Sunrise Always Follows Darkness

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

Yesterday was an unseasonably mild day here in Ohio. Aside from the rain, which is typical this time of year. But with temperatures in the upper 50s, it was at least bearable. But according to the weatherman, we’ll pay for that breather today, kinda like going back to work after a three-day weekend. Oh well, we didn’t really expect it to last, right?

Sometimes, life works much the same way. About the time you think things are going really well and you’ve had a streak of good fortune, something comes along to knock the wind out of your sails and remind you that the path isn’t always easy. It may be financial, health related, job troubles, or challenges in a relationship. And when it happens, it can make you forget all about those good times.

It’s just life’s way of reminding us that we’re still alive. I often look at my dog and think how easy his life must be. All he has to do is eat, sleep, poop, and bark at the mailman. But his unbounded excitement when I walk in the door is a reminder that his life isn’t a bed of roses. He has to deal with his share of disappointment as well, every time we leave the house. To him, it must be heartbreaking.

Every now and then, I have visions of one of my daughters in tears because her balloon popped. I can’t remember which of my girls it was – probably both of them at some point – but at that moment, her little heart was shattered. Sure, we got a heartfelt chuckle our of it and there were hugs of reassurance. But it was a simpler time when problems were solved by simply kissing away the tears.

I can recall times when my balloon popped, and I’m sure you can as well. At that moment, you feel the weight of the entire world. It happens in an instant, and it’s something nobody can fix. You wonder what went wrong. Maybe you squeezed too hard. Maybe you bounced it too high or let it hit the wrong spot on the floor. Maybe you didn’t love it enough. Regardless, the end result is the same.

There was a time when doctors would start a newborn baby’s breathing with a swift slap on the behind. Imagine the shock, when you’ve spent your entire life in a warm, cozy place with nothing more than soft sounds and an occasional caress to tickle your senses. All of a sudden, you’re thrust into a cold room filled with bright lights, and somebody gives you a smack just for the fun of it.

Thankfully, doctors have figured out that they don’t have to smack a baby’s butt to make it cry. But to everybody in the room, the sound of crying is the most welcome sound they can hear. Because you can’t cry without breathing. You have to take air in to support the next wail, and in the process,  you give your body the oxygen it needs to survive.

Granted, there are much more pleasurable ways of exchanging oxygen. And hopefully we spend most of our lives doing it the easy way. But disappointment, even heartbreak, is simply a sign that we’re still alive. And as long as we’re still alive, there’s hope of a brighter tomorrow. It may not feel that way at the moment. But as the old saying goes, this too shall pass.

Life is full of disappointments. But it’s also full of joys and excitement. I’ve often said we sometimes need the bad days to help us appreciate the good. Even for my dog who pretty much has life made, his excitement at watching me walk through the door is directly proportional to the amount of time I’ve been gone. It’s the down times that make us treasure the good even more.

All through your life, there will be moments of joy and sorrow. You can’t have one without the other. And just as surely as joy will someday bring tears, those tears will eventually give way to happiness. Remember, you can’t cry without breathing. And as long as you’re still breathing, better days lie ahead. You may never forget the hurt, but you’ll be that much stronger in the end.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

It’s a Brand-New Day

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

Yesterday was one of those days for me that I hope not to repeat any time soon. It happens. And it was nothing major. Just a lot of work on tight deadlines with no common understanding of the processes involved, accented by a couple of disappointments that normally would have been no big deal. But as I said, it happens. We dust ourselves off and move on.

It’s easy to get discouraged when you have days like that. If it happens a few days in a row, it can skew your perception to the point that you get up in the morning expecting a frustrating day at work. And that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Little things that would normally go unnoticed become just one more piece of a puzzle nobody wants to build. But we do it anyway.

Frustration and disappointment aren’t bad, in and of themselves. It’s our reaction to them that makes the difference between solving an issue or wallowing in it. Most of the conveniences we enjoy each day were made possible because somebody faced adversity and worked through it. Imagine trying to invent a light bulb when none of the homes you intended to light even had electricity.

I’ve often wondered about inventions like radios and TVs. I guess it would be safe to assume that radio stations were built before the first radios were sold. Otherwise, all a radio could have done is generate its own static. And I doubt many people would have lined up to buy that. “But wait! In a year or two, it’ll actually play music!” Yeah. You’d get faster results by getting your kid a guitar.

Which means somebody had to go out on a limb and build a radio station, staff it with a disc jockey and sound engineer, buy records (at least we had the Victrola), and start broadcasting music to … nobody. They had to sit there and pretend somebody was on the receiving end until that first radio was sold. And what if nobody had bought that first radio? Talk about an exercise in futility.

I remember years ago when NASA sent one of its first probes to land on Mars. It was years of design and development, followed by a three-month journey that ended in a brief moment of utter dismay when the probe crashed onto the planet’s surface at almost three times the intended speed. All because the final distance and velocity calculations were in feet instead of meters. Wow.

I can imagine those folks went home hanging their heads that day. All that time, money, and effort, down the drain in a matter of seconds. And I’m sure there was a point where somebody said, “Why isn’t it slowing down?” Imagine being the guy who made those final calculations, watching the scenario unfold as you realized why it was happening. I think I’d need a stiff drink after that.

But those people came back to work the next morning, determined to figure out what went wrong, and to try again. And the next probe landed without incident. With each excursion, we’ve learned more about our nearest celestial neighbor. And I have little doubt that sometime within the next twenty years, a human being will walk on the surface of Mars.

Frustrations are just part of the job. If we face them head-on, we can fix the underlying problems and make life easier tomorrow. Mostly. There will always be issues we just can’t fix, whether it’s because of people, equipment, or the processes involved. But when we fix those things over which we do have control, it makes the other problems a little less troublesome.

When your day just won’t go right, think of the serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I think it’s that last part that has the greatest impact – the wisdom to know the difference. If something is completely beyond your control, let it go. Focus on the things you can control. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for increasing frustration and, sooner or later, a complete breakdown in your relationship with those around you.

I often tell people, “This will be an awesome day! I’ve decreed it, therefore it shall be!” Okay, the forces of nature don’t always recognize my authority in the matter, but it sure sets the tone for how I face my day. Give it a try. It may not make all the problems go away, but it’ll make it a lot easier to clean out the clutter around them. And sometimes, that’s enough.

Whatever happened yesterday is in the past. Let today be a new day. Face each challenge with a fresh mind and spirit. It’ll make the day go better, and you’ll be that much better equipped to solve whatever issues may arise. And with each of those wins, that’s one less problem you’ll face tomorrow.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved