“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Living a good, fulfilling, and happy life is all about maintaining a good balance between your work and play, which includes large blocks of time devoted to resting and relaxing. To succeed in our work, we need to focus, to work hard, and to work smart. However, our culture doesn’t really advocate that we also need to play hard by taking time to rest and relax. We need to spend time with family and friends, to gaze across a landscape or ocean, to let our thoughts wander. Since we all seem to think that to succeed we need to be “on” 24/7, we lose sight of the need for slowing down, for doing fun activities, or for doing nothing and letting our minds wander.

My family and I just returned from a week in Orlando, Florida with our friends and neighbors, the McCanns and their two boys. Our son, John Robert, is best friends with the McCann boys —David and Ryan. They had a blast together. And the adults had a wonderful, adventurous, and relaxing time together, too.

We had warm, sunny days and very little rain. On our first day in Orlando, the Moms and the boys went to Universal and we had fun running from attraction to attraction. We were able to make it through the entire park because we had a fast pass and didn’t have to wait in any lines. The Dads enjoyed a day at the Kennedy Space Center and a quiet dinner at Cocoa Beach.

For most of the rest of the week, we floated lazily on tubes in the river, slid down the Hippo Slide, played miniature golf, and tried to master the rock-climbing walls. The boys were all great climbers. And in the spirit of relaxing, I chose to unplug from the outside world. No email or cell phone calls. It was wonderful; I felt so free. Of course, I came home to 1400 emails, but I was refreshed from the time off and able to cope with the challenge.

The vacation was a wonderful time to catch up with other friends.

  • We saw Susan Shatzer (from SDT) and her 16-year-old son, Nicolas, and went to dinner at Cracker Barrel.
  • On another night, we had dinner with Janet Dray (from Radi) and her 16-year-old son, at Ford’s Garage.

On the last day, the Moms went to Epcot. We embarked on the flight simulators of the Soarin’ Around the World ride. The journey took us over the Swiss Alps, the polar bears in Greenland, Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, powerful waterfalls in South America, and so much more. We enjoyed visiting the various sites of each country, but we especially enjoyed seeing their movies. We also had a great time with the Go Karts, driving a gas-powered car around sharp bends navigating up and down inclines, and viewing lush foliage. You would have thought the Dads and the boys would have opted for the fabulous rides. But no, the Dads took the boys to a movie at Disney Springs, which is a themed retail, dining, and entertainment center. 

I noticed some new things on this vacation.  

  • First, when you travel with others, you try new things. One night we went out for Thai food and everyone loved it. Another night, we tried Moroccan food, and it was quite tasty. Finally, we had prime seating for the Fireworks show in a designated area in the front of the pond. It was wonderful and the fireworks were fabulous.
  • Second, when you bring friends for your child the kids play together. John and I were even able to go to dinner one night, just the two of us, and celebrated our Wedding Anniversary. A couple of times, we even were able to lounge by the pool and read.
  • Third, unplugging while on vacation is an absolute must. It just makes the whole experience better. If anyone really needed either one of us, that person could contact us by cell phone. Nothing is that urgent and no one is that important. We need to stop kidding ourselves.

I hope that this brief travelogue has inspired you to indulge in a great family vacation. You work hard all year. Summer is the perfect time to get away and enjoy a new scene and view of the world. It’s a great time to sit on a beach, swim in a pool, walk through woodlands, imbibe the sites and engage in the rides of a theme park, or to try new dining experiences or old favorites, such as a BBQ.

Whatever you choose to do, remember it is important to play hard by resting, relaxing, and doing fun activities. This is the way to recharge for workday challenges that await you when you return home.

With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker    (781) 872-1045

As your trusted adviser, Lisa empowers you to use passion to live your best life and achieve your goals with confidence, accountability, gratitude and balance.


One should never, but never, pass by an opportunity to celebrate.” – J. D. Malouf, The Bag Lady

It’s definitely the season to celebrate! We’ve just celebrated our Moms and their wonderful contributions, and now it’s time to celebrate our Grads and DadsAnd time to think what we can learn from them and how we can go forward.

Be sure to congratulate all relatives and friends you know who are graduating. They are at a crossroads and face an uncertain future, as do we all in this current era. They deserve our best wishes and support.

My niece, Lauren, recently graduated from Melrose High School. She is the oldest daughter of Paul (John’s brother) and Jeneen. She is headed for Keene State College in New Hampshire in the fall, and we are very proud of the woman she is becoming.

My nephew, Brian, just graduated from Framingham High School. The oldest son of Joe (my brother) and Michelle.  He intends to study business at the Isenberg School of Management at UMASS in Amherst. He is attending my alma mater and following in my footsteps at the Isenberg School. What’s not to be proud of?

We wish my niece and nephew and other Grads the strength, agility, and grace to find their way and to enjoy the journey of their lives.

In addition to celebrating Grads, this weekend, we are celebrating Dads. Fathers teach many lessons. I am so fortunate to have both my father and my father-in-law in my life. I talk to both Dads on a daily basis and am so appreciative of their sage advice.

My Dad always supported me; he is my mentor, the voice of reason, my sounding board, and is so able to give me advice that I could understand and follow. Although Dad is 83-years-old, he is still there for me, still encouraging me. These days, he is also looking after Mom, who is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. However, he is able to spend some time at the Retired Men’s Club of Arlington playing cards or bowling. Despite dealing with a broken foot in January, my Dad is an extremely generous person with his time, energy, and love for his wife, their kids and grandchildren, and for others.

My father-in-law, Dad Sasso, who is 79-years-old, spends most of his time looking out for and helping others. Although he’s had two knee surgeries in the last year, he’s able to look out for others and to engage in some of his hobbies. He loves to watch races, the history channel, and movies. In addition, he spends time with Mom, going out to eat.  She really appreciates the attention. And he listens to the issues of his kids, grandchildren, friends, and acquaintances. If you need a ride to the airport at 5:00 AM, he’s there for you. He is indeed a very good man!

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my husband, John.  In addition to being a great husband, he is an incredible Dad to our 12 year old son, John Robert.  Wishing all the dads a special Father’s Day.  To celebrate Father’s Day, I am making a Lasagna Dinner for all of them this Sunday at our home.

Whether you are celebrating Grads or Dads this month, take time to share your appreciation and your love to these fabulous people.

To the Grads, wish them much success and give them all the support you can.
To the Dads, let them know how wonderful they were for helping you be the person you are now, and how much you still count on them.

You and I wish them much courage, happiness, strength, and resilience. We love the current Grads and all the Dads! And wish them the very best in life’s journey.

I’d like to quote Oprah Winfrey as a way to go forward for all of us: The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”


With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker    (781) 872-1045

As your trusted adviser, Lisa empowers you to use passion to live your best life and achieve your goals with confidence, accountability, gratitude and balance.

Gratitude for Moms

For this Mother’s Day, I want to express extreme gratitude for my mother, Camille, and my mother-in-law, Virginia. My mom is 82 years old, and my mother-in-law just turned 85. The word is gratitude, and I am completely thankful for these two ladies in my life. If you are a mother like me or a son or daughter, I hope you’re looking forward to celebrating Mother/Mother-in-Law’s Day.

Mother’s Day 2018

I have learned so much from them. I have learned about life, marriage, and motherhood to name a few things. I don’t know what I would do without them. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t talk to them. I feel so blessed.

I love my mom. She always has a smile on her face and is ready to embrace family members with a big kiss and hug, even though she was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As you might imagine, the last year has been challenging for everyone. But Mom is still sweet “little Camille.” She is the best and certainly the sweetest person. And we are lucky to have her with us. Diagnosed with breast cancer ten years ago, she has been cancer free for the last five years. We are very fortunate.

And my mother-n-law is unbelievable. She never misses a play, recital, or event that John Robert is in; she is a sounding board for me. And she has more energy than people who are 10 years younger. She is an incredible woman.

Everyone has or had a mom. So we can all take a few moments on Sunday to express our gratitude and praise for the person who gave us life.

I am truly thankful for my two moms. If you’re a mom, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. May you enjoy your day with your family. The rule is you get to do whatever you want on your special day. Since it comes only once a year, be sure to enjoy it!

With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker

Bob Has Courage!

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

Despite the current defeat, my brother, Bob Tosi, has the courage and stamina to keep on keeping on. And we need to all partake of that courage because we fought the good fight.

It is unfortunate that Arlington residents lost their chance of getting an independent voice on the Select Board. They lost their chance for an independent voice, which represents residents without so much power — the young, old, and some of those who are outside the American dream. But again, we won, because we ran a thoughtful, well-coordinated campaign.

Bob ran for this office twice before. In this last campaign, we were organized, thought we had the tactics right, and had an outpouring of support. But, we did not get the needed votes. Very disappointing, but we put up a magnificent fight! Maybe we shouldn’t have tried a third time, but not taking risks may be the riskiest move of all.

We had a team of dedicated volunteers, who worked with high energy and efficiency. You know who you are. So, no matter what you did or how you participated, even if it was mentioning Bob Tosi to a friend, I want to say THANK YOU.

As Bob’s Campaign Manager for Select Board Member, I know we put up a good fight. No, we didn’t win, but the opponent, Stephen DeCourcey, had to work hard to get into office. He had a contender in Bob.

Many of you volunteered to help Bob, and you all deserve kudos. There were 125 different donors and over 100 volunteers. Without you, there wouldn’t have been a whisper of a chance. You did everything from holding signs, to writing letters to the editor, to writing dear friend cards, and to making calls to voters in each precinct, and we used Robo calls to compliment those initial calls. You did it all.

But the candidate at the center, Bob Tosi, was the man. He was also untiring in his efforts, with always a kind or humorous and encouraging word. We expected such a wonderful candidate to win. His credentials are many.

He has extensive experience helping Arlington residents and in Arlington government. He did very well in both debates, held a successful rally, and participated in multiple interviews. He had a very good candidate profile and an informative website. Bob had 22 letters of endorsement to the editor. In addition to sending 8 x 10 mailers, Bob visited all of the schools and took out photographed sticker adds on the front page of The Arlington Advocate.

All this was not enough. We missed the mark, but we engaged in the struggle with energy, honor, and courage.

Post analysis, so why did we lose? We can probably come up with many reasons. The salient ones are we were out spent, and we didn’t have the backing of several current and former Select Board Members which gave his opponent an advantage.  Despite the nice weather, there was low voter turnout. This last point is very important to keep in mind for future elections this year and in the immediate future. We must encourage people to exercise their democratic right to VOTE.

We have all been disappointed in some of our goals and efforts. We’ve taken chances and didn’t achieve our dreams. But we can’t let that deter us from trying and trying again. Bob Tosi is a winner to me and to the 2,500 residents who voted for him. We all can continue to be winners by gathering the courage to carry on.

With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker