The Future Has a Mind of Its Own

Good morning!  I hope your day is off to a nice start.

The world awoke this morning to news of massive earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.  I can’t imagine being at ground zero for something like that and, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, I think we can all agree on prayers for those directly affected.  After Friday’s post where I said we often bring some of life’s challenges on ourselves, this is not one of those cases.  Those people never saw it coming.

I wonder how many others, like me, were secretly hoping for something other than a Chinese balloon to drown out the news.  Be careful what you wish for.

Besides, the balloon is old news.  Unless you’re a politician.  They’ll never let this go.  Amazingly, none of them seemed to notice that we shot it down with a $400,000 missile instead of a $30 bullet.  Don’t worry, they don’t read this.  I’m not sure they can.

Okay, one thing I don’t do in my posts is dive into political debate.  There are enough others out there for that.  I just found it humorous that a story like this dominated the news for almost an entire week.  Then along comes a pair of earthquakes to remind us of what’s really important.  Nature is a force more powerful than anything we’ve ever created.  And sometimes, its impact is tragic.

I wonder how many of those people sifting through the rubble of their previous life were going about their days, content with the way things were.  It happens all the time.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, a semi crossing the median into oncoming traffic … events that were completely unplanned.  Yet lives are changed in an instant. 

Hopefully we live through these events without injury or loss, but some things are completely beyond our control.  Jobs vanish.  Health issues arise.  Cars break down.  Economies decline.  And most times, we’re just along for the ride.  All we can do is plan a path forward after the fact.

Well, plans are more easily executed when all the pieces were in place beforehand.  And if Plan B is already underway, it’s that much easier.  Have you ever heard anybody complain that they’re too healthy, too wealthy, or have too many options in life?  I haven’t.  But I do know people who, in the face of unplanned events, are much better equipped to change the circumstances in their favor.

It’s all about looking ahead and writing a few insurance policies of your own.  We can never anticipate everything life will throw our way.  All we can do is be ready when it happens.  Plant the seeds now.  You may not be hungry today, but those seeds will never go to waste.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome week!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

It’s Cold … But Only You Can Light the Fire

Good morning! It’s Friday again. Hope your day is off to a great start.

For many of us here in the US, yesterday was a day of reckoning. The groundhog saw his shadow, which basically means a couple of grown men in top hats told the rest of us they heard an overgrown rodent talk. I think maybe they need to get back on that lithium drip. Let’s just get this out right now – animals don’t talk! Parrots don’t count. They’re birds.

So, the official proclamation was six more weeks of winter. And just in case we hadn’t heard that news, Mother Nature decided to throw her hat in the ring. I woke up this morning in the middle of Sonny & Cher singing that obnoxious song. You know the one. And I don’t even have a clock radio. Maybe I’m the one who needs drugs.

Yes, it’s cold out there. Really cold. If you’re one of those who lives for this kind of weather, have at it. Call the boss, cough into the phone, and then put on your snow suit and go play in it. I’ll sit right here in my basement, thank you. Yes, it’s the coldest room in the house. That’s why God made space heaters. It’s still better than being out there.

If you’ve known me long, you know I’m not a fan of winter. And the bad part is, I could be anywhere I want right now. You know, someplace warm. But the RV has two air conditioners, and my wife would be running them both. And I’d be complaining about that.

Have you ever noticed that most times when we complain, we should be lecturing to the mirror? We bring more misery on ourselves than we’d care to admit. Yes, there are always circumstances that pull us into their reign of terror, but more often than not, we put ourselves there in the first place, whether intentionally or not.

Bills fall behind. The car breaks down. You missed a deadline at work. Life is full of disappointments. But when we think back on it, we can usually point to some action or inaction on our part that is to blame. We could be making more money. We could have changed the oil. We could have started the assignment sooner.

Instead of dwelling on where you are, decide where you want to be. Then do something about it. Make the change. Read the book. Start the business. Whatever it takes. Yes, it’s cold today. We can’t change that. But tomorrow can be whatever you want it to be, so dream big! Then take the shot. If you miss, it certainly won’t be for lack of trying.

That’s all for now. Stay warm and have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Frog Too Big? Take Smaller Bites.

Good morning!  I hope your day is starting off nicely.

Do you ever look around your workspace and think, “One of these days I need to straighten this up?” It’s hard, especially when you work at home. My office is in the basement, and nobody ever comes down there. Last time the tornado sirens went off, my wife got to the top of the basement stairs, took one look down, and said, “Oh well – I’ve had a good run.”

A co-worker last week complimented me during a video meeting about the condition of my basement. Don’t underestimate the time it took to get the camera aimed at such a perfect angle. The room is cluttered, my desk is a mess, and the new flooring I started 12 years ago still isn’t finished because there’s too much junk still piled on top of the old floor.

Clutter doesn’t begin to describe this mess. I have pay stubs from 15 years ago and bills from 1971. They’re not even my bills, because I was in 7th grade back then. I won’t throw them away because we’re supposed to shred these things. I can’t shred them because the shredder would incinerate. The rest of the mess I blame on my daughters. Every time kids move out, more and more stuff gets left behind. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I once read a book by Alan Lakein titled “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life.” In the book, he suggested several strategies for optimizing our time. One was to handle each piece of paper only once. Pay the bill, write the response, whatever. Then throw it away. Sorry, but that’s handling it twice. I saved time and money by throwing all my mail in the trash. Voila!

Yes, I know. That’s not the exact message the book was trying to convey. The point was to avoid procrastination and just get it done. If you have to eat a frog, eat the biggest one first and the rest won’t seem so bad.

I think, for many of us, these tasks languish on the “to-do” list because that frog is just too big. So, break it up. You can accomplish a lot in fifteen minutes. Do that for a week, and you may be surprised at the results.

Time is a precious commodity, and we all have a lot on our plate. But nothing gets done if we just sit there and stare at it. Do something. Anything. Big jobs become smaller when we break them into bite-sized pieces. And just like that bag of bite-sized snacks, it’ll be finished before you know it. That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Gravity Too Strong for the Bathroom Scale?

Good morning, and happy Friday!  I hope your day is off to a great start.

So, scientists have determined the earth’s core may be slowing down in its rotation and could be getting ready to turn the other way.  Not the earth – just the core.  Excuse me?  Aren’t these things connected?  When the outside of my tires turn in a different direction than the center, that usually means I’m about to have a really bad day.

But the experts say this is just a natural cycle, and nothing bad is about to happen.  That’s comforting.  Of course, these are geologists.  Anybody who has watched Big Bang Theory knows how Sheldon Cooper feels about them.  I have no real opinion except I doubt they actually took the elevator down to see what’s really happening.

Apparently, the core is molten rock that is free to sit still or spin in any direction, regardless of what we’re doing way up here on the surface.  And when this happens it affects the gravitational pull of the earth’s core.  I stopped reading at that point, because now I know why my weight is going the wrong way.  It’s not me – it’s gravity.

Don’t take my word for it.  A quick Google search will show your weight on any planet in the solar system, and they’re all different.  On Mars, I only weigh 98 pounds.  On the sun, I’d weigh closer to four tons.  So, let’s not go there.  I hear it’s hot all the time, and no beaches at all.  As if I could find a bathing suit that big anyway.

In a nation where 41% of the adult population is obese, it’s safe to say I’m not alone.  I don’t know who decides what we should weigh, but I’m not a huge fan.  Still, I know I need to do something about it.  You know, besides throwing away the scale.  It doesn’t matter, because my doctor has one of her own, and hers is broken.  Don’t argue.

At the start of each new year, weight loss ranks among the top in terms of personal improvement goals.  We all want to look better and be healthier.  But it’s hard, especially with our microwave mentality that says if the results aren’t evident in 60 seconds, we’re doing it all wrong. 

Well, weight loss is like any other worthwhile goal.  It takes time.  Fad diets don’t work, at least not in the long term.  Try making small changes, one at a time.  Things you can live with for the long haul.  When those are going well, make one or two more changes.  It takes time, but the results will be worth it.  That much I can promise.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Destiny – the Shortest Path to Where You Don’t Want to Be

Good morning!  I hope your Monday is starting off well.

