You Can Only Make Mistakes If You Try

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

This weekend, we took the motorhome for a drive. I’d like to tell you we spent the weekend relaxing in some exotic campground, surrounded by nature’s beauty. But the truth is, all we did was drive it back to the dealer for some repairs. Yes, it’s only two months old. Apparently, the people in the factory get in a hurry sometimes and … well, you know.

I knew this before we even went shopping. When you take something with all the features of a house and bounce it down the road, some things settle and others work their way loose. New RVs are notorious for this. Which means it’s not really the RV or the miles bouncing down the road or anything like that. It’s what happens in the factory on Friday afternoon. “Miller time!”

For instance, I turned on the XM radio to find there’s no signal. Apparently the antenna never got hooked up. One of the dash fans didn’t get wired up. And the cover to the wiring panel is lying loose in the electrical bay. These things don’t happen from the road. They happen simply because somebody was in a hurry and didn’t quite finish the job.

It’s funny, when I do that it’s simply a matter of oversight. I was so focused on the job that I missed one minor detail. Give me a minute and I’ll fix it. No big deal. Unless I’m putting new brakes on the car. Then it gets to be a little more serious. But most of those spare parts aren’t needed anyway. Besides, all brakes make that sound when they’re new. Trust me.

I’ve had this conversation with my wife more than once. She’s never there when I’m taking the car apart or splitting my knuckles and smashing my thumb as I gingerly fit stubborn parts together with a six-pound sledgehammer. But the minute I finish, she’s right there inspecting the box of old (and new) parts I’m getting ready to throw away. And she doesn’t miss a thing.

We all tend to cut ourselves some slack when we’ve done the best we can and still miss the mark. But when somebody else is doing the work, we’re not so forgiving. My grandson cut the grass Saturday. He even bagged up all the clippings. It looks great. Except that one spot in the corner of the driveway by the garage. Yes, I pointed it out. He said he’ll get it the next time.

Which is why the RV is sitting outside a service bay at the dealership. Somebody missed a few things, we pointed them out when we took delivery, and they said, “We’ll fix that when you bring it back in.” Who says I want to bring it back in? And I have to be honest. It’s a small list, and nothing of any real significance. Overall, they did a really good job. At least the brakes work.

It’s easy to spot the mistakes in somebody else’s work. We’re good at that. It’s even worse when the job is being done correctly, just not the way you’d do it yourself. “Why are you mowing the grass that way? It’s better if you just go back and forth!” I don’t even watch anymore. I just listen for screams. As long as he can finish with both feet intact, we’re good.

And you know, sometimes we need to be equally forgiving of ourselves. There are things I do every day that I wish I’d done a little differently. As a writer, I don’t like going back to read things I’ve previously written because invariably I find things I could have expressed differently. Not necessarily better – just different. And the more you tweak it, the more you mess it up.

We shouldn’t hold others to a higher standard than we hold ourselves, and the same is true in reverse. Perfection is an elusive and impossible goal. Sure, we should try to be the best we can, and we should expect the same of others. But that means accepting mistakes graciously – ours, and theirs.

Pick up the pieces and move on. If the Notre Dame can suffer such a devastating fire and be restored to its original glory, there’s not much in our lives we can’t fix. Dust yourself off, figure out what went wrong, and fix it. Your goals are still out there waiting. And every minute you spend crying over spilled milk is a minute you’re not moving toward them.

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

What Are You Willing to Change?

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

It’s Friday Eve! It’s also the last day of the month. I think in some ways, this month has dragged on forever. And in other ways, it went by pretty fast. That may have some bearing on the amount of bourbon left in the liquor cabinet, or it may be the reason for how much is left. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but I’m sure there’s a scientific relationship in there somewhere.

I almost never drink. It’s not really a conscious decision – I just don’t do it very often. Still, when my doctor asks how much I drink, I have to ask how many previous years we’re including in that average. This year? Zero. I may have two or three drinks in a month, sometimes not even that. But in the 70s I made Dean Martin look sober. And let’s not talk about Tommy Chong.

I’ve said this before, but habits are easy to form and hard to break. I don’t think I’ll get much argument there. But the ease of developing a habit is inversely proportional to how good that habit is for you. Crack cocaine, I’m told, is so addictive it can become a habit after just one use. But try going on a healthy diet and see how long that one takes.

And the reverse is true of trying to break a habit. The more destructive it is, the longer it takes. You can fall off that healthy diet in the Taco Bell drive-thru, but it can take several weeks of in-patient rehabilitation to beat a drug habit. I don’t know why that is – it just is. Except running. I broke that habit in six minutes flat. Maybe it’s not so good for you after all.

The thing is, most of what we do every day is a matter of habit. We get up at roughly the same time and follow a familiar routine. We brush our teeth in pretty much the same motion every time. We get dressed in pretty much the same order every day. We usually put the same shoe on first, and I always put my socks on before my shoes. Tell me that’s not a habit.

And if you think we’re creatures of habit, pay attention to your pets. They have a routine that will NOT be disrupted. My dog, at 8:00 every night, gets a treat. Okay, he’s spoiled, and I may have had a hand in that. I did it two nights in a row, and he caught on fast. And he knows when it’s 8:00. Now, if I could just get him to understand the difference between standard time and daylight savings.

Even on the job, where assignments change and the boss is always coming up with new challenges, we have habits. Ever notice that when the boss is about to throw your routine out of whack, it’s never a challenge – it’s an “opportunity.” All that means is you get to fit something else into your day, and he gets to look good to his boss. That’s just how it works.

On the job, the right habits make us worth our weight in gold. And most of us have those habits when somebody is paying us to do it. But what about those things you pay yourself to do? You know, the ones where nobody but you really cares if they get done, and the reward is a little less certain than a weekly paycheck? “I’ll work on that tomorrow – it’s poker night.”

And here’s the thing. Only you can decide if poker night is more important than your other goals. Maybe it is, and that’s okay. But if you want something more out of life, maybe down the road a few years, some of those habits will have to change. And the sooner you start building those new habits, the sooner you’ll achieve those new goals.

As a teen, I always said “I’ll party until the day I die!” Well, somewhere along the way my priorities changed. I still enjoy a raucous night with family & friends, and I occasionally have that second drink just because. But it’s no longer a habit. And that’s simply because there are other things I want more.

Part of dreaming is thinking of ways to make those dreams come true. To have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. There’s no getting around that. Form the habits that will let you do those things you’ve never done, and do them consistently, and you’ll be that much closer to your dreams.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Stop Waiting For the Right Moment

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

I was thinking the other day of a tee shirt slogan from back in the 70s … “When this crisis is over, I’m gonna have a nervous breakdown!” Social media is loaded with memes about what we’ll all do when this ends. One was particularly funny. It said, “We’ll all come out of this one of three ways – hunk, chunk, or drunk.” That pretty well sums it up.

I don’t drink much these days, but I do have a workout bench literally two feet behind me all day. So, I guess it goes without saying that I won’t come out hunk or drunk. That weight bench is loaded with papers, old mail, and printer supplies. You know, like the treadmill that used to be there. Around here, a treadmill is just a really expensive clothes hanger.

Oh, I had good intentions. I always do. But if you take your intentions into Starbucks with $3.95, they’ll give you a free cup of coffee. I took mine to the dinner table instead. And now I’m paying for it. But I don’t want to talk about weight again. Seems we just did that a couple of days ago.

I always had a set of criteria that would magically drive me into action. “That’s it! If my weight goes up another five pounds, I’m going on a diet!” “If it ever warms up, I’m cleaning the garage!” “If it ever cools off, I’m cleaning the garage!” “If that grass gets a foot taller …” Well, you get the idea. We always seem to let fate decide whether we do the things we need to do.

My post from last year popped up on my feed yesterday, and it was on this very topic. When there’s something we need to do that’ll bring us closer to our goals, we always seem to wait for the perfect moment to get started. It doesn’t really matter if those goals are grand or mundane, getting started is left to some twist of fate over which we have little or no control.

And that twist of fate doesn’t always have to be something good. It’s like sitting on the porch as the river is overflowing into your yard. You’ve got sandbags and a shovel, but you’re waiting for things to get bad enough before you put them to use. “If that water gets a foot higher, we’re shoring up!” No, if that water gets a foot higher, you’re swimming.

A friend confided to me once that he needed more money. The roof was leaking, the car needed repairs, and the bills were falling behind. I suggested he start a side business to supplement his income and he said, “Yeah, I guess if things get bad enough, I may have to consider that.” Excuse me? How bad do they have to get? Would foreclosure do the trick?

It’s easy to make plans when we really don’t intend to do anything about them. And it’s even easier when you put those plans at the mercy of something you can’t control. And then the water rises another foot. “Well, it’s kinda late for sandbags now.”

And the problem is, we do this whether it’s something we really need to do, or just something we’d like to do. “Oh, that’s just a dream. I’ve lived without it this long.” Well, how important was the dream? Was it something you just thought about once or twice? Because that’s not really a dream. It’s a brain fart.

Not taking action on our dreams is no different than not taking action on our needs. The consequences are a little different, but in the end we’re left to wonder what might have been. And friends, that’s one of the worst feelings in the world – knowing you could have at least tried to change the situation, but never did. And for what? Because things never got bad enough?

I’ve heard people say if they lose their job, they’ll change careers. I’ve heard them say if the car breaks down one more time, they’ll fix it. I’ve even heard sick people say if they get any sicker, they’ll do something about their health. Seriously? How bad do things need to get in order for us to do what we should have done in the first place? “Well, it’s kinda late for vitamins now.”

We all know the things we need to be doing. But if we wait for the perfect set of circumstances, we’ll never do it. Instead of waiting for things to get better or worse, forget the circumstances and just do it. Life on the other end may be completely different than anything you’d imagined. You may never get back to where you were. And isn’t that pretty much the idea?

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Persistence – The Art of Winning By Wearing Down the Gods

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

Have you ever tried a dozen different ways to accomplish something and then finally realized the gods are just working against you? Take weight loss, for instance. That seems to be the topic of the day. Everybody is complaining about eating too much and not being able to get out and work it off. Not that I was working anything off before, but at least now I have an excuse. Right?

I think I’ve tried just about everything short of surgery and diet pills. And believe me, in 24 years of fighting this beast, that covers a lot of ground. It seems every year, there’s some new miracle diet or food item that just magically melts away the pounds. I guess it goes without saying that most of the studies behind those claims are paid for by the people trying to sell those foods.

With few exceptions, I’ve tried it all. First there was the one that said eat cereal three times a day. Okay, I never really tried that one. Once the little marshmallows are gone, the rest is just soggy oats. I did try the Atkins diet, and lost a few pounds. But I knew I was in over my head the day I looked at a piece of communion bread and thought, “How many carbs are in that?”

Then there was the one that said don’t just eat three meals – eat all day. Okay, maybe that’s not exactly what it said, but that was the message I got from it. I gained ten pounds and my A1C went up six points. Then there was the three-day cleanse. I lost a few pounds but three days later the weight was back and we were out of toilet paper. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take right now.

I even tried some supplements. I mean, come on … all it takes is concentrated grapefruit to melt away the pounds? I can do that! After all, it’s just like eating M&Ms. I’m pretty sure that’s what got me this way to begin with. Then I read the fine print on those bottles. You know, the part that comes after the asterisk. “When combined with proper diet and exercise.”

Are you kidding me? Even I’m not stupid enough to fall for that. ANYTHING can make you lose weight with proper diet and exercise, including diesel fuel. In fact, that one may help you take it off even faster. I’m not sure the doctor would approve, but so far his advice hasn’t done much for the cause.

“It’s simple Dave … just lose one pound a week.” Right. It’s simple Doc. Just grow one new brain cell a week. Then go stand on a scale, because that plan sure as hell isn’t working for you. And why is it that the doctor’s scale is always calibrated eight pounds heavier than mine? Care to guess why my blood pressure was so high? Try checking it first, and THEN put me on the scale.

Okay, I’m having a little bit of fun with this, but the truth is, there’s nothing really fun about being overweight. I had to get down on the ground to open a water valve on the RV and I almost didn’t get back up. I’m pretty sure the neighbors thought I was drunk, because I fell three times. And the only thing that can make me run is an ice cream truck. Then I’m faster than the kids.

We all have something about ourselves that we’d like to change. It’s not enough to know we should change, or even that we have to. We have to want to, more than we want whatever it is that’s holding us back. I have a full assortment of meal replacements that would help me lose weight. They taste good and don’t leave me hungry. The problem is, I like cheeseburgers. A lot.

It all comes down to one simple fact. Nothing changes until we change. Whether it’s weight, physical fitness, learning a new skill, improving our financial status, or just about anything else, we have to take the first step. That’s the easy part. What’s hard is doing it again and again and again until we finally reach our goal, no matter how long it takes.

Nobody likes to swing and miss. It’s even harder when you do it over and over and over. But unlike baseball, you can keep swinging until you get on base. Sure, a home run would be nice, but a single still puts you in position to score. And once you cross home plate, it doesn’t matter how long it took to get there. The scoreboard still reads the same.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Got Some Time On Your Hands?

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


I’ve seen all kinds of things posted on social media about how people are handling this social distancing thing. Most involve an accounting of the number of trips to the refrigerator, a relative lack of daily grooming, and how much fun it is having the kids around all day. In other words, we’re getting fat, lazy, and fed up with family. Sounds like a typical weekend to me.

I think a lot of people are still in shock. When you’re used to going to work every day, it’s hard to sit around the house. Oh, for a week or two it’s great. But that’s about how long most vacations last and after that, our brain says it’s time to go back. Okay, just that part of the brain that doesn’t know any better. It’s the same part that tells you to eat broccoli.

But, if I’m to believe most of what I’ve read, people are pretty much wasting away indoors instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to get some things done. Just what is this tiger king? Has it been that long since the last Lion King movie? Disney is falling asleep at the wheel, so somebody else stepped in to help? I feel like I’m missing something important. (Not really)


I guess it’s good that we can find a little time to catch up on social media and some of the less tragic things happening around the world. If reality is what you want, it’s right there on TV with 24-hour coverage. And just in case you’re too dense to understand traditional reporting, there are dozens of pundits to explain what their bosses want you to think it means.

So, it’s understandable that at some point, we’d shut off the TV and retreat into something a little more enjoyable. There have even been suggestions that, come December, we’ll be welcoming a lot of new babies into the world. Where can I sign up for that activity plan? Not the actual babies, but … you know … the fun part. Again, I seem to have missed out on that one.


When I was in the Navy, it was a common practice that, when a carrier group returned from an extended deployment, nobody working in the hospital was allowed to go on leave nine months later. Ten-thousand sailors home for the first time in several months? You do the math. At that point, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got maternity experience. “Podiatry? Close enough!”

Okay, so when we’re not reading social media, making babies, or watching shows about tigers, what else are we doing with our time? Hopefully some of us are out working in the yard. I’ve seen a few that could use some help. Okay, mine. I didn’t spray for weeds at the first thaw, and apparently they saw that as a sign of encouragement. Okay, welcoming is a better word.


I have seen a lot more people spending time with their kids. Okay, online. Not too many are out and about. I took a walk yesterday and, other than the neighbors’ dogs, I didn’t get to say hi to anyone. I greeted each of them by name. How sad is it that I know all the dogs, but I don’t know any of the kids? On the other hand, dogs don’t throw toilet paper all over the yard. I’m just saying.


I’ve already mentioned the fact that we could all be using this time to build something on the side that can supplement, or even replace, our income. The problem with that is we don’t do these things out of necessity. And even if we do, it’s just to get us over the hump. Unless there’s an overriding dream that motivates us to keep going, we only do what has to be done.


A lot of things have changed over the past several weeks, but hopefully your dreams are still intact. The timing may have changed, and you may be looking for other ways to make things happen. But without dreams, we’re just trudging through life, hoping for something good to happen. Dreams help us focus that energy into making the right things happen.

So, take some of that extra time to rejuvenate your dreams. Odds are, they’ve been pushed aside in favor of things that consume our days without making us feel like we’ve accomplished much of anything. Like cutting the grass. You do it now, and a week later it’s like you were never there. Unless your dream is to cut grass, in which case we need to talk. Seriously.

If you had dreams before this began, hopefully they haven’t changed. Except now you have more time to think about them and try to put things in motion to achieve them. Figure out what’s standing in the way and do something about it. Then, you won’t have to worry about how to spend your time. You’ll know.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

We All Work, But Are You Working Toward Something You Want?

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

I’m still trying to figure out this morning routine. You know, the one that starts with getting out of bed and ends with going to work. Those two parts aren’t all that hard to figure out. It’s everything in between that’s all jumbled up. When I was working before, I had a solid routine every day. I need to get back to that routine. I do better when I don’t have a chance to think.

That said, I’m thrilled to be working again. People say if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Okay, people lie. It’s still work, some days more than others. But it’s work I enjoy. I like being in the thick of things, making something work that wasn’t working when I got there. Sometimes I break stuff just so I can fix it. Oops! Did I say that out loud?

I remember when I took my ASVAB test to enter the Navy. That’s a vocational aptitude test that tells the recruiter what kind of job you’d be good at. Funny thing is, more than forty years later, I’m writing that test. I write questions for different sections of the test and, all told, I’ve written close to 1000. So, if you’ve ever wondered who writes this stuff? The answer would be me.

When I took the test, I wanted to be a photographer or a member of a flight crew. Imagine my surprise when the recruiter said electronics or nuclear power. Excuse me??? Electronics guys are nerds, and nuclear techs glow in the dark! No thank you. Is there anything in there about being a rock star? I can do that!

Well, I went with electronics technician, but only after the recruiter promised I wouldn’t have to wear a pocket protector. I made him put it in writing. Until that day, I’d never had even a remote interest in electronics. But you know, that test did exactly what it was designed to do. It let them take an unsuspecting soul and put him in a job with the greatest amount of openings.

Okay, I’m kidding. The test is designed to measure aptitude, not interest. And, as it turns out, I had an aptitude for electronics. Maybe not so much electronics, but a keen interest in how things are supposed to work, and a fascination with figuring out why they didn’t. And most of the stuff I worked on was broken. Pilots are good at that. I fix it, they break it. Again, and again, and again.

Somewhere along the line, I found my ability to write. I didn’t mean to. Our company had asked us to submit a list of three things they could do better, and I was more than happy to help. A week later, one of the VPs came to me with my submission in hand. Yes, my heart skipped a beat. “This is it,” I thought, as I did a mental inventory of all the personal stuff I’d have to pack.

But he wasn’t there to complain. Okay, he wasn’t there to agree, either. Turns out, none of my suggestions were taken to heart. But I’ll never forget what he said. “I didn’t know we had anybody in the company that could write like this.” A month later I traded in my meter probes for a keyboard and began my career as a technical writer. Funny how things work out.

A few years later, I was asked to write some functional requirements for a software change. Basically, what does it need to do in order to get the job done? People actually write these things. Still, if you’ve ever used any kind of software, you know developers have a mind of their own, and the finished product doesn’t always match the requirements. And on we go.

But in my case, it was the perfect blend of skills. A technical mind, an ability to write, and an inner drive to figure out problems and make things work better. If you want to see me on a bad day, ask me to write a report. I was born to fix stuff, and when I’m in the middle of that, there is no such thing as a long day.

Sometimes, we find our true calling in the last place we’d think to look. We get so focused on the how that we forget the why. And when we do, we find ourselves working really hard toward something we never wanted. “It’s a living,” we say. Yep. So is doing the things that you were born to do. The question is, which would you rather be doing?

Focus on the dream, and the “how” will present itself. It may not be what you’d thought, and it may be the last thing you’d imagined yourself doing. But if what you’re doing hasn’t opened up your dreams, it probably never will. Be open to change. There are a lot of paths to reach your goals. Find one you can enjoy, and the trip will be that much nicer.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved