profiles

The Sky is Not the Limit

Originally posted as the Publisher’s Letter in our January/February 2015 Outdoors & Sports edition of Times of the Islands

By Daniela E. Jaeger

Is it just me, or did 2014 make an exit with amazing speed? It’s hard to imagine that 2015 is already here and we have a clean slate—12 months to do with as we please—ahead of us.

Such a wonderful opportunity for fulfillment, excitement and enrichment should not be taken lightly. Think of it as a blank canvas awaiting your creation. And remember, closing the door on 2014 is followed by the new door of 2015 swinging open with a renewed vigor. Therefore, look back, even if briefly, to learn from your past and then forge forward. Here are some ideas to motivate you, ones that always seem to work for me:

  • Set your own goals for the year. Actually writing things down can be a great motivator.
  • Review any disappointments from last year, and see them as a chance to do better this year.
  • Become more of a giver and less of a taker. It’s amazing how good you’ll feel.
  • Nurture your closest personal relationships and reach out to the people you have thought about over the past year—and make a real effort to reconnect.
  • Use every ounce of your talents, skills and knowledge to be the best person you possibly can be and use these gifts to benefit others as well. In fact, make it a habit to do this every day.
  • Focus on your health by eating better, sleeping more and thinking positive with a real purpose.
  • Learn a new language or add a new word to your vocabulary, discover a new hobby or take up the sport that your friends never imagined would hold any interest for you.

One of my best memories is when my husband, Friedrich, and I took “the plunge”—literally—out of an airplane. I have to admit that up until the second we were gently prodded out of the open door, I had wondered to myself: Just exactly what am I doing here? But, the second we were clear of the plane, I felt an almost surreal sense of achievement, pride and success. We had taken a figurative and literal leap of faith, and it felt amazing. All of the planning, anticipation, preparation and apprehension of our skydiving adventure paid off in huge dividends of accomplishment, self-satisfaction and exhilaration.

We knew we could do it, we did it, and it was done!

It’s an experience like this that not only adds an incredible jolt to life, but motivates you to reach other goals whether personal or professional. So next time you hesitate, for whatever reason, remember our leap of faith and go for it! The sky is not the limit, but only a new beginning.

Here’s another example of going for it. Back in the 1970s there were four women on Sanibel who had a goal. In the feature Pedaling the Path to Paradise, we tell the story of how these women started with an idea that resulted in the island’s highly successful shared use bicycle path. Thanks to their perseverance, thousands of people today enjoy Sanibel by riding this trail.

Another person who has indeed reached beyond the sky with his success is featured on page 18. Times of the Islands goes one-on-one with ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman. Read about his 35-year career covering the NFL and other national sports for the television network and how he made his way to our islands.

In closing, I want to challenge you to an earlier thought about adding a new word to your vocabulary. So here it is: hornswoggle. Can you really hornswoggle your way to success?

Daniela E. Jaeger is the publisher of TOTI Media, Inc. 

Home is Where the Heart is

By Melanie Pagan

Perhaps the most beloved place in the world is where you hang your hat, and we want to ensure your house looks and feels just as you want it to. In our Home & Garden issue, we bring you the area’s most prominent professionals in design and landscape, and a plethora of tips and trends to inspire.

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Robb & Stucky International

In Times of the Islands, we eliminate any ideas you may have of composting being too difficult, and explain just how beneficial thinking green when it comes to fertilizing can be. And while we’re in the garden, we explore one of the most obsessed about blooms in the world – the orchid. There are many passionate collectors of this epiphyte in Southwest Florida, and professionals explain just what makes it so special.

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RSW Living features the majestic river creatures known as koi, and shows what it takes to create a beautiful and sustainable home for them right in your backyard. Read on for a story on our cover stars, Robb & Stucky International, detailing how they’ve managed to recreate the brand while still staying close to their Southwest Florida roots.

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Pick up a copy of Gulf & Main for our exclusive Q&A with Berne Davis – Fort Myers’ benefactor of the arts, and a woman who has witnessed decades worth of change in the town she grew up in. Look no further for wonderful suggestions of aromatic plants to add to your garden, because also inside is a feature on fragrant flowers that are perfect for our sunny climate.

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More interested in pleasing your taste buds via homegrown items? Bonita & Estero has you covered with a piece on edible and drinkable landscaping. Moving indoors, we tell you why your home is in exceptional hands with Collins & DuPont Design Group.

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Collins & DuPont

So curl up on the couch with your favorite magazine of ours in hand, flip through the pages, and let the contents of our issue inspire you. Because no matter where you live, we know it’s important to feel great in the comfort of your own living space.

Melanie Pagan is the assignment editor and social media coordinator for TOTI Media, Inc.

Run, Run, Rudolph

By Melanie Pagan

Recently on our Facebook, we shared the image below of TopNotch® Records singer, songwriter, and pianist Whitney Wolanin  hanging out with musician Gavin DeGraw. She ran into him while filming her short parody film for Run, Run Rudolph–a song that will play in over 100,000 retail stores this holiday season!

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photo courtesy of iTopNotch.net

The film has already played in Berlin, Paris and IDAR Oberstein, but you can une into it here:

To hear more music by Whitney Wolanin, download her holiday mini-album Run, Run, Rudolph available on iTunes now! Learn more about the singer in our January/February issues, on stands soon.

 Melanie pagan is the editorial assistant for TOTI Media, Inc.