Reusable toilet paper.  Can I get an amen?  Yeah, I just wanted to grab your attention.  That was the topic of a story on the news this morning, right after a segment about the resurgence of paper maps.  We’re saving trees on one end, and killing them on the other.  What gives? 

Everything old comes around again.  I’m still waiting for powder-blue leisure suits to come back in style.  Yes, I had one.  And no, I couldn’t get one leg in those pants, much less my whole butt.  Guess that’s God’s way of keeping me from making an even bigger fool of myself.

I still keep paper maps in the RV.  Okay, I also use a GPS.  It’s not like I need the directions, unless I’m trying to stay on I-75 through Atlanta.  Every five seconds – “Be in either of the right two lanes.  Stay on the road.  THIS road.  DO NOT EXIT!  Now cross over all eight lanes and exit left to stay on … you know …”

So yes, maps can come in handy.  But reusable toilet paper?  Folks, I use some pretty good laundry detergent, and that stuff isn’t going in my washing machine.  That’s what laundromats are for.  Of course, my wife is quick to point out that my underwear gets washed.  Don’t think too hard on that.  

Okay, I wanted to start the week on a light note, and it looks like the news beat me to it.  But you know, we take life too seriously sometimes.  That’s one of the reasons I started writing humor 25 years ago.  Okay, it was because I’m not an expert in anything else.  Sometimes, you play the hand you’re dealt.

It’s what some folks call destiny … the notion that we’re born into a certain life, and we’re pre-ordained to fulfill that destiny.  Well, let me just get this out.  Destiny sucks!  Destiny is just one more imaginary thing on which to blame our lot in life.  It means life is plowing forward, and we’re just along for the ride. 

Life is what we make of it, and destiny is about as firm as a pile of mashed potatoes.  You can shape it any way you want.  You just have to accept the fact that you’re in control, and then let your dreams paint a picture of the life you desire.

That’s my hope for each of you as we begin a new week.  We’re all on a path to somewhere.  We may not have paved the road, but we can certainly choose the destination.  And once that destination is firmly in your mind, the rest is pretty easy.  Just be sure to bring along plenty of TP.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

How’s That Brick Wall Treating You?

Good morning, and happy Friday!  I hope your day is off to a great start!

I went to work yesterday.  You know, to the office.  I haven’t been there in over three years.  I had to program my GPS to even find the place.  Most days, going to work means heading down the basement stairs.  I spend my days ten feet from a refrigerator with 6 bottles of water and 42 bottles of beer.  What could possibly go wrong?

In 2008, I asked my boss if I could work from home.  He said, “Dave, the problem is, I’d be paying you for 8 hours, but I wouldn’t really know if you worked that long.”  I told him he didn’t know that now.  All he knew was my truck was in the parking lot and I was at my computer.  Here’s a tip.  Don’t say that out loud.  The next day he installed a camera over my desk.

But along came 2020 and Covid left us with no choice.  And with very few exceptions, we put the fears to rest and came out on top.  Companies continued to grow.  Profits were made and bonuses were earned.  And we discovered we can still get the job done even if our pants are in the laundry.  I’ve seen those videos.  What’s wrong with you people?

The point is, we took a situation that could have been catastrophic and made the most of it.  Giving up was just not an option.  And, as a result, many of us continue to enjoy a work-life balance we would never have envisioned three short years ago.

So, where’s that sense of adventure when there’s something we want, something that’s not quite within reach?  We’ll keep beating our head against the same wall for years instead of trying something new for even a day.  And at the end of yet another year, we resign ourselves to the “fact” that what we want is just not possible.

Well, I’m glad my boss didn’t give up so easily.  And I’m sure a lot of his trusted advisers gave him a dozen reasons why it would never work.  But he put his faith in us, and we came through.  Put that same amount of faith in yourself, and there’s not much you can’t accomplish.  All it takes is a willingness to try something different, even if other people say it’s stupid.

Every challenge presents opportunity.  And all opportunity asks is that we recognize it for what it is – a chance to make things better.  Take the chance.  Prove other people wrong.  You may still miss your goal, but it certainly won’t be for lack of trying.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day and an even better weekend!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Yes, You Really ARE Worthy!

Good morning.  Or afternoon, depending on your time zone.  Hope your day is starting off well.

I didn’t sleep this late, though I did sleep later than normal.  That’s what happens when you sit up watching a movie until the wee hours.  I used to do that all the time.  But I’ve reached that point of equilibrium where cause and effect become one.  In other words, if you’re gonna be dumb, you’ve gotta to be tough. 

There were years in my life when I could party all night and get up in the morning.  But somewhere along the line, my body introduced me to the concept of consequences.  When I woke up with a headache, I could usually admit I had it coming.  And then came the days I woke up with a hangover for no good reason.  What’s up with that?

We all tend to think we get what we deserve.  Okay, just the good stuff.  I get it.  But when I climb the single flight of stairs from my office to the kitchen (don’t be nosey), I can honestly say I deserve all that huffing and puffing.  The pounding in my chest?  Yeah, I’m still looking for somebody to pin that on.

It’s good when we can admit our mistakes and accept the consequences.  But what happens when life throws something really good our way?  “You’re so lucky!”  Yeah, that must be it.  The gods were searching for somebody completely unworthy on whom to bestow a stroke of good fortune, and you just happened to stumble in the way.  What a lucky dog!

And I think that’s what stops a lot of us from pursuing our goals.  Why should good luck fall on me?  What have I done to deserve it?  What’s so special about me?

Well, that depends.  If all you did was buy a winning lottery ticket, that’s luck.  But most of us tend to put a little more methodical effort into our achievements.  We get up a little earlier, go to bed a little later, and work just a little harder.  When others are on the porch enjoying a cold beer, we’re putting in that little bit of extra effort.  So, why not you?

The first step in achieving a dream is realizing you deserve it.  If there’s any nice thing in this world, material or not, you deserve it just as much as the next person.  We are not pre-ordained at birth to a life of mediocrity.  We’re destined to live the life we’ve built. 

Every one of us is worthy of the best life has to offer.  All you have to do is go out and get it.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Life is Too Short for Simple Dreams

Good morning!  It’s Friday again!  Hope your day is off to a great start.

Those of you who know me best know I can conjure up some pretty wild fantasies when I want to.  Not the kind that would embarrass my wife.  I do a good enough job of that just trying to be serious.  I’m talking about the kind that leave people scratching their head and thinking, “Is he delusional?”

Yes, I’m a dreamer.  Dad reminded me of that every time I set my sights on anything people who work for a living could never afford.  Okay, some of those dreams were “out there.”  A waterfront mansion with my own yacht and a helicopter to fly me to my private jet may have been a bit optimistic.  Especially at the age of 17.  Why do you think I wanted to be a rock star?

Over the years, my dreams have changed.  Not necessarily because of my bank account.  That’s a dynamic situation that changes almost daily.  And, while some days are better than others, the years have treated me well.  But dreams change as we grow.  That’s just a natural part of life.  But there are still things I want.

What would your dreams be if you knew you couldn’t fail?  That’s an interesting thought.  It implies two things.  First, that we can actually control what we dream about (we can), and second, that our dreams are usually limited by our current income (they are). 

We’ve all heard that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.  I love that quote, but in deference to Napoleon Hill, I have to respectfully disagree.  There are things that, no matter how hard we try, we will NEVER be able to accomplish.  Ever wished you could sprout wings and fly?  Well, keep dreaming.

But that aside, there isn’t much we can’t accomplish if we put our mind to it and follow through with deliberate action.  Want a bigger house?  You can do it.  Want a fancy car, or a European vacation?  It’s yours.  Want to retire at the age of 30 and spend the rest of your days on the beach?  Well, if your 30th birthday is next week, you may need a couple more months.

The life you’re living today is largely the life you dreamed of.  If it’s not, now would be a good time to revisit those dreams.  Go to an open house.  Visit a boat show.  Pick up a travel magazine.  Don’t worry about how you’ll do it.  There’s plenty of time for that next week.  But if you’re going to dream, then dream big!  The effort is the same either way.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome weekend!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Got Twenty Seconds???

Good morning, and happy Monday!  I hope your day is off to a nice start.

While you folks were (hopefully) relaxing, I spent 16 hours on the road Saturday, leaving the warmth of central Florida for the bitter cold of Ohio.  I guess I really am as stupid as I look. 

Let’s just get this out now – I don’t like winter.  In fact, I pretty much despise it.  Oh yeah, I remember years ago growing up in south Florida, longing for the silent majesty of a winter’s morn, the clean, cool chill of the holiday air … Yes, I’ve watched that movie a few times too many. 

When I joined the Navy, my dad told me something I’ll never forget.  “The best two duty stations in the world are the one you just left and the one you’re going to.”  Or, in simpler terms, the grass is always greener over the septic tank.  Thank you Erma Bombeck for that tidbit of perspective.

Our comfort zone is a double-edged sword.  It gets us through the day with a minimum of stress, and it also keeps us from accomplishing much of anything.  For every worthwhile achievement, you had to do something that stretched your level of comfort.  And, even if the goal ended up being a little less than what you’d envisioned, you still grew as a result. 

As most of you know, I was a stand-up comedian for the better part of 16 years.  Believe me when I say that first time onstage was WAY outside my comfort zone.  It took nine years and almost 1000 shows to get past the jitters.  But it was something I wanted badly enough to work through it.  And I’m glad I did.

If there’s something you want that isn’t immediately within reach, you’ll have to step outside your comfort zone.  Matt Damon’s character said it best in the movie We Bought a Zoo … “all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage.” 

Twenty seconds to embrace a vision.  Twenty seconds to consider an opportunity.  Twenty seconds to post your resume online.  Twenty seconds to get down on one knee and pop the question.  Twenty seconds to sign your name to the contract.  Twenty seconds to trap a spider.  Twenty seconds.

Sure, there’s more to come after that.  But that initial twenty seconds of courage is all it takes to get past the fear and start turning the life you want into the life you’re working toward.  The more you face those fears, the less courage it takes.  There comes a day when it’s second nature.  And that’s when dreams begin turning into reality. 

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

What Else You Got Planned?

Good morning, and happy Friday!  I hope your day is starting off well.

The first week of 2023 is just about behind us, and I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief.  Getting back to work is always a challenge, especially if you had time off over the holidays.  I gave serious thought to early retirement.  My wife said no.  She won.

But I just turned 65, and that day is out there.  Like most people, my body, mind, and bank account are not in complete agreement on when it should happen.  After 50 years in the work force, I’m thinking my body may win.  It certainly won’t be my brain.

I know my retirement will involve some kind of ongoing income.  Social Security will buy gas, and my 401k will cover one health emergency.  If the “emergency” is a flu shot.  Beyond that, I need a little extra.  Anyone know how much Walmart greeters make?

And I’m not alone in this.  Most of us will need that extra boost to keep from moving in with the kids.  Sure, I know people who think they’ve got it under control.  In other words, they’re delusional.  And I’ve met others who think retirement planning means putting their own numbers on the lottery ticket.

None of us knows when retirement will begin or end.  We can plan, and we may even hit our target date.  But life can change in an instant, and all those plans go right out the window.  Accidents happen.  Companies fail.  And that Nigerian prince may have no intention of coughing up the cash.  Just sayin’.

Those of you who have been with me for a while have heard these words – dig the well before you get thirsty.  The time to come up with an alternate plan is not while you’re laid up in the hospital or just got your severance notice.  That’s the time to fall back on Plan B, not invent it.

The reality is most of us will make it to retirement without any catastrophic life-altering event.  So what?  Have you ever heard anybody complain that they have too much money?  If so, send them my way.  I can make that problem go away in an instant.  So can fate.

Our future is what we make of it.  Expand your options today, and you can enjoy the ride tomorrow.  Opportunity is out there, just waiting for you to make the next move.  You can pick the one you want today, or let fate choose it for you.  I know my preference.  What’s yours?

That’s all for now.  Enjoy your day and have an awesome weekend!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved