Inner Youth Is Only A Dream Away

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

If you’re ever feeling old, spend a little time around some little ones. I guarantee you’ll feel that much older by the time they leave. Don’t get me wrong. I love the sound of laughter and the little songs they sing. And only a child can look at a dirty sock and see a microphone. Everything becomes a microphone. And their lungs are magically transformed into an amplifier.

On the other hand, if you ever want to feel young again, spend some time around little ones. Laughter is contagious. So are runny noses, but they’re worth the joy that comes from just one of those little hugs. And if you play along with some of their games, you’ll find yourself singing silly songs a little off-key just to make them laugh a little louder. For me, that comes naturally.

In a meeting with some business associates last night, we were talking about how our dreams change with age. When we’re young, we can envision a life filled with things only rock stars and politicians can afford. And there’s little doubt in our mind we can enjoy that life. All it takes is hard work and saving $20 every week. That’s what Dad told us. Dads do that sometimes.

Well, as it turns out, Dad forgot to mention the lottery. Because, for most of us, that’s what it would take to live the life of our dreams. Thankfully, as we age, our expectations start to fall more in line with reality. My first home was supposed to be a mansion, but it turned out to be a double-wide. You know, two trailers connected at the hip, and all that that implies.

Also, the longer we live without those creature comforts we just had to have, the more we realize they’re just fluff. I have two cars. One is new and one … isn’t. If I totaled it tomorrow, the insurance check would almost buy a loaf of bread. But you know what? It runs, and it gets me where I need to go just as fast as the new one. And if it’s raining, I can even clean the windshield.

Then there’s the fact that, the older we get, the more we think about others ahead of ourselves. If you think kids are expensive, wait until you have grandkids. Fancy things just aren’t as important when the little ones need a new iPad. Okay, I’ve never bought any of my grandkids an iPad. We go with the Walmart brand. They don’t know the difference.

But the point is, things just aren’t as important as we age. Still, that doesn’t mean we stop dreaming, nor should we. Dreams are what get us out of bed in the morning and drive us to go that extra mile. Okay, work gets us out of bed, but you get the picture. Everything we do in life is designed to achieve some goal. The trick is to make sure the goal is worth working for.

I remember driving to my grandmother’s house, down dirt roads past tin-roof shacks with no indoor plumbing, and seeing people sitting on the porch next to the washing machine. They didn’t seem to have a care in the world. It’s a simple life. And even those people have dreams. They may not be the same as ours, but they’re still just as important.

We never really lose the ability to dream. But as we get older, it takes a little more effort. You can’t do it in the middle of the workday, or as you try to tend to family matters after work. You need a little quiet time, and maybe even some visual aids. Settle down, ladies – I’m talking about pictures of the life we want to enjoy. Beaches, mountains, even snow if that’s your thing.

There’s nothing selfish about wanting things for yourself, especially if those things can be shared with those you care most about. And it’s those dreams that will energize you to work a little harder, persist a little longer, and keep a sparkle in your eye long after others your age have given up. Want to know the secret to a happy life? You already know. Just do it.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Sunrise Always Follows Darkness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved