Draw Your Own Line … Then Step To The Other Side

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

You know how something can be both good and bad at the same time? Like ice cream. I love ice cream. So does the bathroom scale. It welcomes each and every new pound with a flashing red light that says, “Hey, fat boy!” Okay, that was actually my grandson. He’s four. If my scale could speak, it would probably use a few other words. And it’s old enough to know better.

I have an office in my basement. That’s where I work every day. My car is getting like three months to the gallon. Seriously, it’s still got the same gas that was in it in December. The basement is quiet, for the most part, and pretty free of distractions. But it’s cold. Have you ever heard that cold air seeks the lowest point in the house? It’s true. I’ve done the research.

One of the nice things about working in the basement is I can tend to the laundry. When a buzzer goes off, it’s time for a short break. On the other hand, working in the basement means I can tend to the laundry. I’m already here, so that excuse goes right out the window.

I realized last week that, for the past two months, I’ve been working six feet from a refrigerator with four bottles of water and 32 bottles of beer. I think my priorities are a little messed up, especially since most of that beer has been in there at least three years. Does beer have an expiration date? I think as long as it foams up and doesn’t taste like vinegar, it’s okay.

Life is a matter of choices, not only in the things we say and do, but in the way we view the world in which we live. Take beer, for instance. I like beer. Beer likes me. What’s not to like? You know, aside from the extra calories, the feeling of sluggishness, and the fact that you’re not allowed to drive? So, we make responsible choices. We wait till bedtime so we can wake up refreshed. Right.

Okay, now you know why that beer has been sitting there for three years. Priorities change. It seemed like a good idea when I bought it. Kinda like ice cream. Except around here, ice cream doesn’t last three years. It lasts about three days. But I can down a whole bowl of ice cream in six minutes flat, and drive to the store for more. I just have to keep buying bigger pants.

For most things we do, there are benefits and consequences. The benefit may be nothing more than satisfying your taste buds or sipping a cool drink at the end of a long day. And the consequences may be nothing more than a slightly larger waistline or waking up with a mild headache. It’s all about balance. A little of the fun stuff mixed with equal parts of self-control.

That self-control may come in the form of two scoops instead of three, one beer instead of six, or letting the laundry sit until the meeting is over. It could mean mowing the lawn before you head to the lake. It might mean helping the kids with their homework when the big game is on. And it could mean getting out of that recliner to build a little more enjoyable future.

You can have anything you want, as long as you’re willing to give something up for it. And what you have to give up is pretty much in line with what you hope to gain. I was talking to a young comedian years ago about the challenges of income on the road. He said, “Sure, I want to be a star, but I’m not willing to live on the road if it means giving up my hair mousse and gel.”

Okay, for most of us the trade-off is a little more realistic, but it’s still a part of everything we do. I can build a better future, but that means I have to work. And I can sit on the porch and watch cars drive by, but that means giving up that brighter future. I can make either of those choices, or I can create a mix of my own. But I can’t have all the good with none of the work.

And even then, we have to accept the good with the bad. I love my new RV, but it takes work to keep it on the road. I love my job, but it means working when I’d rather take a day off. And I love my business, but there are parts I’d gladly pay somebody else to do.

The secret lies in finding that balance in which you give up just enough to have the things you want. It’s a line only you can draw. And once you step over that line, things begin to happen. Just make sure they’re the things you want.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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