And Here We Go Again …

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

I’d like to begin by thanking you all for your kind words regarding the loss of our family dog. We all go through moments of pain, and what makes those moments so much more bearable is knowing you have family and friends who care. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Well, 2020 is winding down, and the world is still spinning at a rate of about one revolution per day. Funny, if it suddenly slowed down, it would still spin at one revolution per day … the days would just be a lot longer. Has anybody checked the speedometer lately?

And, with news of two potential vaccines on the horizon, we are once again in the midst of a deadly resurgence in Coronavirus cases. Worse still, there are many in our nation who still don’t believe it’s real. A nurse recently spoke of patients dying in her care, adamant that they had to have some other affliction because “Coronavirus is a hoax.”

Well, folks, it’s real. It’s very real, and not only are new cases skyrocketing around the world, but hospitals are full, intensive care beds are nowhere to be found, and local morgues can’t keep up with the influx of deceased patients. Not to be a downer, but it doesn’t get any more real than this.

If you’ve been reading my posts over the past couple of months, we’ve talked about the possibility this could happen. Nobody expected it the first time, and we were caught off-guard. But you know the saying – fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me. I think more than a few of us are sitting in that second category right now.

And the thing is, we go through these things all through our lives. Not anything of this magnitude, thankfully, but life is full of twists and turns. One day you’re living the good life, healthy as a horse, with a great job, an awesome family, and money in the bank. Who could ask for more?

But it can all change in an instant. A new CEO comes in and says, “We’re making changes.” You get an unwelcome call from the doctor. You wake up to the smell of smoke. A dump truck swerves into your lane. Or maybe it’s just Human Resources saying you’ve done a great job until now, but the company’s needs have changed.

Okay, first things first – life goes on. First we cry, then we dust ourselves off and pick up the pieces, and then we grow. The only other option is to just give up, and most of us are better than that. We know nothing bad lasts forever, and as long as we’re able to draw another breath, we can turn things around. We do it all the time.

So, here’s the question I want to pose. What have you done differently since the last crisis? What steps have you taken to make sure you can weather the next storm? Are you working on your health? Have you done anything to increase your income? Have you saved a little for a rainy day? Or are you right back where you were, pretending it’ll never happen again?

Nobody likes the thought of a second job. Oh, maybe if we have a really strong goal, like buying a new car or taking a nice vacation. But beyond all that, it’s just more work. One more thing to cut into your quiet time after a day on the “real” job. But when the boss calls you and says the doors won’t be open for a month or two, that extra money would sure be nice.

Some things we can’t change. Our health is largely dependent on factors beyond our control. Accidents will happen, and jobs will come and go. We can’t change a raging virus, or how it will affect our jobs and families. But we absolutely can do something to ward off debt collectors if our primary source of income were to suddenly disappear. The thing is, we have to start NOW.

If you want to be in control of your income, you have to take control. Nobody will hand it to you. You have to stay ahead of the trends. And never before have home-based businesses been in such a position to thrive. People aren’t shopping in stores like they were. They want product delivered to their home. And that won’t change when the virus goes away.

A business doesn’t have to be massive to generate enough money to make a difference. Sometimes a little extra is more than enough. And if it’s not, you know what to do. Best of all, that’s a decision you get to make – nobody else makes it for you.

Take control. Grab the bull by the horns. Shape your own destiny. But do it now. The longer you wait to get started, the longer you’ll be wishing you had.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

A Moment of Pain for a Lifetime of Love

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

For me, it’s the beginning of a different life. One where sitting up in bed isn’t met with the sound of paws coming down the hallway, there’s no need to open the back door, and my morning “hug” from my little buddy will now be a memory. Yesterday at noon, our fur-baby went to a place where there is no pain and cancer is just a word.

It was a hard thing to do, as anybody who’s been there can attest. There’s always that voice that says, “It’s only a dog.” That voice only comes from people who have never bonded with a dog, or any animal for that matter. It certainly doesn’t come from within. To me, he was a member of the family, and his passing left a hole in my heart that will never completely heal.

But I don’t want this post to be sad. I want to remember my little buddy with a smile, and know that if he could have spoken, he would have told me he hurt a lot worse than he let on, and he loved us as much as we loved him, maybe even more. And I’m sure that, once he got past the fear of another visit to the vet, he would have said, “It’s okay. Don’t be sad.”

When we open our home to an animal, this is a reality we have to accept. We don’t think about it at the time, and it never really crosses our mind over the years. We give them nourishment and love, and they reward us with silly antics and that trademark greeting every time we walk through the door. Get on Google and look up “Wheaten Greetin’.” It’ll make you smile.

I heard a speaker one time saying his wife complained that when he got home from work, he petted the dog before he kissed her.  He said, “When you meet me at the door jumping around and shaking your whole body like that, rest assured I’ll notice you first.” That pretty much sums it up.

I’ll miss him brushing against us like a cat every time he walked past. In the end, he learned he could snag the Velcro on his diaper and go commando for a few minutes. I’ll miss his 8:00 routine every evening, when he knew it was time for a treat. And don’t bother telling him the clocks changed. He knew that was just a ruse. “Don’t mess with me, Daddy! It’s 8:00, dammit!”

I’ll miss seeing him sitting up high in the passenger seat of the RV with an unmistakable smile on his face. I’ll miss him searching his toy box every time somebody came to the door, looking for the perfect gift to present. I’ll miss him snuggling next to me in bed, but only for a minute before he moved next to my feet and, eventually, to his own bed.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Every day with this little guy was worth the heartache of holding him as his life slipped away. As a close friend said last week, a moment of pain is the price of a lifetime of love. Well, it’s more than a moment of pain, but it’ll soon give way to memories that will last a lifetime.

Most of all, I think of the unconditional love that comes from an animal that truly sees us as members of their own family. To them, they’re no different than us. A little shorter maybe, and without inside bathroom privileges. But it’s the life they know, and I don’t think they even notice the difference. They accept us just as we are – two legs, no fur, and smelling like soap.

So, now we begin a life of walking into a quiet home, not tripping over toys strategically placed for our enjoyment, and having to pick up every scrap of food we drop on the floor. I’ll never again open a bag of popcorn or make scrambled eggs in the morning without those eager eyes watching my every move. He’ll always be there, waiting for his share.

I’m not sure if there’s life beyond this earth for pets, but if there is I know for certain my little buddy is running unleashed without a care in the world. His pain is gone, he can potty without difficulty, and his 8:00 treat is always on time. And most of all, I know he would be nuzzling us and gazing up with those adoring eyes as if to say, “Don’t cry – I’m right here.”

So, Buster, wherever you are, just know you will always live on in our hearts. We will always question the decision to let you go, and we will always wish we’d had a little more time. But we will never regret one moment of the time we had with you. Farewell for now. And do that dance, little buddy … it’s 8:00 somewhere.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

A Salute to All Who Served – In Uniform and Without

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

For those in the United States, happy Veteran’s Day. Today is a day when we honor those who served our nation, often at great personal risk, for the privilege of defending the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. And it is a privilege. Those of us who have worn this nation’s uniforms were proud to stand behind our nation and salute its flag. Some things may change over time, but this isn’t one of them.

For some of us, that service was a little less dangerous than others. I never saw combat, having graduated from high school three years after the end of the Viet Nam war. And yes, I know it wasn’t an officially declared war, but to the more than 50,000 wives and mothers who stood beside a flag-draped coffin, there is no other more descriptive term.

Every year on Veteran’s Day, I remind people that it’s not only about those who served. For every person wearing the uniform today, there are family members making personal sacrifices few can truly understand. And I think it’s only fitting that we would remember and honor them as well.

Some are living far away from the only home they’ve known, due to “needs of the military.” Some find themselves in a new home every three or four years. There are spouses, forced by circumstance to live and survive as single parents, often for years at a time. There are children who barely remember their deployed parent, if they’ve even met them at all.

They make ends meet with pay that, for many, is barely above poverty level. They see the doctor they’re assigned, rather than one they chose. They live where they’re told to live and move when they’re told to move. And they do this all under the constant threat of an unwelcome visit from the chaplain. It’s a life that most of us can never fully comprehend.

For myself, deployments were hard. Seven months at sea, on a ship with 5500 other men, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and sleeping in a bunk so tight that you could barely roll over, the one thing that kept me going was knowing I had a wife who was keeping things going on the home front. Her strength was my strength. She served every day I served.

I saw shipmates get the news of a new son or daughter, and I tried to comfort another as he got the news that his infant son had passed away. I saw people open letters from a wife or girlfriend who could no longer handle the separation, and I watched others send a similar letter home. Military life isn’t easy, friends. It takes a special person, on both sides of the equation.

Every time we went to sea, we did so with the knowledge that at least one of us wouldn’t make it home. It was just a reality. Most were due to accidents. An aircraft carrier (or any ship) isn’t the safest place to work. Others were due to illness, overindulgence, and in one case, suicide. We lost 5 in one cruise. Five families left to put together what was left of their shattered lives.

Whether you believe this nation is what it once was, or that our freedoms are as bountiful as they once were, this nation is still worth whatever it takes to ensure its safety. Because, the nation isn’t a flag, fifty states, or a handful of politicians. It’s more than 330 million people, from all walks of life, every one deserving of the best life has to offer.

I grew up in a time when many, weary of the Viet Nam war’s toll, would gladly have eliminated our military. As I arrived home from my first cruise, we were greeted by protesters waving signs and chanting against our very presence. And I remember looking at them silently thinking, I just spent the past several months on the other side of the world defending your right to do this.

My wife didn’t have to leave home for that. She was there, every day, making sure I’d have a home to come back to. My daughter was an infant when I left the first time, and was almost five when I finished my last cruise. I can’t imagine the confusion in her little mind every time Daddy left. But she made the sacrifice as well. Yes, it even counts if you didn’t get a choice.

So, as we thank all of our active-duty and reserve military, retirees, and all who served, let’s take time to hug those family members whose service to our nation often goes unnoticed. To them, it was a labor of love. To those of us who wore the uniform, it was everything.

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

If You Want to See More Clearly, Try Covering Your Eyes

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

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. Some of you have commented, and I think a few have enjoyed the reprieve. I get a little wordy sometimes, which is to say I never shut up. If you knew me personally, that would come as no surprise.

I can’t say this break was intentional, but I’m learning not to force myself when the muse just isn’t there. We all need time to reflect, and sometimes to just step away. The past few weeks have brought a mix of emotion, so I let it flow the best way I can. I know a lot of you feel the same.

A month ago, a very close family member was diagnosed with Covid-19. Thankfully, the symptoms were mild, and it resolved without any treatment. We can be thankful that, for some people, it isn’t as severe. The rest of us were tested as a precaution, and we were all negative. Funny how, in the medical community, “negative” is good. I’ve never quite understood that.

Last week, we got news that our dog may be very sick. We’re taking him to a canine oncologist today to confirm what appears to be bladder cancer. He’s shown some symptoms for a few months, but veterinary appointments were not plentiful during Covid. It took more than two months to get him in, and the outlook wasn’t good. We’re praying for better news today.

And through the middle of all this came the election – a quadrennial event that used to bring out the best in us, regardless of our differences. It was a time of hope, a time for us to make our voices heard, and to pat others on the back in the knowledge that, whether our side won or lost, we could all at least hope for a positive outcome.

I was reminded the other day of my last Indian Ocean cruise in the Navy, way back in 1984. It was in the final days of the Cold War, and just in case we weren’t aware of the adversarial nature of our relationship with Russia, we received a daily reminder every morning as a Russian spy plane would fly past with an F-14 on each side. They saw us, we saw them. Cat and mouse.

One afternoon, the captain told us we were allowing a Russian cruiser to come along our port side. I grabbed my camera and joined a dozen other guys on a weather deck to view the enemy first-hand. There they were, casually bobbing along as if taunting us to make a move. As cameras clicked, we shielded the sun from our eyes to get a better look. The mood was somber.

At one point, a guy next to me handed me his camera with a high-powered zoom lens. As I focused in on the other ship, I saw my enemy’s face for the first time. There they were, dressed in dungarees, not unlike our own. Some were snapping pictures as the others shielded the sun from their eyes to get a better look. Their mood was somber. It was a moment I’ll never forget.

You see, in that moment I realized my “enemy” was a sailor, just like me. They missed their family, they missed good food, and wanted nothing more than a peaceful existence with prosperity and hope for a brighter future. The only difference between us was geography, and the leaders we would follow into battle if the time ever came. Thankfully, it didn’t.

It’s easy to see somebody else as the enemy when all we know about them is that they don’t look like us or think exactly like we do. It’s easy to take one aspect of somebody’s life, a simple difference of opinion, and assume the worst about their motives and character. After all, your intent is pure, so anybody who disagrees must be impure. It’s that easy, friends.

