Life Can Change Fast – Make the Most of It

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

It’s been a while since I last posted – just very busy between work and trying to enjoy this extended RV trip.  Which, by the way, I highly recommend whatever form of rest & relaxation you’re into.  It makes a world of difference.  More on that later.

For several months, my wife has been concerned about my health.  She noticed a lot of subtle changes that escaped me, but that’s the way it usually goes.  I’m not always the first to pick up on things.  But over the past month, I’ve noticed an issue maintaining focus, and my memory was slipping badly.  That’s hard for a guy like me to handle.

Then last Monday, my left hand went suddenly numb.  I wrote it off to some long-term circulation issues and went about my day.  Two days later, I couldn’t type, my feet were dragging and getting in the way of one another, and the confusion was more pronounced.  If your mind went straight to “stroke,” you’re smarter than I am, because that’s what it was.  My carotid artery was 85% blocked and had been releasing small pieces of plaque for three days.

First things first – if you ever have ANY symptoms of a stroke, don’t mess around with it.  Get help right away.  The doc told my wife if one decent sized piece of plaque had broken loose, the whole mess would have gone straight to my brain.  Needless to say, God had my back on that one.  This could have turned out completely different, and I’m blessed to still be upright.

A few more thoughts I’d like to share.  I’ve often said we all need to have a Plan B – something to fall back on just in case life takes an unexpected turn.  It doesn’t matter how secure you are, how well things are going, or how great a job you’ve got, things can change in an instant.  Our best-laid plans can be overturned, leaving us to pick up the pieces with little or no notice.  That’s scary.

Whether it’s a side income, a regular savings plan, family nearby, or whatever, we all need to ask ourselves from time to time, “What would I do if I lost what I have today, and had to continue without it?”  I’m not saying we should dwell on it every day, but it’s a very real possibility we all need to consider.

And, once you have some thoughts in mind, don’t wait until something bad happens.  Get started today.  Needs don’t go away, and time isn’t always on our side.  I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating – dig the well before you get thirsty.  Then all you have to do is turn it on.  If that day never comes, you’ll just be that much more secure.

Beyond all that, enjoy life.  I’ve never once read a tombstone that brags about a person’s job or how hard they worked.  All it has is a couple of dates.  Our life is everything that falls in between.  Enjoy it.  Make the most of it.  Kids will get by, and your job will be posted before the obituary.  Make time to enjoy the things you’ve worked to achieve.  You only get one chance.

That’s all for now.  I’m so happy to have this chance to reach out again.  Pay attention to your health, get to work on that Plan B, and enjoy every day on this planet.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

The Early Bird Gets to Swim

Good morning! I hope your day, and your week, is off to a good start.

While most of the country is about caught up after losing an hour of sleep, some of us couldn’t be satisfied with that.  Last week I fired up the RV and headed west.  Two time zones so far, and one more this coming weekend.  So, while everyone at work is starting their day at a leisurely 8:00, my days will start at 5.  I know.  Some of us are too stupid for our own good.

Yes, the days start earlier.  But they end earlier, too.  And when there’s a pool within walking distance that’s heated to just the perfect temperature (usually by the sun), 2:00 is a good time to step away from the computer.  Believe me, I use that pool just about every day.  I don’t really even swim.  I just lounge in the water for a couple of hours simply because I can.

We all learned the concept of sacrifice and rewards as children.  Stay away from the candy dish now, and your fingers will feel better later.  With me, candy was for rookies.  I learned at the age of 4 not to plug suitcase keys into the wall outlet.  As I sat in a daze on the other side of the room still seeing that bright flash, I gained a full understanding of cause and effect.  Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

As we get older, those lessons change.  Through the teenage years, the goal is simple – have fun and don’t get caught.  I was pretty good at that one.  But then we hit some point in adulthood where we start to grasp the fundamentals of banking.  You have to put something in to take something out.  That’s pretty much true of everything in life.

We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to living the life of our dreams.   I’m not talking about lottery-level wealth.  I’m talking about comfort, good health, close relationships, and the ability to enjoy what the boss calls “work-life balance.” It could be as grand as a European vacation, or as simple as an afternoon dip in the pool.   You decide what the “good life” is.   And you decide which sacrifices are worth it.

Within the laws of physics, if you can dream it, you can achieve it.  You just have to make those deposits.  The more you put in, the more you can take back out.  That may be as simple as getting up a little earlier or working a little later.  It may mean taking a calculated risk.  And it may mean burning the midnight oil after the kids are asleep.  But if the dream is vivid enough, the way will present itself.

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

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Tomorrow is Here – Get Busy!

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

So, there was an segment on the news last night about an asteroid that may or may not crash into the earth sometime in the year 2046.  You know, in case you had plans for 2047.  Okay, there’s about an 8 percent chance we’ll be in its path.  Seems to me we could just step on the gas and get out of the way or blast it toward Pluto.  Nobody liked that one anyway. 

I would like to think I’ll be around to see what really happens.  I would be 88 by then, so I’m not placing any bets.  But I think we all tend to live our lives as if tomorrow is pretty much in the bag, even if “tomorrow’ is 8,400 days away.  People ask all the time if you knew today would be your last day, what would you do differently?  Well, sorry folks.  I can’t say that out loud.  But you can bet it would be fun!

We were asked that question in a class one time.  I remember saying I’d go skydiving.  My wife even offered to pack the parachute.  This is the same woman who once gave me a gift certificate to the office of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, and I don’t know if she’s ever seen a parachute up close.  Let’s just say she wasn’t a fan of my mid-life adjustment.

It amazes me sometimes how we put our complete faith in people we’ve never met, from airline pilots to investment brokers, or even astrologists.  Yes, that’s the word I meant to use.  I don’t argue with astrophysicists.  They’re good at math. 

The point to all this is, none of us knows for sure what tomorrow will bring.  Sure, it may bring illness or heartache.  But odds are, it’ll be another fairly routine day in a fairly routine life.  If we want it to be anything more than that, today is the day to set the wheels in motion.  From the driver’s seat, thank you.  This is not the time to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Weekends are a great time for rest and reflection.  Okay, they’re a great time to catch up on all the stuff you didn’t get done during the week.  But they’re also the perfect time to sit back, have a drink, and focus on our dreams.  You may or may not come up with a perfect plan for achieving those dreams.  But nothing happens unless we try.

No, tomorrow is not guaranteed.  But if tomorrow comes, wouldn’t it be nice to spend it doing something you love?  You can.  We all can.  It just takes a little imagination and commitment.  The rest is easy.

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

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Your Best May Just Be Enough

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

First, an apology for the disappearing act last week.  The guy who never gets sick did what he never does and … well, you know.  It doesn’t happen very often and, thankfully, it never lasts long.  If you’d like to know my secret, it’s simple.  Diet, exercise, and clean living.  You believe that, right? 

On the other hand, I’m glad I wasn’t lost in the wilderness, because not one person came looking for me.  Not even my wife.  Of course, she’s sick, too.  Let it never be said that Dave doesn’t share. 

To look at me, you’d never guess I’m as healthy as I am.  I’m old, I’m fat, my suspension is worn out, and I couldn’t stand up straight if my life depended on it.  Exercise?  Sure, I walk every day.  From my office to the kitchen or bathroom.  After that I have to sit down and rest.  I had a heart attack 15 years ago, and I don’t go anywhere without my inhaler.  Yet, I’m the healthiest I’ve been in decades.

How does that even make sense?  It’s simple.  I try to control the amount of junk I consume, and I’m as active as I can be given my lower back issues.  And I take vitamins.  Really good ones.  Sure, they’re not cheap, but illness can be pretty costly, too.  And, according to my blood tests over the years, what I’m doing is working.  You know what they say – don’t mess with success.

Okay, I’m not trying to sell you on vitamins.  In fact, most doctors don’t think we need them.  Of course, they don’t make much money from healthy patients.  “Diet and exercise.”  That’s their advice.  Eat the right foods and get 150 minutes of exercise every week.  And then we go out into the real world of convenience foods and lower back pain. 

I read last week about a study that found if we got even half the recommended amount of exercise – just under 11 minutes a day – we would see some pretty impressive health benefits.  Sometimes, we have to be satisfied with what we can do instead of focusing on what we can’t.  And once you’ve mastered 11 minutes a day, it’s not that hard to work in a couple more.

I joke about my physique, but the fact remains this body has to carry me all the way to the end.  Yours, too.  When you think of the demands we put on our body, it only makes sense to put something back into it.  Small changes are better than no changes.  You may never attain that ideal level of health and fitness, but you’ll always be glad you tried.

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

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Bring Out Their Best With a Little White Lie

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

Three days ago, I attended an honors choir concert by the Ohio Heritage Conference.  This was no ordinary event.  It included students from 11 different schools, each nominated by their respective band and choir leaders, all thrown together for a single day of rehearsal and one amazing show.  My granddaughter was among those selected. 

Any time people start thinking the future is doomed, all they need to do is attend an event like this.  A school play, an ice cream social, or maybe a regional competition.  It was several dozen students who had never met one another before that day, all focused on one thing – sharing their very best in a flawless performance.  I could easily see these kids performing in the White House. 

There was also a band concert, along with an impressive display of arts and crafts.  The talent in all those areas was incredible.  But rest assured, they didn’t all start out that way.  Have you ever sat through a school band concert?  Both of my girls played in the band, and let’s just say there’s a reason I need hearing aids. 

Especially at the elementary and middle school level, it’s a sound that sends cats running into traffic.  Clarinets and violins are the worst – like nails on a chalkboard.  And anybody who believes parents shouldn’t lie to their kids has never been to one of these things.  “You guys sounded awesome!”

Yes, we have to walk that delicate line between encouraging our kids and stuffing our ears with concrete.  My parents did it, yours did, we all do.  Why?  I mean, why not give them an honest critique so they can get better?  One reason … the glow on their little faces as they finish a screeching rendition of Mary Had a Little Lamb. 

But they don’t sound like that forever.  The more they practice, the better they get.  And those words of encouragement stack up along the way.  None of us is born with the ability to do these things.  All it takes is a basic level of God-given talent and the confidence and determination to excel.  And when we combine those elements, the result is truly incredible.

Every one of us is a kid at heart.  We all seek some level of validation, and we all have that inner desire to excel.  If the people you’re hanging around with aren’t supporting your dreams, you need some new friends.  Find some people who appreciate your abilities and your goals and will challenge you to be your best.  Then keep working at it.  You may just amaze yourself! That’s all for now.  Give your kids & grandkids an extra hug and have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Who’s Knocking On Your Door?

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

People have always told me you’re judged by the company you keep. Sound familiar? And it’s true. Until my final years in high school, I spent my time around other people who were getting good grades and staying out of trouble. In other words, I got beat up a lot.

Through the years, I’ve adopted a mindset of acceptance and, as a consequence, I often find myself conversing and working with people I wouldn’t necessarily invite to dinner. Every one of us is imperfect in our own unique way, and I’m pretty sure there’s a reason others aren’t tripping over one another to invite me into their home. It works both ways.

Still, throughout my life, people have said it’s important to spend your time with people who embody the life you want to live. If you want success, hang around people who are successful. If you want respect, hang around people who are respected. The idea is that at least a little of what they bring to the table will rub off on you. And it makes sense.

So, all you have to do is go to a members-only yacht club and start hanging around with rich people, right? Yeah. It’s not quite that simple. Because the whole time we’re attempting to rub elbows with them, they’re looking at us and saying, “Hope none of that rubs off on me!”

I heard a speaker last week who suggested that, just maybe, we need to try being the kind of person we hope to attract. That’s a twist! So, instead of being turned away from their door, we want them to knock on ours. We want to present ourselves in a way that makes them say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

That’s not as easy to do when you live on the wrong side of the tracks, you actually get dirty at work, and your car gets 42 miles per quart of oil. Let’s just say it’s not a turn-on for the rich and famous. But there are still things we can do to make ourselves more appealing to those we want to attract. We did it when we were dating. The same rules still apply.

I tell my grandson all the time that it takes very little effort to comb your hair, put on clean clothes, smile at people, and talk like you didn’t just get out of prison … even when you’re in Walmart.
Psychologists say we form an opinion of others in the first five seconds. Well, guess what? They do, too. And those first impressions can make a world of difference in who chooses to spend their time with us. Food for thought.

That’s all for now. Put on a smile and have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Are You Outsourcing Your Future?

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

So, by show of hands, how many of you pay close attention to your investments?  Like, really close.  I do.  Okay, I don’t even know what my investments are, because I give somebody else a bunch of money every two weeks and they play with it for me.  Uncle Sam calls it a 401(k).  The rest of us call it our only hope for retirement.  Which explains all the old folks working in Walmart.

I’ve tried learning the economic signs that point to ups and downs, and I’m completely lost.  Gas prices, unemployment, inflation, gross national product, who’s running first in the electoral polls … I can’t keep up.  And none of it seems to matter, because just about the time you think you’ve got it figured out, Wall Street comes along and laughs in your face.

It reminds me of the movie “Trading Places,” where the Duke brothers are trying to explain their business as commodities brokers to Billy Ray.  “Tell him the best part!  Whether our investors win or lose, Duke & Duke gets their share!”  Where can I get a job like that? 

In “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” Robert Kiyosaki makes no secret of his disdain for the stock market.  Sure, you can make money.  And you can lose it, too.  Most of us don’t have the financial insight to study the Wall Street Journal and figure out the market, so we hire people who have no life to do it for us.  We bet our entire future on their ability to win.  Smart, huh?

I’m not against the concept of a 401(k), mostly because it’s an easy way for me to put my paltry sum of money in a pool with a bunch of other people and pray we don’t all go broke.  And, over the years, it’s been pretty good to me.  But if I had to retire on what I’ve got saved today, I’d have to die next January. And I’m betting I’m not alone in that.  Which explains all the old folks playing the lottery.

So, here’s my question.  If we’re willing to invest our own money in somebody else’s success for just a cut of the profits, why not invest in ourselves?  Take a class.  Read a book.  Start a business.  Oh, and here’s the fun part – once you’ve started, follow through!  Find something that works for you, and then keep doing it. 

Success won’t come overnight.  It never does.  But if you believe in what you’re doing enough to get started, then believe in yourself enough to finish.  Take control and make it happen.  You can do this!

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day, and I’ll see you next week!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You Can’t Get Up if You Never Fall

Good morning!  Hope your day is going well.

If you’re in the USA and you’re not living under a rock, you’ve probably heard something about a football game yesterday.  A big one.  And, as usual, the jury of public opinion is still out on who really won.

Football has always been a bit of a mystery to me.  I mean, I get the game and how it’s played.  Twenty-two guys with the combined weight of a tugboat face off, separated by an imaginary line, waiting for the fat guy in the middle to toss the ball behind him.  Never mind where the quarterback’s hands are all this time.  You don’t want to try that one at work. 

When the ball finally leaves the ground, these grunting beasts spring into action and try to knock somebody down.  Anybody.  Preferably the guy with the ball.  You get extra credit for that.  And then, the guy who sprinted six yards with the ball tucked under his arm goes to the sideline for oxygen.  And they call these guys athletes???

The best part is, they only have to “work” for about ten seconds and then they get a break.  And if that’s not enough, they can call time-out or pretend to be hurt.  That doesn’t work for me.  “Boss, I hurt my knee on that one!”  “How?  You were taking notes!”

But for these guys, the Super Bowl is the culmination of everything they’ve worked for.  Every dream, every workout, every smack in the head, all aimed toward one goal – making it into the big game.  At that point, the score doesn’t even matter.  They’ve already won.

Football is a game of stamina, determination, and the willingness to keep getting back up, even when it hurts.  Concussions are common, but in this sport, brain damage appears to be a pre-existing condition.  Still, it’s a dream they’ve lived for most of their life, so who am I to poke fun?  Besides, they’re a lot bigger than I am.  I only look stupid.

But if you ever doubt the power of dreams, the Super Bowl is a perfect example of what we can accomplish.  Every one of those guys on the field was once a young boy, barely able to walk.  They didn’t start as athletes, and most were probably advised to “go to school and get a real job.”  But the dream was too big to be held down.

How about you?  Is your dream important enough to do something about it?  Is it important enough to get knocked down and stand back up?  Football isn’t a game of intellect.  It’s about grit and determination and the will to succeed.  Get some of that, and there’s not much that can stand in your way.

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

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Success is a Lot Easier if You Try

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

While the rest of the world is coming to terms with things like rising prices, falling water levels, snowstorms, earthquakes, and disgraced politicians, I’m facing the challenge of a lifetime … getting more people to read my posts.  I know, it’s tough.  But, because I’m convinced the world is a better place when we combine hope and laughter, I’m doing my part to save humanity.

A little over the top, maybe, but you get the idea.  Why do anything if you don’t believe in it?  Why spend your days doing a job if nobody cares?  Why raise kids if there’s no hope for the future?  Why go to church if we’re all doomed?  These are questions for the great thinkers of our time.  And I hope they have some answers, because I’m not getting any younger.  Just ask my wife.

So, given that I’ve already decided I believe in what I’m doing, it seems appropriate to invest a little time in learning just a fraction of what people like Justin Bieber already seem to know … how do you get complete strangers to jump on the bandwagon without spending a fortune in advertising?  And believe me, the internet is full of advice, but you have to be much more fluent in geek speak than I’ll ever be.

Build a mailing list!  Great, how do I do that?  Get people to a landing page!  A what?  Send targeted ads on social media!  Give people a reason to sign up!  Offer an incentive!  You mean something more valuable than my mere presence in the world??? 

Okay, that was mostly for fun.  I’m not expecting anybody to offer up the magical solution to helping me reach a wider audience, but it backs up an earlier point.  Why do anything if you don’t believe in it?  And if you do believe in it, why not at least try? 

I love talking to people about their dreams.  But when I ask what they’re doing to accomplish those dreams, the fire in their eyes goes away.  “Oh, I’ve looked at a few different things, but I’m not sure they’ll work … at least not for me.”  See, they throw that last part in there because they know what’s next.  “It works for some people!” 

The quickest way to lose that belief is to sit on an idea until it crushes beneath you.  Do something about it.  Give it an honest effort.  It may or may not be the magical solution you’ve been searching for, but there’s only one way you’ll ever know for sure.

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

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

The Future Has a Mind of Its Own

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

The world awoke this morning to news of massive earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.  I can’t imagine being at ground zero for something like that and, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, I think we can all agree on prayers for those directly affected.  After Friday’s post where I said we often bring some of life’s challenges on ourselves, this is not one of those cases.  Those people never saw it coming.

I wonder how many others, like me, were secretly hoping for something other than a Chinese balloon to drown out the news.  Be careful what you wish for.

Besides, the balloon is old news.  Unless you’re a politician.  They’ll never let this go.  Amazingly, none of them seemed to notice that we shot it down with a $400,000 missile instead of a $30 bullet.  Don’t worry, politicians don’t read this.  I’m not sure they can.

Okay, one thing I don’t do in my posts is dive into political debate.  There are enough others out there for that.  I just found it humorous that a story like this dominated the news for almost an entire week.  Then along comes a pair of earthquakes to remind us of what’s really important.  Nature is a force more powerful than anything we’ve ever created.  And sometimes, its impact is tragic.

I wonder how many of those people sifting through the rubble of their previous life were going about their days, content with the way things were.  It happens all the time.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, a semi crossing the median into oncoming traffic … events that were completely unplanned.  Yet lives are changed in an instant. 

Hopefully we live through these events without injury or loss, but some things are completely beyond our control.  Jobs vanish.  Health issues arise.  Cars break down.  Economies decline.  And most times, we’re just along for the ride.  All we can do is plan a path forward after the fact.

Well, plans are more easily executed when all the pieces were in place beforehand.  And if Plan B is already underway, it’s that much easier.  Have you ever heard anybody complain that they’re too healthy, too wealthy, or have too many options in life?  I haven’t.  But I do know people who, in the face of unplanned events, are much better equipped to change the circumstances in their favor.

It’s all about looking ahead and writing a few insurance policies of your own.  We can never anticipate everything life will throw our way.  All we can do is be ready when it happens.  Plant the seeds now.  You may not be hungry today, but those seeds will never go to waste.

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

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved