I generally am), I would have missed some of that.

I took pictures of my beautiful daughter and really “saw” her through the camera lens as I watched her board a party bus to Prom with her date, along with twenty or so other captivating, young women and their dates, and then I began to imagine life at home without her for nine months out the year when she goes to college, and I couldn’t.  Later, I took her shopping and sat on a bench and watched her come out in several different outfits.  I wasn’t on my phone or checking emails while I was waiting either;  I just sat there and marveled at both her inner and outer beauty and she caught my breath every time she exited the fitting room.

I’ve had a date night with my husband, and I had forgotten how good those are.   I thanked my husband each time he took care of something around the house that saved me some time.  He changed the air filters in the attic and I thanked him.   He took my camera into a camera shop and told them I said it wasn’t working and then laughed at me after he learned the lens wasn’t screwed on right, and I thanked him.  He hired the guy to chop down my beloved tree that I fought a whole year to try and save,  and still, I thanked him, because it was something that needed to be done and he knew I wouldn’t do it.

Instead of concentrating on my own philanthropic efforts, I’ve been helping my son get his first cause off the ground.  I’ve been encouraging his young entrepreneurial spirit and have opened my eyes even more to his big heart, filled with compassion for others.   I watched his entire classroom fold paper airplanes from art that could only be drawn from the eyes of child about the ugly tragedies in Japan.  I stood and watched as my son coached an entire classroom on how to make the paper  origami planes that he loves to make so much, and watched as  little their third-grade faces lit-up as they launched them into the air outside.  I noticed that when you look up on a sunny workday for no other reason than to see paper airplanes soar, you take in things you forget to see like the sun and the sky and the clouds and the very tips of tree-tops too.  You can check out my son’s efforts at

I received TWO massages this month, and didn’t allow myself to fall asleep during either one of them, and even spent time relaxing in an infra-red sauna to rejuvenate my body and spirit.

I’ve said thank you and complimented more, and argued and criticized less.  (We humans don’t even realize that we are sometimes controversial just to be controversial.)

I stopped to pet and play with our animals more.  In time I had forgotten to stoop to pet my best friend who greets me at the door, every single time I’ve been away.

I’ve even eaten breakfast a few times…ok, so it was just a banana, but at least I had something to nourish my body besides coffee before noon.

And after all that, business obligations were met, deadlines at TAG! were kept, the laundry and housework still got done, and I am not one bit worse-for-the wear.  So, that’s all I really have to say about that.


Author: Tonia Allen Gould

Tonia Allen Gould is the CEO of Tagsource, a 25-year-old Consumer Promotions and Marketing Agency, she's founder of the Finding Corte Magore Project, and children's book author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. Here, on this blog, she writes about whatever compels her at the moment. In her book, she explores the concepts of perseverance, hard work, bullying, and finding a place to call home for young readers. The impetus of the Finding Corte Magore project stems from Tonia's background - growing-up below the poverty line, in rural Indiana. A product of Indiana's foster care system, she is the first to say that books, a solid education and teachers, taught her there was a life for herself, tangible and within her reach, she just had to reach out and grab it. After publishing her first book, she decided she wanted to find an island and make it real, by naming it after the fictional place in her book, “Corte Magore,” and utilize it for social and environmental good. Today, the 29-acre island of Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua- through a joint partnership with Ambassador Francisco Campbell, the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S.-will be utilized by the Finding Corte Magore Project to work to keep Nicaraguan children in school. The Finding Corte Magore Project works virtually to connect a global community of students and institutions with the plight of educationally and economically repressed Nicaragua. The project involves showcasing and managing one of the country's own beautiful islands in its educational and environmental initiatives. The goal of The Finding Corte Magore Project is to create social awareness coupled with building a sustainable, positive and long-term educational impact on the country's children who have an on-average fifth grade dropout rate. In addition, Tonia is a promotional products industry veteran. She is the founder and CEO of 25-year old Tagsource, LLC (AKA TAG! The Creative Source). She currently serves on the BOD for the Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC), is an "Industry Voice", a recipient of a PPAI Golden Pyramid, and has been named on ASI’s Hot List. She is the recipient of Supplier of the Year award through the Women’s Business Enterprise Council West, as nominated by Fortune 500 companies.

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