And it’s just as easy to look across a few hundred yards of separation and see somebody who, deep down, wants mostly the same things we do. They want peace. They want security. They want justice and a brighter future. We may define those things in different terms, and we may see a different path to achieving them. But that doesn’t make us enemies. It just means we need to look closer to find that common ground.

Our nation has been through a time of turmoil like most of us have never seen. In some respects, the worst is behind us, and in others, it’s just beginning. But make no mistake – we will never begin to heal until we put down the swords and work toward a common purpose. It’s there if we only reach out and embrace it. There is no other way.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

The Time to Get Started is Now

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

It’s Monday, not to mention the last week of October. Just in case you needed a reminder that … you know, after this, things start getting real. For those of us in the US (okay, most of the US), daylight savings time ends this week. After that, we’re officially in the build-up to the holidays. Not that the stores have noticed. I think they still have last year’s Christmas displays up.

Which reminds me, I need to get my grandson over here to put up our outdoor lights. I like to get that done before the first snow falls. Something about climbing 16 feet up a ladder that’s resting on a bed of ice just sounds dangerous. So, I pay him to do it for me. Besides, he’s young and his bones will heal faster.

This is also the time of year when we start to complain. Okay, we got an early start on it this year. Like back in March. I’d say we were entitled. But every year around now we take notice of how much earlier the stores put out their holiday inventory and how the whole thing has just turned into one big, commercialized mess. In other words, “This is gonna be expensive!” Yep.

And I’ll be honest – I think we do miss the whole holiday spirit in the rush of the season. The cleaning, the baking, the meal preparation, throwing the dishes away because there are too many to wash … and we cap it all off by standing in the drizzling cold at 4:00 in the morning to get a 92-inch TV for $6.95. But hey, they’re giving away free Furbies to the first 100 customers!

Okay, it’s obvious I haven’t been Black Friday shopping in a long time. It just never was my thing. Besides, I’m usually still too full of whatever was on the table the day before, most of which my body can convert to gas in a matter of minutes. Let’s just say I’m doing the world a favor by staying home.

Black Friday sales are there for one thing, and one thing only – to get whatever is left of your paycheck before anybody else gets their greedy paws on it. And when the money runs out, we go home. Right? Are you serious??? That’s why God made plastic! And if you’ve already reached your credit limit, have no fear! Customer service reps are standing by to give you an increase.

Well, let’s get down to it. If you don’t have the money to buy something today, odds are you won’t have the money to pay it off next year. We all know that. And this year has been especially hard on people. A lot of credit cards have been maxed out at the grocery store buying superfluous items like … you know, food. That doesn’t leave much for anything else.

Several months ago, I posed a rather important question. Could you do 2020 again? Hopefully most of us made it through with our health and finances relatively intact, but could you survive another round? Was there any point this year where you wished you hadn’t spent quite so much last year? “If only I’d known what was coming.”

Well, here’s the thing – we don’t know what’s coming. We never know. Hopefully this virus will fade away, but the numbers right now aren’t working in our favor. Almost every expert says it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Can you survive another round? Can your employer? How will that affect the decisions you make over the next couple of months?

As soon as things get dicey, we all start singing the same tune. “I have to do something to make more money!” So, why do we always wait until things are really bad before we look for ways to make them better?  Sure, better late than never. But you can’t just snap your fingers and double your income. It takes time. Time that most of us are wasting today.

Are there things you could do if you suddenly found yourself short of money? Are you short today? Let’s be honest. We could all stand to have a little extra coming in. Believe me, two years ago when I found myself facing brain surgery, I thought about that a lot. “This business could have made all the difference in the world. Why didn’t I get started sooner?”  

Dig the well before you get thirsty. What’s the worst thing that can happen? The drought never comes, and you have a little extra water on hand? Never once have I heard anybody say they wish they hadn’t saved money or built an extra income on the side. Because the reality is, we’ll all get thirsty at some point in our lives. And the decisions we make today will make a world of difference when that time comes.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Busy is a Four-Letter Word

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

My goal for the past few years has been to send out some words of inspiration each morning. For the most part, I’ve accomplished that goal. Some days are better than others, and some days there’s nothing at all. I’m sure I could come up with some pretty good excuses, but the fact is I’ve just been really busy. Boss, I hope you’re reading this.

Any time we run into old friends, the conversation goes something like this. “It’s so good to see you! Has it really been that long? I’ve been meaning to call you but – (here it comes) – I’ve just been really busy!” And, nine times out of ten the other person nods their head and says, “Me too.” Good save! Because, let’s not forget the fact that they didn’t call you, either.

Busy is a way of life. We’re all busy. We all have too many things to do and not enough time to get them all done. And it doesn’t help that we’re still not supposed to be going out and spending time with friends, or even spending too much time in the grocery store. There’s a virus out there folks, and it’s picking up steam again. This has been a really long year.

I miss my friends. At work, I was designated the “official greeter of the fifth floor” because I said good morning to everybody. Bosses, janitors, co-workers, they all got a daily greeting. My day couldn’t really begin until I’d made my rounds. Sure, it took a little time. By “a little time” I mean a few seconds each. But it put all of us in a more productive frame of mind. Win-win.

Now, I’m working from home. My office is in the basement, and nobody comes down here unless there’s a tornado. My daily greetings extend to anybody sitting in the living room as I take a bathroom break, and the people I interact with in online meetings throughout the day. It’s better than nothing, but I miss being able to chat with old friends.

And here’s the thing – I could talk to some of those people every day. Only problem is, we’re not supposed to do that while we’re on the clock, and I’ve never really exchanged phone numbers with anybody. Not even close friends. Why? I know how to find them, and they know how to find me. But knowing is one thing – doing something about it is another matter entirely.

When was the last time you gave a friend a call? When was the last time a friend called you? Odds are, if you’re over the age of forty, you have to think about that. There are just too many other things competing for our time. Work, kids, household chores, football games, presidential debates … the list goes on and on. “I meant to call you, but I’ve been too busy.”

Well, let’s just throw this out there – if you’re too busy to call a friend, then it’s time to offload some of that “busy-ness” and carve out some time to live. I’m not talking about exchanging oxygen – I’m talking about living, finding some level of enjoyment and personal accomplishment every day. Not just on the job – in life.

Just about every company I’ve ever worked for talks about work-life balance. Okay, usually in their recruiting material, but they at least recognize the value of rejuvenating at the end of the day. And here’s a tip, friends – rejuvenating doesn’t mean cooking dinner, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, or fixing the car. It means finding something that makes you smile, maybe even laugh.

And few things make us smile and laugh more than talking with friends. On your worst day, it’s hard not to enjoy the company of an old friend. You may not be the life of the party, and you may walk right back into whatever gloom is waiting as soon as the encounter is over. But for that brief moment in time, you feel better.

Are you too busy to call a friend? Then do something about it. Don’t have any phone numbers? I doubt that, but okay – get some. I know most of us haven’t seen a phone book in a long time, but they do still exist. You can find numbers online, look in the church directory, ask a mutual friend, or just send an email. “I miss chatting with you. Can I give you a call?”

Especially now, when we’ve all been isolated more than normal, it’s so important that we maintain relationships and spend at least a few minutes each day with somebody who can take our mind off the world’s problems. Make the time. Pick up the phone. Reach out. You never know – they may be missing you as much as you’re missing them.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

If You Want to Win, You’ve Got to Play

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

There was once a young man who was convinced happiness was his to behold, if only he could win the lottery. Years went by, but luck never fell his way. Finally, he turned to prayer. “God please! It doesn’t even have to be a mega-lottery! Just enough to make my life better. And I’ll even donate some to charity!” We always throw that one in there for good measure.

Well, this went on for several more years, and still no luck. And his frustration was beginning to show. “What’s up, God? The Bible says, ‘ask and ye shall receive.’ So, when is it my turn? When do I receive?” As he settled back into a corner to sulk, this booming voice came down from the Heavens. “Help me out here, Jim … buy a ticket!”

We’ve all met people who seem to have all the luck. Everything they touch turns to gold. Success is attracted to them like ants to a picnic basket. They walk around all the time with a smile on their face and a song in their heart. They live in the nicest house, drive the nicest cars, and vacation all over the world. It’s enough to make you sick.

And you sit there watching in amazement, certain that sooner or later, luck will come your way. It’s the law of averages. Sit in one place long enough and sooner or later the bluebird of happiness will land on your shoulder. It has to land somewhere, right? And a moving target is harder to hit. Yeah. Tell that to the pigeon that just flew over as you were walking into church.

Okay, I’m just gonna throw this out there. Luck is absolutely a factor. It’s a huge factor. In fact, most success would never come without a certain element of luck. Surprised? All this time I’ve been telling you that you can accomplish anything, and now I’m saying it only happens if you encounter some good luck? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

But you can’t hit a home run from the dugout, and you can’t catch the winning pass from the grandstands. Luck plays a part, but first you have to be in the game. You have to step up to the plate, bat in hand, and stare down a fastball. You have to plow through a line of blockers and run down the field to … okay, that’s why I never caught the winning pass. I don’t run.

And, in all honesty, there’s a little more to it than that. I never really wanted to run. While the star hitters were at batting practice, I was riding my mini bike. While the football team was in the weight room deadlifting Volkswagens, I was drawing pictures. Oh, I got to play. League rules, you understand. But my position was usually tackling dummy. Wonder why?

You see, merely stepping onto the field isn’t enough, unless you’re hoping a fast pitch will accidentally hit your bat and ricochet over the center-field wall. You also have to be ready for that perfect pitch and know what to do when it comes. It takes muscle to swing the bat that hard, not to mention a well-developed eye-to-hand coordination. It takes practice.

I can’t remember who said this first, but success is what happens when opportunity meets preparedness. We all think opportunity is the hard part, but it really isn’t. Anybody can try out for the team, or apply for a job, or start a new business. Opportunity is the easy part. But unless you’re ready to capitalize on that opportunity, it’ll just move on to somebody who is.

The two things you can control – the only two things – are stepping up to the plate and taking a swing. Sure, your swing has to be good, but that comes with practice. You know, stepping up to the plate and taking a swing. The rest largely relies on factors beyond your control – the speed of the pitch, the curve of the ball, the dryness of the pitcher’s hand – and just plain old luck.

Success in any endeavor relies largely on luck and it won’t always go the way you’d planned. Jobs will come and go. Customers won’t always want what you have to offer. Kids will eventually follow their own path. But the longer you stay in the game, the better your odds of scoring a hit.

Opportunity is the game itself – to capitalize on opportunity, you need to get in the game and play your best every day. The more times you step up to the plate, the more passes you throw, the better your odds of success. Luck will still play a part. You can’t change that, but you can stack the odds in your favor. Control what you can. The rest will work itself out.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Success Is Not A Zero-Sum Game

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

The weekend is over and it’s back to the old grind. You ever notice how, when we want a new job, we’ll do anything and everything to get it? We send out resumes, we dress up, we interview … we’d rub ourselves down with alcohol and jump through flaming hoops if that’s what it took. But once we’ve got the job, all we think about is the alcohol. Go figure.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Or, as Erma Bombeck so eloquently observed, the grass is always greener over the septic tank. I’m sure there’s some hidden motivational gem in there – I just haven’t figured it out yet. But I have noticed several clumps of bright green grass in my back yard that coincide with the dog’s potty habits. Move on, Dave.

We always want what we don’t have, and when we’ve got it we want something else. That’s human nature. It begins not long after we first open our eyes and realize somebody else has something we don’t. It could be a scrap of toilet paper, but it’s the most awesome and fun-looking scrap of toilet paper on the planet. And if we get our hands on it – in the mouth it goes.

This concept is on full display with my two youngest grandchildren. Okay, they’ve stopped eating toilet paper, but if one has a toy – any toy – it becomes a conquest for the other to get it away from them. They know the rules of sharing … it’s yours until you put it down. And if the other yawns or scratches their nose, it’s gone. Not very quietly, I might add.

And as soon as that toy is gone, the one they were playing with swaps hands, and the cycle repeats itself. They both strut around with their new treasure, until the other looks away from theirs for just a second. It’s their first lesson in legal justice – possession is nine points of the law. And if all else fails, it simply comes down to which one can throw the best punch.

You’d think we’d outgrow that as we get older, but we really don’t. We want what’s in front of us until it’s not in front of us anymore. Oh, we’re proud of our accomplishment and we revel in it for a while. Until something shinier comes along. Then we immediately launch a plan to get it. Thankfully, biting and pulling hair isn’t part of the plan. Most times.

And you know what? That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful, or that you’re never satisfied with what you’ve got. It simply means you can still dream, and you’ve still got enough inner drive to achieve even greater goals. Okay, it means you can wish for it. Sometimes, we’re a little lacking when it comes to motivation. And that’s what stops most of us dead in our tracks.

In business, I hear people all the time saying, “I could never succeed at something like that. It’s just not who I am.” Fair enough. But you know what they say … behind every successful man is an astonished woman. So, let me ask you this. How many times in your life have you succeeded at something to the point that you shocked even yourself?

If you have a job, you succeeded at something most of us don’t really enjoy, where the odds of success are stacked against you because there are several, maybe hundreds, of other people trying to knock you out of the running. And they may not punch and pull your hair, but they’ll do anything possible to stack the odds in their favor, because only one person can win.

But success is not a zero-sum game where one person has to lose in order for another to win. And even though you may keep score, nobody else does. Oh, maybe if they think they can laugh at you for still being in the hunt. You know the quickest way to shut people like that up? Quit. Give up. They’ll stop talking on the spot, because now you’re just like them.

Now, if the message you took from that is to stop trying, we need to talk. Nobody’s opinion matters besides your own. And in chasing your dreams, you’ll encounter lots of other people with the same goal. But unlike that one position the company is hiring, any number of people can achieve the same dream. Unless the dream is to beat everybody else, and then you’re on your own.

It’s fun to win, but winning means somebody else has to lose. And sometimes, that somebody is you. Find something where there’s room for everybody, where there’s no hair-pulling to hold you down, and give it all you’ve got. Success is easy once you learn how to create your own.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

What On Earth Are You Eating???

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

I like food. We’ll just get that out there right now. If you could see my belly, that’s all the proof you’d need. And so, it stands to reason that I might spend a little time checking out online recipes. Especially since Red Lobster decided the world no longer needs its coconut shrimp bites. Thanks a lot! But, as it turns out, there’s an excellent copycat recipe online. So there!

Lately, I’ve been focusing more on healthy eating. That’s not to say I actually do it – just that it’s something I think about. But it’s the thought that counts, right? My wife always says that as she opens her Christmas gifts, so it must be true. Now, if somebody could just explain that to my bathroom scale.

The problem with healthy eating, in my opinion, is simply a matter of taste. Well, sometimes you have to get past the smell first. There is no green leafy vegetable on earth that smells good when you cook it. God didn’t invent one. If you’ve ever wondered what a wet diaper would smell like in the microwave, just steam some broccoli. The two are about identical.

But God has a sense of humor. I love a nice cold beer. Problem is, we can’t just drink beer all day. I’m sure I read that somewhere. Broccoli, on the other hand, is supposed to be one of nature’s most nutrient-packed foods, right up there with liver and spinach. Plus, you can never eat too much broccoli because it tastes like turpentine. I’ve done the research.

Yet, as I look through row after row of whacked-out flavors of potato chips, it occurs to me that corporate chemists can replicate just about any flavor. I have my doubts on that, but I’ve never actually tried the vinegar & pumpkin spice, so for all I know they nailed it.  And if that’s the case, answer me this – why hasn’t anybody figured out how to make broccoli taste like beer?

America is one of the richest, most technologically advanced nations, yet we are among the most mal-nourished people on the planet. Notice I didn’t say under-nourished. We’re eating plenty. Too much, in fact. But what we’re eating is about as nutritious as those Styrofoam peanuts in the Amazon box. Don’t laugh. I’m pretty sure they’re on the keto diet.

And, being the land of opportunity, there is an entire industry based on helping us spend our hard-earned money on weight-loss products that promise to make us lose weight while we sleep and taste like those Styrofoam peanuts with a dash of powdered almonds. Nobody loses weight, because nobody actually eats that stuff. Not without fries.

Well, the good news is you can get used to anything if you give it enough time. I’ve seen kids in other countries eating grasshoppers without pinching their nose, so I know it can be done. And I hear they’re loaded with protein. Yeah. So is peanut butter, and it goes a lot further on a piece of toast.

To be honest, there are some meal replacements that taste great, have a pleasant consistency, and provide all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. “But they’re so expensive!” Really? Compared to what? A Big Mac? Take another look. And take another taste while you’re at it. They’ve come a long way over the years. The meal bars, that is.

I think the biggest problem with some of these products is in our own mind. You drink a shake that has all the vitamins and nutrients you need and enough fiber to hold you over for at least a few hours. You’re satisfied – not full, but no longer hungry. And then your brain kicks in. “Well, that was my drink. Now what’s for lunch?” Willpower is still a factor.

I’ve found a brand of meal replacements I really like. I don’t care for certain flavors, and none of them taste like steak. But you can always get vanilla and mix it up the way you want. Nothing says we can’t get creative. Just don’t load up your breakfast smoothie with candy bars and caramel syrup. It kinda defeats the purpose.

We can only cheat the system for so long when it comes to our health. Nothing says you can’t have that cheeseburger, and we should enjoy the things we eat. But balance it out with something healthier. Whether that’s broccoli, smoothies, or meal bars, find what works for you and stick with it.

Good health is one of those things we think about later in life, after we’ve made all the wrong decisions and are living with the consequences. We’re in the middle of a global health crisis that isn’t getting any better. Nothing can prevent us from getting sick, which is why it’s all the more important to be healthy at the outset. You can only take out what you put in. Make it count.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

In Your Quest for Success, Don’t Overlook the Classics

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

I read a post yesterday that said, “if the only thing you can think to say is ‘good morning’ we can’t be friends.” Wow. That cut deep. Guess I’ve been doing this all wrong. I mean, okay, that’s not your typical greeting in a funeral home, but can you cut me some slack? It comes from the heart.

I’ve often wondered if it bothers anybody that the first two words of my daily posts and the last eight are always the same. If you don’t know, you’ll have to read to the end to find out. That’s what corporate America calls suggestive selling. “Want some fries to go with that bucket of paint?” Well, you get the idea.

Okay, first things first. You don’t EVER have to ask me if I want fries. That’s like asking if I want cheese on my cheeseburger or a fork with my soup. Both have happened. It’s like, “Yeah, I want cheese, but on the side.” Here’s a tip – don’t ever tell them you want your cheese on the side, because that’s the one thing they’ll get right. And it’ll actually be melted.

Wow, that went off-course fast. Back to my original train of thought – saying good morning. I guess I understand the sentiment behind that meme. It’s like seeing an old friend on the street and saying, “Yo, how’s it going?” How’s what going? And do you really even care? Or are you just uttering a few blank words to get them to acknowledge your presence?

“Can’t you think of anything a little more original?” That’s a rather brusque way of saying, “I’ve heard that one before.” Well, aren’t you the perfect example of worldly knowledge? Heard that one before, huh? Maybe more than one person wanted to wish you a nice day. Oh, the horror! Can just one person blow a raspberry in my face and kick me in the shins as they walk past?

We like originality. It shows a creative spirit, not to mention the little bit of extra thought that goes into crafting a more personalized greeting. But, come on. How many times have you watched the same movie? If you watch cable TV, you do it all the time. Especially this year when Covid has all but shut down Hollywood. We’ll be seeing reruns for years.

And sometimes, the old classics are still the best. To date, nobody has tried to do a remake of Gone With the Wind or The Sound of Music. Want to know why? They were awesome the first time around, and they’re just as entertaining today as they were fifty-plus years ago. And any attempt to make them better would likely result in a box-office flop.

The same is true of a lot of things in life. Like advice, for instance. Look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t take candy from strangers. Don’t golf in a lightning storm. And always wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident. Okay, that last one was more for mom’s self-esteem, but you get the idea. Old ideas don’t always go out of style.

Yet, when somebody says they have a dream, and in order to achieve that dream they need a little extra income, what happens when you suggest one of the time-proven classics? “Oh, I’m not doing THAT! I had a cousin who tried that one. I want to come up with something on my own. Or maybe I’ll take your idea and make it even better!”

There’s nothing wrong with originality. It’s what got us to where we are today – somebody looking at the status quo and saying, “There has to be a better way.” But you know, all these centuries later, round wheels are still the best and heartfelt greetings are still a good way to start the day. Some things are just fine the way they are.

The question, then, becomes whether we’re willing to stick with the tried and true when it best suits our purposes, even if others think it’s lame. There are lots of roads leading to any destination, but there’s always one that’s faster, smoother, and easier. And odds are, you won’t be the first person to discover it. But what’s more important? The destination or your ego?

Don’t look past opportunity because you didn’t dream it up. Most opportunities in life are somebody else’s idea, and you may know several people who tried and failed. Thomas Edison knew a few. So did Madame Curie. They succeeded where many others had failed. And it wasn’t because they invented something new. They just made the most of what was already there.

If others have found success in something, so can you. Sure, you can blaze your own trail and name it after yourself when you get there. Or you can follow a path others have laid out for you and enjoy the destination that much sooner. The choice is up to you.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved