Stephanie DelTorchio - Page 45 of 48 - Inspiration and motivation tips to empower you to do what you love before you die google4228e52aa5dfebc8.html
Go Out And Play
A New Day
Self Judgment Day
Thank Full
Take The Plunge
The Secret of Life
Walk Across the Bridge
You Can Always Float
Eat The Cookies
Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken

Go Out And Play

Adults at play caution

Play isn’t just for children. The big kids need time out to relax and let go too.

And it’s not all fun and games. Playing relieves stress, provides physical and mental stimulation, and opens up opportunities to share time with friends, or make new ones.

Some of the reasons we enjoy playtime as adults is to:

  • Learn a new skill: Power Tools, Tiling, Knitting, etc.
  • Create something: Painting, Woodcraft, etc.
  • Feel challenged: Rope courses, trail hiking, etc.
  • Calm down and focus ourselves: Retreats, Canoe trips, etc.
  • Compete: Team or individual sports.

Many children’s play centers have tuned into the needs of adults to play. After the kiddos are tucked in bed, places around the country and the world, open their doors for adult only play. They feature theme nights (e.g. dress in your favorite team gear), adult beverages, and prizes. Play centers and adult only sports are favored as fundraisers, corporation team building and events and private parties.

Here are a few fun adult game centers –not open to children!

Battle Axe Throwing is popular in Canada and England.

Axe throwing

Battle Axe Throwing

Adult Bubble Soccer is touted as both physical fun and great for team building.

Whirly Ball is played in a “whirlybug”, a bumper car you drive with a joystick and a foot pedal. Add a whiffleball. Swat it around the court while spinning in circles, and you’ve got whirlyball.



Legoland Discovery Centers opens up in the evenings where adults can channel their childhood memories and get lost in construction.

Unique play centers for adults around the world.


Sources: Battle Axe Throwing, Whirly Ball

A New Day

By it’s very definition, Zen is a total state of focus

Zen incorporates the togetherness of body and mind. Maybe a little “out there” for some people, but I challenge you to look at a beautiful sunrise or sunset and not feel your body and mind come together.

The moment this photo was snapped I felt that whatever (bad stuff) had happened the day or week or month or year(s) before wash away.

With the new tide, the beach is reborn and gets another chance to be a beach.

A new possibility.

New feet will sink in it’s sand, new birds will scurry at the shoreline, new children will collect the shells that gather. Can you tell the beach is my happy place?

“It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life, for me…and I’m feeling good.”

This is my anthem for today.

Anthony Newley and Leslie Briscusse wrote the song lyrics to the song It’s A New Dawn for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd.

Nina Simone recorded the song for her 1965 album I Put a Spell on You and it became a standard. It’s been recorded by many artists. Listen to her version. My apologies to Michael Bublé @MichaelBublé, my favorite contemporary version.

Please forward this graphic to your friends who need a prayer, a note of encouragement, a nudge or a KICK IN THE PANTS today.

It’s a new dawn, my friends. And I’m feeling good.


Photo and Original Graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

Self Judgment Day

So you’re waiting in line at the Pearly Ones trying to get your story straight.

Maybe you’ve kept a running list and brought it with you– the general accounting of your life, written in your best penmanship. Years of good deeds, annual generous donations, personal sacrifices, and a few token sins tacked on the end (c’mon now people). You figure a comprehensive list along with a humble dose of humility and apostolic reverence just might be enough to squeak by. Good for you.

I don’t have a list.

Not sure it would do much good.

There isn’t a person alive (or an angel-winged Bouncer at a Gate) that will ever judge me harder than I judge myself. Where I excuse others and give them a pass, this gal spent years wrapping her own knuckles with criticism, judgment, condemnation, and unforgiveness. Years I can’t get back or do-over.

See, I think about this life a lot. Every day. All day. At night, as lay me down to sleep, I take an accounting of the day. Did I waste it? Did I spend it with people I love, eating delicious food, laughing, helping? Was there wine? Lots of wine? Did I contribute rather than burden? Was I available? Aware? Involved? Kind? Thankful? Did I learn something? Did I grow?

I can’t fall asleep until I give thanks and forgive myself with the promise that, if given the chance, I’ll try better tomorrow.

With aging comes the awareness of the finite time on this planet and the realization that I need to stop screwing up and fly straight. I don’t want to end up a bitchy old lady still wondering when my happy days plan to show up.

It is my responsibility to own this life and enjoy it. And because I now know this, damn it, I need to live this way until the very end.

I truly believe the only accounting necessary on my last breath is an answer to a simple question: Did you enjoy your life, Steph?

The rest of my time here is dedicated to making sure my answer is: “You’re damn right I did!”


Original quote and graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio
Quote from A Few Good Men: “You’re damn right I did!”

Thank Full

On this day I am thankful for…you fill in the rest.

If you are living and breathing, (Hallelujah!) I know you are thankful for Today. Beyond that it’s up to you  to give thanks for each day. Count your blessings — just like Grandma preached before she cleaned the potatoes from your ears and told you to be thankful you had two ears to hear!

Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Gracious. Be Safe.


Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio


Take The Plunge

Thanksgiving Day Swim

Thanksgiving Day Swim

Around 8 a.m. Dick and MJ open their front door to welcome all ages to participate in the Annual Thanksgiving Day Swim. They’ve organized the neighborhood tradition of taking a dip in the river for 27 years.

This is New England. It’s cold in the early morning. Air temps in the 20s or 30s is typical; water temperature, 40s or 50s. Snow and ice floats always a possibility. A Turkey Day swim is not for the thin skinned.

The swimmers arrive, dressed head toe in warm gear, towels draped around their necks, some with just a bathrobe to cover their swim suit. Boots and flip flops are both appropriate footwear.

All swimmers sign the guest book -– a signature binds the swimmer to take the plunge. A warm drink, breakfast treats, and then the year’s group gathers outside for a photo.

The procession of swimmers and spectators makes its way through the neighborhood to the river’s edge. For many it’s a reunion. Kids who’ve grown up and left return for the holiday weekend and the swim. As the years pass, older folks (now spectators) give way to another generation.

There’s no official announcement, no whistle, no ready-set-go shotgun. Swimmers peel away the layers and (depending on the tide) walk across large rocks to the hard sand and the waiting river.

Spectators, who often outnumber the swimmers, cheer on their braver neighbors and friends.

Swimmers dunk in and run out. The hardiest (or warmed by liquor) show off with a few leisurely strokes. They wrap themselves in towels and blankets, their frigid baptism complete.

One teenage girl shivered: “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” followed by, “and it was awesome!”


Images: Stephanie DelTorchio

The Secret of Life

Is…As soon as you find the answer let me know, will ya?

The Secret of Life is different for everyone. But it has a common theme. It’s the realization that your life matters; you matter. And you get a lifetime to figure that one out. Here’s a hint:

The secret? It’s the “thing” (or person or place, etc.) that makes you aware that you are a living and breathing human being.

And whatever secret you discover is the key that unlocks your best life. Not mine. Not your partner’s. Not your boss’s. Not your country’s. Not your parent’s (or their ghosts).  Meaning you never need to explain it or defend it. Ever.

www.befat.netHere’s the kicker: Time. You don’t know how much you’ve got.

I think some of us have an easier time finding the secret to our life. Maybe you knew at age six you wanted to be a veterinarian. Your Dr. Dolittle office filled with stuffed animals in need of care. During school years you volunteered at the animal shelter. Then on to Vet school and now you are a bonafide animal doctor just like you knew you’d be. Then there’s people like me.

I spent most of my life being scared shit. That I would die without ever understanding the purpose and meaning and “secret” of my life.

I ran here and there, zigged this way and that, went up the hill and over the mountain looking for this elusive secret. Maybe it will never make itself known. Or worse, it does and I miss it! I’m aware of that too.

I’ve wandered around the planet, a deranged potpourri brain trying on a zillion masks to see which one fits best.

Remember that famous Confucius line? “Life is really simple; we insist on making it complicated.” Sometimes we inject unnecessary drama. We overthink.

We try too hard to seek what’s already there — you know all that constipated lip service about counting your blessings, gratitude, blah-blah-blah, etc. 

It’s all good, okay? But only if you believe it at your core. It does no good to tack up a poster on your wall because the pictures behind the words are pretty.

Time to discover the secret to your life. Before time is up.

(To me) one of the best takeaway lines on finding The Secret of Life comes from the 1991 movie City Slickers. This isn’t new but it’s worth revisiting…

Here, text from the screenplay, where Jack Palance’s character Curly asks Billy Crystal’s character Mitch the following:

Do you know what the secret of life is?
(holds up one finger)

Your finger?

One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that
and the rest don’t mean shit.

But, what is the “one thing?”

That’s what you gotta figure out.


Video source: 1991 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Walk Across the Bridge

www.befat Walk across the bridge

I live in an island town that is attached to the mainland by a bridge. The locals joke about “going over the bridge” as if crossing to the other side leads to some vast foreign abyss. And for some people it might be. They stay, from birth to death, with or without regrets. I don’t know. What is clear is that many people only toy with the idea of trying something new; someday, right?

Whatever the bridge represents to you — new job, begin or end of a relationship, health choice, a new home, etc. –- requires you to face your fear of the unknown. Fear can be paralyzing. Fear keeps us stuck on this side of the bridge. The side where we know every crack in the street and how to side step them. Where the old man sitting on the street corner waves when we drive by because he knows us by name. It’s familiar, and safe.

By staying on this side of the bridge we may never know what else is out there. Maybe it’s better, maybe not.

Don’t buy into the “grass is always greener” nonsense. This is spoken by people afraid to try a different brand of sliced bread.

Any deviation from the same, regular, predictable behavior is blasphemy. I heard this when I dared to move off the island.

You are here to explore and expand beyond your fenced in safe little yard. To not do so is to cheat yourself of what could be.

The challenge is to go over the bridge. Pack up your fears and worries and stomach butterflies and go. Crawl, walk, run or skip over. It doesn’t matter. Just go.

You can always come back over the bridge, but never in the same way.


Poem and original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

You Can Always Float

Sometimes life feels like one big ocean trying to swallow you up. You’re swimming and swimming, just barely holding your head above the water. Not always, but sometimes.

A random example: Building or purchasing your dream home.  Your best laid plans can take a hit when any one of a thousand glitches happens — and something always happens!  Inspections go bad, building materials fail to show on time, the plumber is delayed on another project, so you’re delayed.

In the meantime your landlord (or mother) wants you out. You have visions of living on the street dragging a garbage bag that holds all your possessions. Okay, that’s extreme.

Hopefully, eventually, all works out and you get to live in your dream home with your family for many happy years. You just need to keep your head above the water long enough until you reach dry land or be discovered by a pleasure boat at cocktail hour. See? It all ends well.

But other times your “life swim” has more serious consequences. An illness. Unemployment. The death of a loved one or close friend. Perspective enlightens. A late shipment of roof shingles is way different than a poor health prognosis or the real possibility of losing your dream home due to financial hardship or disaster beyond your control.

Even then, please know that at any time — ANY TIME — you can stop swimming.

I learned this, like others, the hard way.

I didn’t know floating was an option.

I swam faster and harder, doing everything I could to not drown. The harder I tried, the more I took in, the heavier I felt, more exhausted my body became. At some point I wished to just drown already. If only I knew enough to–

Stop fighting so hard.

Save my breath.

Relax my muscles.

Gather my strength — and FLOAT.


Image credit: Christopher Campbell/Unsplash
Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio




Eat The Cookies

This blue can of Danish butter cookies was a reliable staple in my grandmother’s cupboard. She’d offer these sweet treats with Lipton tea, served in a china tea cup and saucer, because mugs were for hot coffee served to men in diners. She took her training us to be ladies and gentlemen very seriously.

I bought the exact same brand the other day and enjoyed a tea party with my four-year-old grandson.  We peeled the tape that sealed the lid and spent a good length of time inspecting the variety of butter cookies. Two layers of cookies, separated by a sheet of paper; each layer with individual paper sleeves, three cookies in each.  My grandmother allowed us three cookies and I followed tradition.

After we each ate three, he decided it would be okay if had just one more. His mother was at work, so I agreed. I didn’t worry about spoiling dinner, caloric intake or grams of sugar. We talked about making cookies, decorating cookies, what little kids had made these cookies — hopefully none I said.

He returned the tin to the cabinet and asked that instead of dinner, if we could have a tea party. An excellent idea.

“What do we do when they’re all gone?” I asked.

“Go to the store and get some more.”

Why didn’t I think of that?



Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken

Once again I’ve been the victim of mistaken identity.

I am not a weather girl. With all due respect to the sisters with real credentials, I am not a Meteorologist either.

I’ve been stopped too many times to count. I’m honest right away. Nope, not your gal. Still, they turn their heads trying a different angle, so sure I’m somebody they’ve seen somewhere. Trust me, at eleven p.m. I’m sleeping through the weather report.

This has happened so many times, my pat answer now is, “Yeah, I get that a lot, it’s the hair,” or if pressed, “It’s going to be a beautiful weekend. Get out and enjoy.”

Here’s the thing: I’m average. In height and weight, a homogeneous middle-aged female. I blend well in a crowd.

My husband, who loses me everywhere we go, claims 90% of the blondes in this country use the same hair color dye as me, including, apparently, weather girls.


I’ve been stopped by:


Women (Bead and Button Convention Ladies. Who knew, right?)

Men, some famous  (including then Senator, now Secretary of State John Kerry; former Celtics NBA player M.L. Carr on a JetBlue flight)

Numerous servers, clerks, librarians, and one Marriott doorman who thought I was much nicer in person.

In line at Panera this adorable girl, about 10, is standing next to me awaiting her order. She looks up and smiles; I smile back.

“I like your hair,” she says.

“I like your hair too.” Hers is dark brown, blunt cut with thick bangs, very Prince Valiant.

“I know who you are,” she says.

I shake my head, no.

“You’re the lady on television. You tell us the weather in the morning.”

Again I shake my head no. “I’m a writer.”

Quick to snarl back, she says, “My Mom says you should tell the truth every time.”

“Your Mom is right. Tell her it’s going to be a beautiful weekend. Get out and enjoy.”



Original graphics: Stephanie DelTorchio
Sunshine Clip Art: iClipart