Are Your Dreams Keeping Up With Your Age?

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

Today is my youngest grandson’s birthday. He’s five, and all that that implies. I called this morning to sing happy birthday, but not before I had him checking for chest hair. He’s pretty sure he’s all grown up.

And you know, I remember times in my life at various ages where I was pretty sure I was grown up. Like in first grade, when I was in “real” school and discovered an affinity for girls. I had similar feelings of maturity just about every year in school. And it doesn’t stop there. I sometimes even feel grown up today. I know. Delusions are just a normal part of life.

But when you think about it, everything is relative. To me, the little guy is just five. He’s only aged a year since his last birthday – that’s 1/62 of my life (so far, thank you). But to him, he’s aged by 25%. That’s a pretty huge jump. With each year that change is a little less dramatic until you’re in your 60s and it’s just another day.

Okay, first things first – every birthday should be a celebration. Yes, it’s just another day. One out of 366 (it’s leap year). But it’s still a special day and we should take advantage of that opportunity to make the birthday boy or girl feel special. It’s just a simple way of letting them know we’re happy they’re a part of our life. We should all do that a little more often.

And I know a lot of people don’t really want the attention, or at least they say they don’t. One of my daughters loves having the entire restaurant staff sing happy birthday, and the other dares us to let anybody know. Oh well, we’re the parents and embarrassing our kids in public is our God-given right.

But I get it. After a certain number of birthdays, the parties and cake are just fluff. And at my age, nobody would dare put that many candles on a cake, because it would collapse under the weight. You’d need a blowtorch to get them all lit and I’d need a bottle of oxygen to blow them all out. And you know what happens when you blow oxygen on a fire. There goes the house.

One of the blessings of having so many birthdays is that we don’t feel that much older each year. One of the downfalls is that we don’t feel that much older each year. It’s like taking a 1000-mile trip. You don’t notice every milepost along the way. But each “Welcome to our State” sign is a big deal, and there’s nothing quite like reaching your destination.

It’s the same in life. You don’t really notice each new wrinkle or age spot, but one day you wake up and realize an old person’s body has taken over your own. I notice it every time I get a haircut, because the barber stands behind me throwing somebody else’s gray hair all over the floor. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

It’s hard to see gradual change. Every day, things look pretty much the same as they did yesterday. And because we don’t notice the change, we don’t notice the lack of change. By this point in my life, I was supposed to be happily retired and living the good life. But somehow, I’ve allowed age to progress without much movement toward that dream. How about you?

Time moves on. That’s one of life’s certainties. And it happens whether we’re ready for it or not. It’s like looking at the calendar and realizing the bills are due or you’ve got a final exam today. Nothing changes the reality of those situations – not even burning the calendar. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Are there personal goals you’d hoped to accomplish by now? The correct answer is yes. So, here’s the real question – for those goals you’ve missed, is it all over or can you set a new date and try again? Or maybe you can modify the goal just a bit. That’s okay, as long as it’s still your dream and not what life decided to let you have.

All through life, we trim our dreams to match our reality. Whether that reality is constrained by age, education, income, or physical limitations, redefining dreams is something we do a lot. But we should never just let those dreams die. The key is finding ways to work around those limitations to enjoy life on our own terms.

You can’t stop time, but you can manage it. No matter how old you are, you still have time to dream and to accomplish those dreams. Put some of that time to work for you. There’s no telling what you might accomplish.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Pull the Weeds and Feed Your Dreams

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

I just had the most relaxing weekend ever. Friday evening my son-in-law came over with a chainsaw and we started some “tree” removal in the back yard. Okay, these weren’t technically trees. They were weeds that somebody ignored for several years until they were twenty feet high with a stem six inches in diameter. And that somebody would be me. There, I said it.

Saturday my pool of available help decreased by a third, so I had to go rent a chainsaw to finish the job. While I was at it, I decided to remove all the shrubs and a tall evergreen from the front of the house. And two more of those weeds on steroids. Actually, one of them really was a tree.

I was almost finished when the chainsaw started smoking and stopped spinning, so yesterday I took my reciprocating saw out to finish the rest. It’s done. Okay, it’s piled up across the front of the house in the flower bed that hasn’t had flowers for the past 17 years, waiting for my grandson to come over with his truck and haul it off. The neighbors are so happy.

I also managed to finish off my left shoulder and lower back. But my Fitbit says I burned about 17,000 calories, so I really expected to step on the scale this morning and get a pleasant surprise. Yeah. I gained two pounds. Surprise!

This is a job I needed to do two years ago. You know, before my back problems were diagnosed. Actually, I should have taken care of it the moment I saw a three-foot weed growing through the fence, and another one with maple leaves growing right next to the basement wall. They’re easy to pull up at that point. A year later they have roots. Deep roots.

They say when you look at an iceberg, you can only see 1/3, because the other 2/3 is underwater. Well, that’s pretty much the way it is with weeds. And if you don’t get the entire root – if you leave just one sliver – it’s coming back with a vengeance. I’m pretty sure these “trees” I cut down will have fresh sprouts by this weekend.

As I look around the house, I see lots of things I’ve been planning to take care of for the past 14 years. You know how it goes. The first weekend it rains. The next weekend you visit friends. A week later, you take a drive in the country. And a week after that, it’s raining again. Before you know it, the year is 2020 and the list is still growing. Just like the weeds.

But one day fate steps in and says, “You’re going to do this, and you’re going to do it now.” Our toilet has been a little loose on the floor. I knew what the problem was. The bolts were corroded, and the plastic flange was cracked. And I kept saying, “I need to fix that.” Well, Friday it spoke up for me in a voice that sounded like dripping water coming from under the toilet.

And you know, when these things happen, we suddenly find the time to do what needs to be done. But when it comes to our dreams, the things we desperately want for ourselves, the answer is usually the same … “One of these days.”

I often think about one of the first riddles I ever learned. What day never comes? Tomorrow. Because when tomorrow comes, it’s today. Oh, I laughed hard at that one. Okay, I was six. But at that age, I learned what should have been a lesson for life. Tomorrow never comes. And it’s the same with all those things you said you’ll do “one of these days.”

Today is the day. Do it now. Make time. Okay, so there are things you just can’t do right now. But I’m pretty sure there are other things that’ll get in the way later. A leaky toilet always takes precedence over your dreams. Count on it.

Pull the weeds before they become trees and fix the toilet at the first sign of trouble. It’ll save you a lot of time and expense later and leave you that much more time to work on your dreams. We have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and 8,760 hours in a year. You can spend that time living the dream or cutting down trees. The choice is yours.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

It Ain’t Over Until You Quit

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

A friend at work once asked, “What time do you get out of bed in the morning?” She was referring to the fact that, by the time she woke up, she already had a morning post from me. Back then, I was getting up at 5:00 every day. Now, I’m lucky to be up by 7:30. I’d like to say it’s because I work so hard and need more sleep. But we all know the truth, now don’t we?

Last week I was writing to you from the heart of the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was a beautiful campground with amazing scenery. And most of the week, the weather was perfect. Made it hard to stay inside and work all day, but the bank says I have to keep putting money in if I want to keep taking it out. They’re picky like that.

We did get to the pool most afternoons, and I was able to spend a little time over lunch getting some sun in the hammock. Now, if you want something to jump-start your amusement today, picture me getting into a net-mesh bed that pivots at each end. Have you ever watched people at the carnival trying to climb a horizontal rope ladder? The neighbors thought it was funny.

As I quickly learned, there’s an art to getting in and out of a hammock. Well, getting out is pretty easy. It happens when you least expect it, with no effort whatsoever. But unlike cats, people don’t always land on their feet. Thud!

It would have been easy to just leave it sitting there for the next victim, but I wanted some sun and stretching out on the patio just isn’t my cup of tea. Besides, I’ve learned one of life’s brutal truths – at this age, getting down on the ground is a long-term commitment. Might as well change the oil while I’m there, because I’m not getting back up any time soon.

But when there’s a will, there’s a way. And, if you’re lucky, a much younger granddaughter to show you how it’s done. Sit in the middle, let it stop moving, then very slowly rotate sideways and lie back. Then shift to the middle because you’re still not centered and when you’re packing this much weight, there’s not much room for error. I finally got it right.

It’s that way with a lot of things. You see something that looks simple, maybe too simple, and think, “I can do this!” Well, you can. It just may take some practice. That’s the whole premise of those carnival games, where a carnie with six teeth and an IQ to match shows you over and over how easy it is. And $100 later, you finally realize there may be a secret he’s not telling you.

The thing is, once you learn that secret, it really IS simple. Sometimes, the hardest part is just trusting our instincts and not overthinking it. A business friend and mentor tells me all the time, it’s simple but it’s not easy. And he’s right. The concept is so simple, anybody can do it. But making that concept work takes effort.

And, like getting down on the ground at this age, it takes a little of that long-term commitment. All too often, we find something that could lead us to our dreams, but when the money doesn’t start rolling in within a few days, we quit. “That just doesn’t work.” Yes, it does. But it only works if you do. Off-ramps are plenty, and the moment you take one, it’s all over.

All through life, there are flashing signs that say, “Exit here!” They pop up at every hint of failure and keep flashing until we turn them off or just ignore them and keep driving. And once you drive past, the flashing stops. You can’t see it anymore. Sure, there will be another sign down the road. Lots of ‘em. But as long as you keep your eye on the goal, they’re just glitter along the way.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Don’t Just Visualize Your Dreams – Get Pictures!

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

I’m writing to you today from a tropical beach, complete with palm trees, coconuts, a salty breeze, and wooden lounge chairs just beckoning me to come lie in the sun. That’s my view right now. Okay, if my mouse pad was a little larger. You know, like large enough to cover an entire window. Sometimes we have to take what we’ve got and add a little imagination.

I know what you’re thinking. Mouse pad? Do people still use those? Bet he hears screeching tones when he connects to the internet! Yes, I get it. I’m old. Well, old enough. But the fact is, the RV tabletop is too shiny for the mouse to work right, so my wife bought me an old-fashioned mouse pad from the ‘80s to go with my black knee socks and sandals. So there.

If you’ve been reading these messages any time at all, you know I’m a big proponent of using visual images to feed your dreams. And if you know that, you know how much I yearn for a sunny beach. Jimmy Buffett said it best. “Salt air, it ain’t thin … it’ll stick right to your skin, makes you feel fine.” Yes, it does. And I need me some. Next trip.

You probably already know this, but our mind thinks in pictures. Even in conversation, if somebody mentions another person’s name, you immediately see their face. If they mention work, you see your cubicle or toolbox. And if they mention Paris, you see the Eiffel Tower. Well, people don’t talk about the beach often enough, so I carry a picture of my own to keep it fresh.

Keep those pictures where you’ll see them all through the day, and the dream stays fresh as well. I kept a picture of a motorhome on my desk for almost five years. Now I’m looking through the window. Don’t worry, it’s mine. You can get in a lot of trouble looking through somebody else’s window. Don’t ask me how I know that.

But, as I’ve mentioned before, the motorhome isn’t really the dream – it’s the means to achieve the dream, which is to travel across this nation and wake up each morning to a different view. It’s to take the grandkids on vacations they’ll never forget, and to explore places we’ve never been. And it’s to figure out where we want to retire. Or should I say, on which beach?

See, that’s the fun thing about dreams. They don’t have to be realistic. I know how much it costs to live on the beach, and the bank says that’s not happening any time soon. Well, the bank doesn’t care, but the people selling beachfront property might. Still, it’s not like you can’t make a little more money. Or a lot. When there’s a will, there’s a way.

There are campgrounds in this country that cost as much per night as I typically spend for a week. And they’re full of people who probably didn’t bat an eye at the amount. It’s all a matter of perspective. If a hamburger is what you can afford, a steak is astronomical. And if a steak is what you can afford, there are still restaurants whose prices will make you choke.

But that doesn’t, or shouldn’t, stop you from dreaming. As long as money itself isn’t the dream. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a nicer house, a nicer car, a bigger boat, or even a better cut of meat. Granted, all of those things pale in comparison to what matters most in life, but nothing says you can’t live it up along the way. Just keep it in perspective.

Pictures feed dreams. Now, I don’t have a picture of steak and lobster on my wall, but if somebody suggests it I can conjure up an image really quick. What I do have are travel books and RV campground guides to feed those dreams. Besides, no matter where I go, I can get just about any kind of food I want. Getting there is the first priority.

Next time you see a picture of something you’d like to enjoy, cut it out and put it where you can see it every day. The more you look at it, the more real it begins to feel. And when it begins to feel real – even possible – you begin to find ways to make it happen. Ways you may never have imagined. Odds are, nobody else did, either. Which makes the road that much faster for you.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

If You’re Capable of Dreaming It, You’re Qualified to Achieve It

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

Have you ever picked up a book and, in the first paragraph, you find a typo? By the end of page one, you find several more. Sentences started in lower case, words run together with no spacing, the same word twice in a row, and a few misspellings to round things out. It’s like watching my grandson cut grass when he’s in a hurry. And the end result is just as appealing.

I just started reading a motivational book on a premise I find both intriguing and insightful. It’s 51 pages long, so it should be an easy read. But the text is too large, it’s jammed into small margins, spacing is horrendous, and on the very first page it contains every one of those blunders I described. It’s like listening to Roseanne Barr sing the National Anthem.

I wonder sometimes if I’m just too picky. In all honesty, that theory has been suggested once or twice over the years. And, in all fairness, the writer’s message is sound. Reading the Bible isn’t always so easy either, but there are words in there we all need to hear. Sometimes the message is more important than the presentation. This is probably one of those times.

As a beginning writer, I often struggled with the realization that I had no formal qualifications to be a writer. I remember discussing it with a friend one time at a writing conference. She asked, “Do you ever feel like we’re just faking it?” Every single day. Because writing, like most art forms, comes down to one essential question – does anybody appreciate your work?

If so, you can call yourself a writer, an actor, a singer, a comedian, an artist –whatever passion you’ve chosen to pursue, because it’ all about public perception of your talent. And until public perception matches your own, there’s always a detour around those who would stand in your way. It’s called “Fake it till you make it.”

I’ve often said when I write my first book, it’ll be self-published. I have my reasons. First, it’s nearly impossible for an unknown author to get a publishing contract. If you do, it takes nearly two years to get your book in print. Then, if you want the book to sell, you have to get out there and sell it yourself. Well, if I have to write the book AND sell it, I should make most of the money. Right?

But there’s a downside to that as well. It’s easier to get a publisher for your first book than it is to sell a self-published book to a bookstore. There’s a stigma associated with self-published books, and for good reason. Important steps like editing, interior layout, and cover design are often omitted or amateurish. And the writing quality is often just as bad.

That said, some of the most successful books in existence were originally self-published. And many of today’s top writers earned their reputation the same way – by believing in themselves enough to invest in themselves, and then putting it all on the line. Somewhere along the way, somebody picked up one of those books and said, “Hey! This is really good!”

The same is true with many things in life. Nobody took Harlan Sanders seriously when he set out across the country to convince gas stations to sell his secret recipe fried chicken. In fact, his own family laughed at him. “The old man is nuts! He’s not even remotely qualified for this!” Well, you know the rest of the story. Maybe qualifications aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Have you ever been presented with an opportunity, one that has the potential to change your life, and talked yourself out of it because you didn’t feel qualified? Or maybe you did, but couldn’t find anybody to give you the backing you need because you lacked experience? For every business, every career, and every job, somebody was the first to give it a try. Every single one.

You should always arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before starting a new venture, but never let lack of experience or formal qualifications stand in the way. Get what you need the best way you can, and learn the rest as you go. Sure, you’ll make mistakes. We all do. But the greatest mistake you’ll ever make is giving up on your dreams.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Sure, it’s What You Do … But is it Getting You Where You Want to Be?

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

Yesterday, my four-year-old grandson decided he didn’t need a nap. After all, he’s “almost five!” Never mind that his six-year-old sister was on the couch next to him sawing logs. You don’t have to tell that little girl to take a nap. She looks forward to it. And woe be to the person who tries to wake her up. With that little lady, you let her come around in her own sweet time.

Naturally, by early evening the lack of sleep was starting to manifest itself with horns and a forked tail. I even warned him that would happen. “What happens when you don’t sleep? You get tired, and then you start doing things you shouldn’t, and then you get in trouble.” His solution for that is pretty simple – look the other way. Then everybody’s happy.

It’s all about habits, or what we’re used to doing on a regular basis, often without even thinking about it. I touched on habits yesterday. It was easy getting into the habit of getting up a little earlier and writing a morning message. And it was just as easy getting into the habit of sleeping a little later and saying, “maybe tomorrow.” In fact, that one didn’t take any effort at all.

Habits are like that. They don’t even care if you’re doing the right thing or not. They just care about doing the same thing the same way, every single day. And not for any good reason other than, “That’s what I do!” As a business analyst, I constantly challenge that kind of thinking. Do you do it this way because it’s the best way, or because that’s the way you’ve always done it?

When I quit smoking, my first thought was, “What will I do after dinner?” I always had a cigarette. Well, that one was easy. I just never stopped eating. Twenty-two years later, the proof is hanging in my closet. A friend suggested I’d be equally lost for something to do after … you know. Let’s just say that one doesn’t work like eating. Believe me, I tried.

I’ve suggested in the past that habits are easy to form and even easier to break. But I guess that depends on the habit. If it’s something good you need to start doing, those can be the hardest habits to form. Likewise, if it’s something enjoyable you need to stop doing, those are the hardest habits to break. On the other hand, I stopped talking back to Mom in one try. I had help.

You can form (or break) any habit in 21 days. That’s not to say the behavior will become so ingrained in you that you can’t possibly do anything else, and there will be days when you still struggle with it. But in a matter of three weeks, you can repeat a behavior often enough that it becomes the default response to a given situation. After that, it becomes easy.

I’ll be writing more on this in the coming months. In fact, I may write a book on it. Because the one thing that stops us from modifying our habits is fear. How will I ever do this? It’ll take forever! Well, when we put fear aside, great things happen. Unless somebody triple-dog dares you and your response is, “Hold my beer!” I’ve seen those videos. They’re not pretty.

But that aside, if there’s something you want to change, all it takes is 21 days. Or less if my Mom is the motivating force. All you have to do is decide what you want to change, and why. Get that firm in your mind, and the rest is easy. And you can do anything for three weeks. Almost. Once those three weeks are over, it’s a simple matter of lather, rinse, and repeat.

Which habits are keeping you from reaching your dreams? Which habits would bring you closer? If what you’re doing now isn’t getting you where you need to be, then something has to change. Don’t let that change alter your dream. You can accomplish pretty much anything you want, if you want it badly enough. Start with the habits and let’s check back in a few weeks.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You’ll Never Have More Time Than You Do Now

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

A friend from the Republic of Georgia once asked me what “Hump Day” means. We come across these expressions and think everybody knows what they mean, but that’s not always the case. And, with an international audience, it taught me to pay a little closer attention to the jargon I use. Simply put, it’s the day ogres like me groom the hair on our humped back.

Okay, I’m kidding. My humped back isn’t from being an ogre. That just keeps other people away from me. Six months ago they called that repulsion – now it’s social distancing. Kinda like used cars are called pre-owned automobiles and house trailers are mobile homes. It’s all in the packaging. Hump Day is just the middle of the week – we’re over the hump and the weekend is coming.

It’s funny how we spend five days longing for the weekend, just to spend that time recuperating from the week that got us there. Oh, we have plans. We start making them the weekend before. You know, when we were going to be doing something fun, but the weather wasn’t perfect and there was work to be done and we had to go shopping and … yeah. Been there.

Besides, we were tired! It was a long week and we needed the rest. That’s our excuse every time we don’t do the things we wanted to do. “I’m too tired.” I hear that a lot from people as they’re explaining why they’re not doing anything about their dreams. Oh, they’ll get to it someday. You know, later in life when they’re not so tired all the time.

It’s like we think we’ll magically go over some imaginary hump a few years down the road and automatically have all this extra time and energy on our hands. “After this project ends.” “After the holidays.” “After we get moved into a new house.” “After the kids move out of this one.” Color me stupid, but that just sounds like a whole bunch of excuses.

And the truth is, we all get started on these things at pretty much the same point in life – after it becomes important enough to do something about it. The problem is, that point never comes for many of us, and when it does, it often comes in the form of a foreclosure letter or being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Now it’s important! Now we have to do something about it.

We all have to set our own priorities. I tried to stop smoking several times over a period of 23 years. Every time my wife or doctor begged me to stop, I tried. Well, not every time. But it wasn’t until the day I woke up and couldn’t breathe for two hours that I finally gave them up for good. That was 22 years ago. Thankfully, I did it soon enough to enjoy the benefits.  

But that illustrates my point pretty well. We have plans, things we’d like to do. And we always have the best of intentions. “One of these days …” Sound familiar? “When I retire …” That’s a convenient time because nobody can really define when that’ll be. Besides, we may not even live that long. Sure would suck to do all that work for nothing. Wow. How do you argue with that?

So, here’s a novel idea. How about making retirement come a little sooner? How about getting started on the things you want to do now so you’ll have more time to enjoy them? Let me clue you in. I don’t care how old (or young) you are, you will never have more time and more energy than you have right now. Never. This is as good as it gets. It’s all downhill from here.

If that sounds a little grim, it’s supposed to. These may not be the best days of your life, for any variety of reasons. But there will never be a better day to start making your days better. Sure, you’re tired. You have a lot on your plate. And who has the money anyway? I get it. We’re all tired. We all have a lot on our plate, and money is always tight. Get over it.

Tough words, I know. But time is marching on. Today is Hump Day – for this week, and for the rest of your life. We’re all cresting a hill, and we can either put our foot on the accelerator or let the forces of nature take control. We’ll reach the bottom either way. The question is, will we still have the time and energy to keep going once we get there?

Make today count. Put aside your ego. Rearrange your schedule. Open your mind to new ideas. To have something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. And the sooner you get started, the sooner you can start enjoying the life of your dreams.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Well, You’ve Got It … Now What?

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

My wife and I just joined an online RV owners’ group. It’s a great way to see what everybody else is doing this summer while ours is in the shop. There’s pictures, stories, and recipes guaranteed to clog your arteries just by reading them. If nothing else, we’re building a fairly sizeable list of all the places we want to go. You know … when the work is done.

We knew with a brand-new RV, things would need adjustment. I didn’t count on the valance over the dining room window crashing down while I was driving, but that’s all part of the experience. So, the dealer says. It woke me up. Every time we hit the road we find something else that needs to be fixed. And with every trip to the shop, we find something else they missed.

Actually, I think they’re probably doing a better job this time. Last time we took it in, the repairs were done in a few hours. This time, I introduced the service manager to Dave. I’m not an overly demanding person, but I do expect things to be done right. Especially knowing that, sooner or later, I’ll be sleeping under the valance that’s hanging over the couch. It’s inevitable.

It’s been in a little over a week this time, and we’ve used the time to pick up a few more items that we need for long-term camping. You know, towels, tools, and an antenna for the satellite radio that was factory-installed without an antenna. Oh, they would have installed one at delivery, but it would have cost more than a month in a beachfront RV resort. I can do it for six bucks.

We’ve also used the time to start thinking about where we want to go next. That’s the fun part of having something that can go pretty much anywhere. Except Hawaii. That bridge still isn’t done. But, within the limits of the AT&T coverage map (I still have to earn a living), we can go wherever there are roads. Paved roads. Reasonably level paved roads. And wide. Really wide.

Handing me a map is like handing a kid twenty dollars and turning them loose in a penny candy store. Okay, I’m showing my age. Penny candy stores are about as common as a Waffle House with no health code violations. But you get the idea. There are just so many places to go, each one better than the last. Until you get there, but that’s why God made RVs with wheels.

I was telling some friends a couple of months ago that the RV has been a dream for several years. But once we got it, I realized the RV itself wasn’t the dream – it was the means by which we can achieve an even greater dream. It’s a vehicle to get us where we want to go, and a bed to sleep in when we get there. All the rest is fluff. Including that dining room window valance.

And the thing is, we dreamed about that motorhome until it finally occurred to us why we wanted it so badly. It’s not enough to know what you want – you have to know why you want it. Once you’ve figured that out, and can put your focus on the “why,” you’re that much closer to making it happen. So close, in fact, that all you have to do is reach out and grab it.

Okay, so there’s a little work involved. There’s work involved in everything, including … well, work. We do it every day, whether it’s around the house or around the office. There’s no escaping work. The key is to find something worth working for.

We’ll always work for the essentials, like food, shelter, and bourbon. But when you find something you want badly enough to do a little extra work, you don’t even mind doing it. In fact, you look for excuses to do more. And isn’t that what work should be? Yes, take care of your job and pay the bills. But come on, there’s more to life than just that!

So, for us, the dream has shifted from buying an RV to getting it out of the shop and on the road. A month ago, I said I wanted to spend more on camping fees than storage fees. After our last trip, I can amend that to say I want to spend more on camping fees than gas. That means finding someplace nice and staying a while. Yes, it’s a dream. It’s our dream. What’s yours?

Before you go to bed tonight, take a few moments to think about the things that excite you. Then dig a little deeper and ask yourself why. When you can put your finger on the reason for your dreams, you’ll find the way to make them happen.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

What’s a Bed of Roses Without a Few Thorns?

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

There have been several segments on the news this week about a sudden boom in the RV business, in both sales and rentals. It seems people have figured out that open air just may be good for you, not to mention a little bit of recreational exercise. Besides, most campsites are a little more than six feet apart.

I think this may be the first time in my life when I was actually ahead of a trend. Not by much, mind you, but enough to convince a salesman that the winter months may not be the best time to hold out for a higher price. We got a pretty sweet deal and were still able to find enough toilet paper for a weekend outing. You’d think they could have thrown that in.

As we near the completion of our first full week on the road, I have to say I couldn’t be happier with our new lifestyle. I’ve figured out this whole setup thing and can now have us leveled and hooked up in fifteen minutes. And, after a little over 2000 miles, my wife thinks I’m a fairly decent driver. That last one is nothing short of a miracle.

Sure, it’s not the same as living in a house. It’s more confined, the air conditioners are a little louder, you can’t take a Hollywood shower, and the spin cycle on the washing machine shakes the whole house. But the scenery is a lot more enjoyable and if you don’t like your neighbors, it’s only temporary. I can live with a few minor inconveniences.

Sometimes, it takes a crisis to make us appreciate the simple things. Okay, an RV may not be one of life’s simple pleasures, but it is one way to become a little more grounded and shake off some of the daily stress. It’s about families enjoying one another instead of the TV. It’s about bonding with nature and breathing fresh air. And it’s about emptying tanks full of stuff we’d rather not think about.

With anything, you take the bad with the good. For myself, pulling a valve every couple of days to empty a tank beats mowing the lawn, so I’m not complaining. But there is no change we can make in our lives that won’t come with some inconvenience. The question is whether the sacrifice is worth the gain.

And it’s that way with anything you do. A bigger house means more cleaning and maintenance. A new car means bigger monthly payments. A business means giving up some of your free time. And a boat, I’m told, is a hole in the water you throw money into. I get that completely. Our new lifestyle certainly isn’t cheap. But it’s simplistic, if that makes any sense.

Life is short, my friends. If there are things you want to do, waiting around won’t make them any easier to achieve. Besides, there’s something to be said for doing things while you’re young enough and healthy enough to enjoy them. The longer you wait, the greater the chance it’ll never happen.

That doesn’t mean you chuck it all and go for broke. But figure out what needs to be done and get moving. It may take ten years. So what? Wouldn’t you rather get those ten years out of the way now? I’ve mentioned before how hard it is for me to envision getting to my goal weight by losing a pound a week. “At that rate, it’ll take two years!” Ah, but if I’d started two years ago …

Set a goal. Work toward it. Understand and accept the sacrifices and be sure you’re willing to make them. Test the water if you can. It may be as easy as putting half your wardrobe in storage or turning off the TV a couple of hours every night to read a motivational book. Some sacrifices are simpler than others. But they can also be the hardest ones to make.

I’m fairly certain a lot of these new RV owners will be like the New Year’s crowd in the local gym, or the hundreds of thousands who start a new business every year. It’ll be fun for a while, but at some point, reality will check in. And that’s okay. They’re learning. And they’re gaining a better perspective on which dreams they want to chase, and which ones they’ll leave for somebody else.

You never know unless you try. I’ve been married for 40 years because I took a chance. And those 40 years have been a learning experience of their own. There were times we wanted to drain the tanks and move on. But the sacrifices have been worth the result. Define your dreams, make the sacrifices, and reach for the stars. We’re only here for a short time. You might as well enjoy it.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You Can’t Have Green Grass Without a Little Bit of Poop

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

You know how you buy something, hoping you’ll never need it, but you think it’s a good idea anyway? Like car insurance. Nobody wants to use car insurance. We hope we’ll never need it. But it’s one of those necessary evils. Too bad the deductible is more expensive than the window some idiot shot out with a BB gun. For that matter, it’s more than the value of the whole car.

Well, I got through the weekend without having to call a claims adjuster. But I do remember telling my wife about a month ago that we should buy a first aid kit for the RV. Because, accidents happen. Especially when a clod like me is walking along, looking down at the ground, completely oblivious to the bedroom slide that’s sticking out right in front of his head. WHAM!!!

I didn’t knock myself out, but I did have to re-level the coach after I picked myself up. It’s not like I hit the corner from not stepping far enough to the side. That would be too easy. No, I walked right into this thing full speed ahead. There’s a gear track along the side that’s used for opening and closing the slide. The top of my head has six perfectly spaced holes to match that gear.

On a positive note, it did get me out of making the bed that morning. Small victory, but that’s a tough job. You’d think somebody would invent some kind of tongs to grab the sheets and blanket and tuck them into a crevice three feet beyond the reach of any normal human being. I’m thinking a fireplace poker may get the job done. But only if she’s not watching.

Right about now, some of you are racing through your brain to come up with some kind of bed-making solution that every RV owner on the planet will pay big bucks to buy. All I ask is that you send me a free prototype since I’m the one who gave you the idea.

The whole purpose of this outing was to simply run the coach through its paces, make sure everything works, and figure out what we still need to buy. I did get it weighed yesterday, and we’ve got another 1200 pounds to go before we start overloading the suspension. I’m not sure how that translates into shopping dollars, but I have a feeling we’ll find out.

One thing I haven’t been able to figure out yet is our dog. He loves to go for a walk, and he marks every tree, shrub, stop sign, fire hydrant, and tall weed along the way. No inhibitions whatsoever. Until it’s time to poop. He still hasn’t figured out that it’s okay to do that on a leash. Well, not ON the leash, but you get the idea. I’m thinking a fireplace poker … never mind.

Yes, with men it all comes down to fires and the implements that allow us to create and exercise dominion over them. With my wife, it’s about placemats and bedspreads and napkins and rugs and vacuum cleaners and how do I manage to track in so much dirt every time I walk inside? Um, because it’s there. Duh!

Every new adventure comes with new challenges, new joys, new heartaches, and apparently, the occasional injury. The alternative, of course, is to never try anything different. But that means never knowing what might have been. Every married couple tried something new. Every parent took a risk. Everybody who has ever been employed gave it a shot.

Life is about opening doors to see what’s on the other side. It’s about setting goals and chasing dreams. And it’s about accepting the risk that things won’t always be just perfect. But it’s in those moments of imperfection that we find a spark of creativity to solve life’s most difficult challenges. Like making a bed that was never intended to be made.

Unless we’re willing to accept those moments of imperfection and the risks they present, we’re destined to stay right where we are for the remainder of our lives. To most of us, that’s a risk we’re not willing to take. We do want more. We want to accomplish more. And the only way to do that is to stretch your boundaries and try something completely new.

You were born to thrive, not just survive. Make the most of every moment, and never let an opportunity slip past. It may not be the opportunity you were hoping for, but it may be just the one you need. And isn’t that what really matters?

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved