Busy is a Four-Letter Word

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

My goal for the past few years has been to send out some words of inspiration each morning. For the most part, I’ve accomplished that goal. Some days are better than others, and some days there’s nothing at all. I’m sure I could come up with some pretty good excuses, but the fact is I’ve just been really busy. Boss, I hope you’re reading this.

Any time we run into old friends, the conversation goes something like this. “It’s so good to see you! Has it really been that long? I’ve been meaning to call you but – (here it comes) – I’ve just been really busy!” And, nine times out of ten the other person nods their head and says, “Me too.” Good save! Because, let’s not forget the fact that they didn’t call you, either.

Busy is a way of life. We’re all busy. We all have too many things to do and not enough time to get them all done. And it doesn’t help that we’re still not supposed to be going out and spending time with friends, or even spending too much time in the grocery store. There’s a virus out there folks, and it’s picking up steam again. This has been a really long year.

I miss my friends. At work, I was designated the “official greeter of the fifth floor” because I said good morning to everybody. Bosses, janitors, co-workers, they all got a daily greeting. My day couldn’t really begin until I’d made my rounds. Sure, it took a little time. By “a little time” I mean a few seconds each. But it put all of us in a more productive frame of mind. Win-win.

Now, I’m working from home. My office is in the basement, and nobody comes down here unless there’s a tornado. My daily greetings extend to anybody sitting in the living room as I take a bathroom break, and the people I interact with in online meetings throughout the day. It’s better than nothing, but I miss being able to chat with old friends.

And here’s the thing – I could talk to some of those people every day. Only problem is, we’re not supposed to do that while we’re on the clock, and I’ve never really exchanged phone numbers with anybody. Not even close friends. Why? I know how to find them, and they know how to find me. But knowing is one thing – doing something about it is another matter entirely.

When was the last time you gave a friend a call? When was the last time a friend called you? Odds are, if you’re over the age of forty, you have to think about that. There are just too many other things competing for our time. Work, kids, household chores, football games, presidential debates … the list goes on and on. “I meant to call you, but I’ve been too busy.”

Well, let’s just throw this out there – if you’re too busy to call a friend, then it’s time to offload some of that “busy-ness” and carve out some time to live. I’m not talking about exchanging oxygen – I’m talking about living, finding some level of enjoyment and personal accomplishment every day. Not just on the job – in life.

Just about every company I’ve ever worked for talks about work-life balance. Okay, usually in their recruiting material, but they at least recognize the value of rejuvenating at the end of the day. And here’s a tip, friends – rejuvenating doesn’t mean cooking dinner, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, or fixing the car. It means finding something that makes you smile, maybe even laugh.

And few things make us smile and laugh more than talking with friends. On your worst day, it’s hard not to enjoy the company of an old friend. You may not be the life of the party, and you may walk right back into whatever gloom is waiting as soon as the encounter is over. But for that brief moment in time, you feel better.

Are you too busy to call a friend? Then do something about it. Don’t have any phone numbers? I doubt that, but okay – get some. I know most of us haven’t seen a phone book in a long time, but they do still exist. You can find numbers online, look in the church directory, ask a mutual friend, or just send an email. “I miss chatting with you. Can I give you a call?”

Especially now, when we’ve all been isolated more than normal, it’s so important that we maintain relationships and spend at least a few minutes each day with somebody who can take our mind off the world’s problems. Make the time. Pick up the phone. Reach out. You never know – they may be missing you as much as you’re missing them.

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

Don’t Throw Out Your Dreams Because of a Little Rust

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

It’s Monday, and you know what that means. Back to the old grind. For some of us, that grind is a lot more demanding than others. But, at least for now, it’s our chosen way of making a living. Some days we have to remind ourselves that we once dressed up and put our best foot forward to get this job. Hopefully this won’t be one of those days, and we’ll be reminded instead of why we wanted this job.

I think we all go through the range of emotions with any job. There are days when we love it, and days when we wonder why we even got out of bed. It’s the same with most things in life. Relationships can be that way. We start off trying not to do or say the wrong thing, hoping the other person will respond positively toward us. Hopefully, after twenty or thirty years, we still feel that way.

But there will be days when we wonder if it was all worth the effort. I’m not just talking about jobs and relationships. Anything we’ve ever wanted, that we built up our hopes to achieve, will have its ups and downs. It could be that way with a new car. You love it until the first time something breaks. Or that business you’ve been building. There will be days when you wonder if it’s worth the effort.

But, until you park that new car on the curb and leave it to gather rust, anything that breaks can be fixed. In the insurance industry, they like using words like “totaled.” That basically means it’s wrecked to the point that it’s not financially economical to make the necessary repairs. That doesn’t mean the repairs can’t be made. Just that the insurance company chooses not to do it.

Every day, there are people browsing through junkyards all across the nation, looking for that old car that somebody walked away from decades ago. It’s banged up. The fenders are smashed. Parts are missing. It’s a pile of rust. The windows are all broken, the interior is gone, and to all the world, it’s junk. But to that one person, it’s a thing of beauty, just waiting for somebody to bring it back to life.

One of my dreams is to have a garage big enough to restore an old pickup truck or VW bus. Or both. After all, when the first one is finished, I’ll still have all those tools and the time to tackle something new, right? I don’t necessarily have all the skills to do that, but I can learn anything. And what I can’t learn, I can hire out. I just appreciate old cars and I believe just about anything can be restored.

That’s a dream I’ve had for a long time. And quite honestly, I’m no closer to that goal today than I was twenty years ago. But, just as an old car can be restored and made new again, so can our dreams. All it takes is a little loving care, and we can put those dreams back on the road as well. And if we do it right, they’ll be even better and stronger than they were on the showroom floor.

For the past two weeks, my lower back has had me just about crippled. Just getting out of a chair and taking a few steps is painful and slow. And I know it may never be as good as it once was, but I refuse to accept that this is as good as it’ll ever be. There are things I can do to make it better. There may be things the doctor can do. But giving up is not an option. This body has a lot of good years left in it.

And the same is true of most things in life. If your job sucks, do something about it. If your relationship is on the rocks, work on it. If your car is messed up, fix it. And if you can’t because the repair expense is bigger than your bank account, earn a little more.

Granted, some problems just can’t be fixed. There will be times when the best option is simply to walk away. Find a different job, get out of a toxic relationship, or trade in the old car. And sometimes, you find that the dream you’ve been working toward just no longer excites you. That’s okay. Just make sure it’s your decision, and not something you reluctantly accepted.

Dreams, like old cars, can be brought back to life any time we want. All it takes is a renewed commitment and a little effort. Find the value in those dreams – the job, the relationship, the old car, the new life. Fix what’s broken and polish up what’s still good. It may not look like much right now, but just think how beautiful it’ll be in the end.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved