Choking on Change? Take Smaller Bites

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

I think today I need to do a little research on inflammation. Something is causing my belly to swell. And before you go where we both know you’re about to go, I’m not gaining weight. Okay, I’m 12 pounds higher than I was a month ago, but I’m not gaining now. At least not since yesterday. So, it must be some kind of allergic reaction to something I ate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

When I put my pants on this morning, or rather, when I tried to put my pants on this morning, the buttonhole had moved to the left. Not that much, but enough to make me twist and dance. An inch may not seem like much when you’re measuring area rugs, but it may as well be a mile when you’ve bent over, sucked in everything, and you’re still an inch short in getting your pants buttoned.

And they don’t make buttonhole extenders to close that gap. If you get on a plane and you’re too fat to buckle your seatbelt, they’ve got extenders for that. Not that I would know from personal experience. I guess I could just put on a belt and tighten it up like a noose. Then if I put on a really long shirt, nobody would know, right? If I had a shirt that long. They all shrunk. Don’t say it.

But it can be dangerous wearing clothing that’s a little too tight. And no, ladies, I’m not talking to you. Tight is good (to an extent). But if you have a body like mine, don’t do it. I was in a meeting once, wearing a dress shirt that was a little too snug, and when I reached for my pen a button popped off. I don’t mean it fell off and landed in my lap. It shot across the table so everybody could see.

Shirt buttons are relatively harmless in that regard, but if the metal button on my jeans were to fly off, especially under that much pressure, it could bring down a small plane. And never mind how many times I’ve sat down at work to the welcome sound of thread popping in the seat of my pants.

Yes, I need to go shopping. The problem is, most stores only carry clothing in “common” sizes, and apparently, I’ve reached the lower end of the “uncommon” bracket. No, I’m not huge. Well, depending on who’s standing next to me. I look pretty big next to those hardbodies in the gym, but next to Rush Limbaugh, I’d be invisible. Maybe I just need to make some new friends.

Okay all joking aside (well, most) the bottom line is I need to lose some weight. I’ve been saying that for several years, if you define “several” in terms of decades. This all started when I got out of the Navy, and it shot through the roof when I quit smoking. I remember my doctor telling me he’d rather I were 100 pounds overweight than smoking. All my brain took from that conversation was I had another 50 pounds to go.

And, before anybody says “Keto,” just don’t. In study after study (you know, those not paid funded companies selling pork rinds and cheese sticks), the Keto diet ranks dead last or close to it in terms of safety, heart health, usability, and bad breath. Okay, I threw that last one in from personal experience. Anybody who’s ever experienced “Keto breath” knows what I’m talking about.

So, the first order of business this morning is to buy a bigger pair of jeans. Thankfully there’s a Walmart nearby and nobody will even notice my pajamas. Then, I have to get serious about taking this weight off. Not the 12 pounds I’ve gained, but the whole enchilada. There I go talking about food again.

Losing weight is hard. Like anything else in life, it means doing something differently – making changes that you know you should make, but wish you didn’t have to. And we face lots of those decisions all through life. It’s easier if you set a goal and then work toward it. But I won’t lie, the goal alone doesn’t make the change any easier. Success, even just a little, makes the difference.

It’s okay to set a big goal, with the end result clearly in sight. But break that goal down into smaller, more manageable bites (food again), and celebrate those small wins. With each one, you’ll become that much more confident you can make it to the end. Focus on the small wins, and the bigger ones will come. Make that your goal for today. I did. But first, I need to go shopping.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Dream Feeding 101 – Fake It Till You Make It

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope today is everything you want it to be.

When a realtor is trying to sell a house, they often select a day to just open it up to the public, in the hopes that somebody will walk in and say, “This is the one!” Okay, what they’re really doing is getting names and phone numbers so they can sell something else, but we don’t tell the homeowners that. They think it’s all about them. That guest register and stack of business cards tells the real story.

And, as any realtor will tell you, the majority of people walking through the house are just there to see how the other side lives. The more expensive the house, the cheaper the cars lining the street. Put a mansion on open house and it’s a pretty sure bet you’ll see a family pull up in a Jed Clampett jalopy, dressed in tattered clothing, and asking questions like, “Does the bank verify income on this?”

I can imagine that’s how the RV dealers feel when the Glardon family comes to visit. Granted, it all started with dream-building … loading up with the look, smell, and feel of the real thing so you can go home and figure out how to make it happen. The only thing that beats sitting in the driver’s seat is taking it for a spin. Dealers know this. That’s why they hide the keys. You have to take a chaperone.

Well, last weekend we went again, and this time it was real, honest-to-goodness, getting down to final decisions, almost ready to really, really do it, shopping. We had two we were seriously considering and wanted to see both in the same day. Well, and to collect a few more brochures. There are still two rooms in the house that don’t have any.

We’re serious at this point – as serious as you can be while you’re still looking for a job. Funny, the salesmen don’t even care about that. “With your credit score, the bank won’t verify employment on this amount.” Nice try. And, believe me, it’s tempting. But there’s that whole thing about actually paying for it when the bill comes due. Banks are a little particular about that. Trust me, I know.

But here’s the thing. If you wait until all the pieces are in place and life is just perfect to even start finalizing your dreams, you’ll never get there. Okay, a job is an important part of that equation, but it’s not the only part. The biggest part is the dream. Knowing exactly what you want, down to the last detail, is the most important part. Get that part out of the way and you’ll figure out how to pay for it.

And, as you’re working that out, there’s nothing wrong with buying a few accessories. Just ask my wife. We already have eating utensils and a coffee maker, and a list of other things we’ll need. Every time we go to the store, we find other things we’ll need. I haven’t told her yet, but at some point, we’ll have to learn about “rapidly dissolving toilet paper.” That or dig a hole in the woods.

I know a man who wanted an airplane. It wasn’t just a dream – it was a passion. He didn’t even know how to fly, but he knew someday he would own an airplane. So, he built an airstrip. Then he put in tie-downs for the plane he didn’t own, bought a fuel tank and had it filled with airplane fuel. He still didn’t have money for the plane, but now he had no choice. That’s what I call commitment.

In sixty-two years, I’ve learned a few important things about life. First, if there’s something you really want, getting older won’t make it any better. You can always wait for the perfect job, for the kids to grow up, to pay off the house, or to win the lottery. And, let’s be honest here. You probably have a better chance of that last one happening than getting everything else in life just perfect.

When a dream becomes a part of you, it turns into a passion. And passion is something we’ll chase until there’s no more chase left in us. Feed those passions. Figure out what stands in the way and move it. Everything in life comes with risk. It also comes with opportunity. And opportunity can turn your dreams into reality. Live today. There will never be a more perfect time.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You Can't Win the Race if You Don't At Least Finish

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off just right.

One of the toughest things about humor is that it’s pretty much like a pot of chili – you can put in the same ingredients and the same amount of effort, yet one pot will invariably be better than the others. Okay, so maybe I should stick to name-brand instead of going with the cheap stuff. But you get the idea. There are days when I wish I’d added just a bit more spice.  

When we hear the word “consistency,” we tend to think of things like how thick the gravy is or making sure your kid knows just how far they can go before you totally lose it. With Mom, we always knew. If she gave you that look – you know the one – it was all over. Oh, she wouldn’t do anything in front of company. But you can bet seven hours later, she’d still remember. Mom never forgot.

With gravy, you can always add a little flour or water to change the consistency. But if you try to tweak it too much, it just ends up tasting like wet flour. And it’s pretty much that way with a lot of things. At a certain point, it’s as good as it’ll ever get. Beyond that, you’re just making things worse. Like tap-dancing your way out of forgetting Valentine’s Day. No amount of extra ingredients will help.

Just for the record guys – that’s tomorrow. If you haven’t already bought a card, flowers, and chocolate, start writing excuses. “That’s okay, I’ll just swing by the store on the way home from work!” Nice try. The store looks like a kindergarten class after the teacher stepped out. Nothing is where it belongs, and all the good stuff is gone. It’s just empty shelves. Have fun with that.

I always like to play little tricks and put anniversary cards in with the Valentine’s Day cards. Find one that’s got lots of pink and flowers, and have a little fun! Because you know some guy is gonna pick one up without looking, sign it in the car, and then drop it in front of his wife when he gets home. “Seriously? You thought today was our anniversary? Mom was right about you!” (as Dave chuckles)

I never got Valentine’s Day. I always thought it was something we outgrew in the sixth grade. You know, like the tooth fairy. Okay, I was a little slow. On both accounts. Guess that explains why I never had a girlfriend in high school. At least not by the end of February. Guys, here’s a tip. This day is second only to your anniversary. And if you’re only dating, it IS your anniversary.

Okay, so how did consistency turn into Valentine’s Day? Because that’s the way my brain works this early in the morning. I haven’t even had my third cup of coffee. But somehow, I manage to make it look intentional. Like getting lost so bad the GPS just stops even trying. “You’re on your own now, genius!” Then I somehow get back on the right highway and act like I knew where we were all along.

When there’s something we want, something we’ll have to really work for, we tend to charge through the gate like an Appaloosa with firecrackers under his feet. Halfway down the front stretch, we settle into a comfortable pace, taking time to check out the scenery along the way. Before long, we’re down to a slow trot, and then we come to a full stop. Maybe tomorrow we’ll run some more. Maybe not.

It’s better to make slow progress than none at all. I’ve often lamented the fact that my doctor wants me to lose a pound a week. “But it’ll take me two years at that rate!” Okay, but if I’d started that routine two years ago, I’d be there today. Instead … well, never mind. I’ve done the quick-fix diets and lost ten pounds in a week. But it’s not sustainable. Nothing fast ever is. Consistency is the key.

Set a goal, make a plan, and commit to doing something toward that goal every single day. Yes, even on weekends. It takes a lot more energy to start and stop than to just keep moving. Build a little momentum and let it work for you. It’s not important how fast you’re moving. Just keep going and you’ll get there. And by then, it won’t even matter how long it took.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

It's the Cards You Play That Make a Winning Hand

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

I made muffins for my little ones today. I know, I’m such a nice grandpa. Go ahead, you can say it. On days when my daughter works, she drops them off early (really early) and my grandson has learned that it’s my job to make breakfast. Usually he wants eggs. Sometimes with bacon, sometimes with sausage. And other times I get away with dressing them with a little cheese and a piece of toast.

I’ve always been amazed at how quickly kids learn. You know, the one-plus-one stuff and how to spell their own name. But along with the three Rs, they figure out pretty quickly how to game the system. If you want a hot breakfast, you put in your order early. If you want Grandpa to customize the menu, you climb up in his lap and give him a hug. That’s all they’ve got, so they put it to good use.

One of the greatest lessons we will ever learn is to play the hand we’re dealt. Kids learn it from the time they figure out how to stick out their bottom lip and well up with tears. Until you’re earning more money than your parents, that’s the best thing in your arsenal. My oldest daughter did it when she was six minutes old. I told her it wouldn’t work, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – it does.

Well, sticking my bottom lip out doesn’t seem to work anymore. When I told my wife my job was coming to an end, she had all kinds of questions. “Did you do something wrong? Were you socializing too much? Did you swipe the last cup of coffee and sneak away without making a fresh pot?” No, it’s just business. They don’t need me anymore. “Well, did you at least stick your bottom lip out?”

That’s why I could never be a cop. Somebody blows through a school zone at twice the legal speed, past buses with their lights flashing, and it’s off to the races. This guy is going to jail! But when you get to the car, it’s not the teenage daredevil you expected. It’s a young woman with a baby in the back seat, tears streaming down her face. Like that’s gonna work. Then she sticks out her bottom lip. Damn.

It’s too bad we don’t use that same strategy when it comes to battling the odds to get something we really want. I’m not talking about climbing up in Grandpa’s lap and tugging at his heart strings – this is about using our skills to achieve our goals. It’s about overlooking our weaknesses and focusing on our strengths. It’s about acknowledging that our greatest strength is our ability to overcome weakness.

How many times have you heard somebody whine about their age? “I’d love to do that, but I’m just too old!” “I wish I could do that, but I’m not old enough.” Okay, get a clue. Unless you’re trying to buy liquor next-door to a police station, age isn’t holding you back from anything. It’s an excuse. And it’s a good one, because nobody can ever argue your age. Especially when your hair is as gray as mine.

Age is one of those things we can’t change, and the best excuses in the world are the ones over which we have no control. When the kids are little, it’s easy. “We can’t afford that.” Case closed. Until they get a little older and you tell them money is not a limited resource, and if they want more all they have to do is earn it. “You mean you lied about those sneakers?” Busted!

No matter what it is you’d like to accomplish, you can come up with a dozen excuses for not getting it done. Or, you can play the hand you were dealt, make use of the things that work in your favor, and quit worrying about the rest. You can lose weight. You can get a better job. You can move to another state. What you can’t do is sit there and complain.

So, climb up in Grandpa’s lap, stick your bottom lip out, and then ask him to teach you how to make your own breakfast. You stand a better chance of getting what you want and, once you learn how, you can do it again any time you feel the urge. Breakfast, or life? You decide.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Happiness Is Yours To Enjoy – But You Gotta Want It

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off just right.

When was the last time you met a truly happy person? Okay, let me re-phrase that … when was the last time you met a truly happy person over the age of six, but young enough to still have all their marbles? It doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. And when it does, we become immediately suspicious. “Oh no, she’s about to invite me to church! Or worse yet, an Amway meeting!”

Don’t believe me? The next time you see somebody walking through the office, smiling at everyone and softly humming a Disney song at their desk, write down the first thought that comes to mind. Promotion? Morning whoopee? Liquid lunch? The boss just got fired? We can come up with all kinds of explanations, but could it be remotely possible they’re just happy? Nah!

We all like to think we’re relatively pleasant people, that we exude a certain level of happiness that draws people in. Then along comes somebody who’s so over-the-top bubbly that you just want to stuff a rag in their mouth. “Take your happiness out the front door and share it with God’s little creatures! There are people trying to sleep in here!”

Whether we’ll admit it or not, most of us tend to embrace misery just a bit too much. Oh, we try. We may even wake up and try to convince ourselves that today will be the best day ever. But then we get to work and find out somebody swiped the last cup of coffee and couldn’t be bothered to start a new pot. Oh, it’s on now!

I can look past some idiot diving in front of me at the exit ramp or finding a strange car in “my” parking spot, but you don’t mess around when it comes to coffee. How hard is it to dump the old grounds, put in a fresh pack, and press the “Brew” button? Sure, there’s decaf. There’s always decaf. And I’m not drinking it. If God can take the time to put caffeine in my coffee, the least I can do is drink it that way.

Then you get to your desk and find that report you worked late to give the boss sitting on your desk with more red ink than a congressional budget. Your trash can isn’t where it belongs, your computer keeps locking up, the microwave is broken, and just who has been messing with the thermostat? It’s freezing! Somebody is obviously out to ruin your perfect day.

Let’s face it, if you want to feel miserable, life will hand you plenty of excuses. As the old expression goes, stuff happens. Well, something like that. Things will never be just perfect. So, how is one person smiling while you’re miserable? Maybe they got that last cup of coffee, and that’s why they don’t notice how cold it is. They probably tweaked the thermostat, too. The nerve of some people!

Happiness isn’t a state of nature, or even a state of reality. It’s a state of mind. You will never be more happy than you choose to be. Read that again, because it’s important. Notice, I didn’t say you’ll always be as happy as you choose to be. Things will happen, sometimes really bad things, and they can destroy your happiness in an instant. But how quickly we reclaim that happiness is up to us.

The key is to just keep things in perspective. So what if the coffee pot is empty? At least you’ll get a fresh cup. And no, it’s not okay to skim off a cup while the pot is brewing, because you’ll get all the good stuff and leave dishwater for everyone else. And that report on your desk? Just fix it. It’s not like anybody is docking your pay. And think how much better you’ll feel when it’s done.

We spend our lives in the pursuit of happiness, but all too often we overlook the happiness that’s already there. You can smile in the sunshine or rain, and even when adversity tries to steal that smile, only you can decide when it’s time to bring it back out. Challenges will always be there. But to the degree that you can meet those challenges, happiness is yours to enjoy. So, make the most of it.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You Can Always Find Time – It's How You Use It That Counts

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

It’s Monday, and you know what that means. Bouncing out of bed, eyes aglow with anticipation, and a protein smoothie to start the day. Yeah. That’s how my day starts. Don’t ask my wife, just take my word for it. Okay, okay. It’s more like slumping out of bed, eyes half-shut, feet trudging, and six extra cups of coffee. If you’re lucky, that’ll keep you awake till the 10:00 meeting.

But let me ask you this. What did you do over the weekend that was so much better than Monday? Be honest. You did laundry, you went grocery shopping, you cleaned the house, you watched reruns of movies you didn’t even watch twenty years ago, and you yelled at the kids for not “enjoying” the weekend as much as you. Are their rooms clean yet? I rest my case.

Don’t get me wrong. I know some people who live it up on the weekend. Alcohol may or may not be involved, but they don’t waste a minute bemoaning the fact that it’s only two days long. There are places to go, people to see, and things to do. Fun things. And guess what? The whole time they’re out of the house, the mess isn’t getting a bit worse. Unless they have a cat. Cats love to mess things up.

These are the people who spend a few hours during the week doing the stuff that seems to consume an entire weekend for the rest of us. They pick up a few things around the house, run a vacuum cleaner, wash a load of laundry, and do the grocery shopping before Friday. Then, when the weekend comes, they have all kinds of time to sit around and complain that there’s nothing to do.

Okay, let’s keep this in perspective. First of all, if they’re like most of us, they pick things up and pile them in a closet. They keep the kids off the carpet while they’re running the vacuum so they can track in stuff from the other rooms as soon as it’s done. They wash a load of laundry, forget to throw it in the dryer, then wash it again tomorrow (and the next day). And, like, grocery shopping is EVER done?

This is why for most of us, as soon as we think of something we’d like to accomplish, that built-in excuse pops up like a Jack-in-the-box. “I don’t have time!” We like that one. It can be used in any situation, whether it’s cleaning the garage, planting flowers, writing a book, or drying the clothes we just washed. We’re just too busy. “Woe is me! You have no idea how little time I’ve got!”

Well, get over yourself. We all get 168 hours each week. Except that one week in March when we only get 167 hours, and boy do we love to complain about that one. We’ll milk that lost hour for a whole week. “You don’t understand. I’m tired enough as it is, and then to lose an hour of sleep in the middle of the weekend?” Funny, we sure don’t make up for it in November. “It’s too cold!”

If there’s something you really want to do, you’ll make time for it. Whether that means an hour here and there through the week, or eight hours on the weekend. You rearrange, you set things aside, you turn off the TV, and prioritize what’s most important. And you do it for one simple reason – there’s something you want more than to spend the rest of your life complaining about short weekends.

All it takes is a goal – a vision of something more pleasant than two days of whining about how tired you are as you catch up on all the other things you couldn’t find time for during the week. Whether that vision is as simple as two days of curling up with a good book, or as ambitious as retiring to the beach twenty years early, it’s not hard to find something worthy of that extra hour in the evening.

Excuses come easy when there’s something we really don’t want to do. Oh, we want the result – just not the effort that goes into it. So, here’s my challenge for the week. Find something you want. Focus on it. Get pictures. Then see if you can find one hour in the evenings to do something about it. If you want something badly enough, the time is there. It’s how you use that time that counts.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Don't Take Flying Lessons From Somone Who's Afraid of Heights

Good morning, and happy Friday! We’ve made it!!! I hope your day is off to a great start.

I’ve been trying to learn a little more about Facebook and how to build a page that will provide more features than just a simple profile. In other words, I’m about to take what’s been working so far and mess it up completely. And to help me do that, I’m reading Facebook Marketing for Dummies – 2014 edition. Because, you know … technology never changes. Besides, I’m too cheap to buy the new book.

For somebody who’s spent the past twenty years working in the IT community, you’d think I’d be just a little more adept when it comes to things like social media, the TV remote, and adding contacts to a cell phone. Well, you’d be wrong. What’s the opposite of a techno-weenie? Whatever it is, that’s me. And no, I don’t have a flip phone. But I can make a long-distance call on a rotary dial, so there!

New ideas are hard to handle sometimes. We get into a comfort zone and, though we may despise that existence more and more by the day, we look for any reason not to change. We’ll even recruit a team of nay-sayers to craft a rock-solid excuse for why we shouldn’t even consider taking that next step. People who, you know, have never taken that step themselves. But, boy do they know!

I listen to motivational CDs a lot. Most of you already know that. I read motivational books as well. Yes, you can say it. I need a life. Because we all know the only thing better than trying to make your own life better is to read books about fictional people who have it all. Great looks, sculpted body, a billion dollars, and a slightly twisted notion of romance. Who has time for that motivational babble?

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with “romance” novels, and I can see their appeal in terms of fueling our unspoken fantasies. I’ve read Fifty Shades (okay, most of the first book) and I’ve watched the movies. And I have to be honest. I’m much more interested in his cars and helicopter than his red room of pain. Yes, ladies, typical male response. And the last time I checked … well, never mind.

But with anything in life, whether it’s building a boat, flying a plane, succeeding in business, or learning how the latest intimate “toys” work, we all need some basis of knowledge before we’re ready to dive in. And it’s usually best to gain that knowledge from somebody who knows what they’re talking about. You know, somebody who’s used those toys or flown that plane.

It amazes me the number of times I’ve talked to people about starting their own business and, before we can even schedule an evening to really chat, they call back and say, “Well, I don’t know if this is gonna work. I talked to my mom, and she said …” You know the rest. Well, here’s my first question. How did that particular business work for your mom?

In an interview years ago, media magnate Ted Turner talked about a failed attempt at running a boatbuilding business. When asked what he learned from that experience he said, “I learned that I don’t build boats very well.” He didn’t say boatbuilding is a dead industry. He didn’t even say business ownership is for suckers. He simply said that wasn’t his niche. So, he found something that was.

How often do we seek advice from people who have no idea how to do what we’re thinking about doing? How often do they offer up that advice for free? It doesn’t matter what you’re considering, there are hundreds of “experts” who will give you dozens of reasons it’ll never work. So, here’s a novel idea … find somebody who’s making it work. See what they have to say about it.

I’m reading a book about how to build a new Facebook page because I don’t know all the ins and outs of doing it right. And, by this time next week, that new page will be up and running. Every day, people in my own family poo-poo on the idea of building a stronger social media presence. So, I don’t go to them for advice. I’m getting information from people who know how to make it work.

Whatever it is you want to do, unless you’re already on top of the game, odds are you could use a little help. And, as one of the speakers I’ve listened to loves to say, if you want to be a millionaire, don’t go to a thousandaire for advice. Find somebody who’s already succeeded in that endeavor and listen to what they have to say. More often than not, the advice they give will be spot-on.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved