Not Your Circus, Not Your Monkeys

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

I once had a manager who loved to ask loaded questions. “Do you remember two weeks ago when I asked you for that report?” Don’t answer! It’s a trap. If you say yes, the next question is, “Then why didn’t you do it?” If you say no – “So, you just don’t pay attention!” At that point, even a fake coronary won’t get you out of trouble. Because he’ll do CPR and then say, “Well?”

What that usually means is he was supposed to do the report and his boss just asked the same question. “Do you remember a month ago when I asked you for that report?” Now he’s in trouble and no boss is ever in trouble on his own. In lifesaving courses, the first thing they tell you is that a drowning person will do anything they can to climb on top of you.

And when that happens, there’s only one thing you can do – sink. The faster you go down, the quicker they’ll let go. Then you can try again, and odds are they’ll be a little more cooperative. Okay, that works in the water. I’m sorry to say it doesn’t work in the office. The moment you start to sink, the boss will put his foot on your head and push down even harder. Okay, some bosses.

Thankfully, most are a little more compassionate. Even in the military, they’re learning that you get more out of people when you treat them with a little respect. Sure, they have to do whatever you say. You know it and they know it. And one of the first things they teach you in the military is how to delegate. You know, pass the buck. “I told Glardon to do that!”

But that’s how things get done in the real world. The top dog needs something done, so he calls in his leaders and says, “Make it happen.” They call in their managers and say, “The old man wants this – make it happen.” And the managers find somebody getting a cup of coffee and say, “Since you’re not doing anything else right now, I’ve got a job for you.” Sound familiar?

So, you go back to your desk fuming, because this is the first cup of coffee you’ve had in three days. You have a pile of work the boss doesn’t know about, because six other people have dumped work on you this week alone. There’s no way you can get it all done, and now you have one more job to add to the pile. So, you make a phone call. “Honey, I won’t be home tonight.”

Yesterday we talked about time, and how we always find time for everything but our dreams. But you know, there comes a point where you’re so busy you can’t even remember that you had dreams, much less what they are. And it goes that way until you’re so stressed out, your only dream is running away forever. I know, I’m preaching to the choir. We’ve all been there.

It’s estimated that up to 90% of medical conditions are related to stress. That’s a pretty grim statistic, especially when you consider that stress is largely within our power to control. I didn’t say “eliminate.” There’s only one way to completely eliminate stress, and funerals are expensive. But we can control stress and make it a little less prevalent in our lives.

We can start by putting things in perspective. Mom always used to ask, “Will it matter twenty years from now?” Okay, that’s a tough question when your kid just colored the front of your first Bible in red crayon – the one you’ve had since you were ten (the Bible, not the kid). Thirty years later, those marks are still there. But you know, they really don’t matter.

Another way is by using one of the very first words we ever learned … “No.” Oh, you’d be surprised at how many people act like they’ve never heard it before. “What do you mean?” I mean no. I don’t have time for this right now, and I’m not taking it on. Your crisis is not my emergency. I’ll help any way I can, but the answer today is no. Period.

Sure, there are times when you can’t say no. This week has been one of those times for me. Just don’t let it become a habit. Because odds are, while you’re burning the midnight oil doing somebody else’s work, they’ve already gone home and had dinner. And they’re not giving you a second thought. It’s almost like somebody told them to get a life and they listened.

Well, get a life! Don’t let other people dump their load on you. It’s all about balance – being productive and helpful, but not to the detriment of your own well-being. Know when to say no. I promise you they’ve heard it before.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

What Are You Laughing About?

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

It’s early for me to be up and writing. Okay, it’s the same time I always get up, and I used to write this early every day. That was before I spent two months getting a taste of what retirement might be like. The verdict is in. I like it, but the bank isn’t so sure. And my wife, who always sides with the bank, can’t wait to see me leave for work again. Oh well. It’s been nice.

When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh? I mean the kind that leaves you holding your side and gasping for air? As a comedian, I can tell you that was the ultimate compliment. One night, I heard a woman near the front catching her breath and saying, “Please make him stop!” Okay, I heard that a few other times as well, but she was actually laughing.

I always used to tell my audiences that comedy is nothing but reality with a twist. All it takes is a little imagination. Like that sign I once saw on the side of the highway that read, “Used cows for sale.” Um, excuse me? Used how? I mean, it was in southwestern Kentucky. Do I need to draw a picture? At least it didn’t say “gently used.” I’m pretty sure I’d have run off the road.

It’s been said that we don’t stop laughing when we grow old – we grow old when we stop laughing. And still, I’ve met several people who wouldn’t crack a smile at a puppy chasing its own tail. Sometimes, they even go to the comedy club. Together. They charter a bus to make sure they all get there at the same time. And then they sit right up front. Fun times!

And they always have an excuse. “I’ll laugh when I find something funny.” Then go look in a mirror. It’s making the rest of us laugh. Make faces like a three-year-old. Better still, make faces AT a three-year-old. Laughter is contagious.

Another one is, “I have a weak bladder – I wet my pants when I laugh.” Then laugh it up! You’ll have to go sooner or later anyway. And everyone around you will find it hilarious. Or put on a diaper and giggle as you dribble. They’ll wonder what you’re laughing about, and that’ll make you laugh even harder. Voila! Two birds with one stone.

And then there’s the one we hear all too often … “I don’t have time to laugh.” Then you don’t have time to live, my friend. Of all God’s creatures, we are among the few who were blessed with the ability to laugh. And any time we deny ourselves the full gift of life, something inside dies.

Laughter truly is the best medicine. You’ve heard that your whole life, but it’s not just an old wives’ tale. Medical science backs it up. Laughter releases chemicals in your body that fight disease, kill pain, and trigger happiness. It’s impossible to feel bad when you laugh. Okay, the first week after my hernia surgery may have challenged that notion, but you get the idea.

And best of all, laughter is the natural antidote for stress. We all recognize stress as the ultimate buzz-kill, but it kills a lot more than just a good mood. And don’t let anybody tell you they thrive on stress. No, they don’t. As we discussed yesterday, stress releases its own cocktail of chemicals in our body that fight immunity and cause a whole host of other medical problems.

So, if stress is bad and laughter is good, why do we insist on watching 24-hour news instead of an old sitcom? Why do we complain about politics instead of spending time with the kids? Why do we gossip about the boss around the coffee pot instead of telling jokes? The answers to those questions could make the difference between a lifetime of happiness or misery.

I used to close every show by telling my audience that, by the time a child goes to kindergarten, they laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults, on the other hand, laugh about 17 times a day. Now, if we both live in the same world and both see and hear the same things, the answer should be obvious – they’re laughing at us! Maybe we need to do that a little more ourselves.

Mom once told me to never take anything in life too seriously, least of all myself. The day I took those words to heart is the day I stopped growing old quite so fast. You see, aging is inevitable, but growing old is a frame of mind. Laugh. Enjoy life. Don’t grow old before your time. You’ll be happier in the long run, and so will all those around you.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Use a Little Magic to Beat the Stress This Season

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

I’ve been admiring all the pictures people have been posting of their holiday decorations and kids sitting in Santa’s lap. Some are smiling, some are in a trance, and some are crying their eyes out as they look for any path of escape. After all these lectures about stranger danger, their parents tell them, “Go sit in that fat man’s lap and maybe he’ll give you a piece of candy!” Brilliant.

We did it, too. The whole experience. We tell them this figment of our imagination is watching their every move all through the month of December, just watching for them to misbehave, so he can divert all their gifts to a more deserving child. As parents, we think maybe it’ll help them try just a little harder to be good. To the kid, it’s just one more set of eyes watching their every move.

I remember my mom telling me we would get so wound up in the final weeks before Christmas, we were almost sick with anxiety. The more we’d try to behave, the more we’d misbehave. It’s like tying a person’s hands and telling them it’s a good thing their nose doesn’t itch. Within seconds, they’ll be scratching it against anything in sight. Be sure you’re not standing too close when that starts.

My grandson is having a hard time with the whole “be good” thing this year. The little boy has a heart of gold, and can be the most lovable child on the planet when the mood strikes him. But he can also be the most determined, defiant little demon you’ve ever met. And, I’m finding that the closer we get to Christmas, the more unpredictable that behavior becomes.

It’s not the child. It’s the pressure. It’s the memory of every act of disobedience in the past several months, and the knowledge that, if Santa truly has been watching, nothing he can do at this point will ever make up for it. And as soon as that sweet mood yields to the slightest misbehavior, it’s just one more reminder that he’s probably not getting anything this year. Is it any wonder they misbehave?

We can see it in kids. And, thankfully, we usually do something to defuse the situation and reassure them that they really haven’t been that bad – that even Santa can forgive a few indiscretions. But who reassures us? After all, we tend to react a bit differently to the stress of the season as well. And any time you react, there’s a 50/50 chance it won’t be completely positive.

This is a time when people are at their best. They smile a little more, they sing happy tunes, they let the old woman with two items get in front of them in the checkout line. It’s also a time when road rage is at its highest all year. People fight over parking spots, they blow their horn and flash indecent hand gestures, and swear like a sailor simply because the car in front of them is going too slow.

And that’s before they even get inside the store. I’ve actually seen people swipe a prized gift out of someone else’s shopping cart – not because the store was sold out, but because it’s there and they want it. Period. And if you want to see the Christmas spirit turn into seething disapproval, let the person at the checkout ask for a price check or struggle to find a credit card that’s not maxed out.

This should be the time of year when we’re a little more patient, a little more gracious, a little more excited. It’s a time when we find hope in things we normally wouldn’t notice. We see the magic in a young child’s eyes and can’t help feeling a little of the magic ourselves. It’s a time when we revisit the innocence of youth one more time, if only for a fleeting moment.

Yes, this is a season that can bring out the best or worst in people. It’s simply a matter of how we approach it. Slow down a little. Park a little further from the store. If somebody else insists on being miserable, don’t let it affect you. This is your holiday, and you’ve waited for it all year. So have the kids. So, make the most of it. In a couple more weeks, it’ll all be a memory. Make it a good one.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Stressed? Then Have a Little Fun!

Good morning, and happy Hump Day!

The week is half over, and by Sunday evening we can say the same about the whole month. Time flies when you’re having fun. You are having fun, right? I sure hope so. This is a time of year when we spend a little more time with family, share a few extra laughs with friends, and (plug your ears, boss) take just a little longer for lunch. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed.

Most employers don’t expect a lot during the second half of December. They know people are thinking about a dozen other things, and they plan for it. That’s why we work so hard in the months leading up to it. But some of us work in an industry where December is a little busier than normal. People in retail, healthcare, customer service, and others, work just a little harder this time of year.

Normally, that would mean coming home at the end of a long day and crashing on the sofa. The TV is on, but you’re not really watching. The kids are singing, but you’re not really listening. The dog is whining by the back door, but … well, you’d better pay attention to that one. Some things won’t be ignored.

Then there’s the shopping. First you have to find the perfect gift. Then you have to find the perfect wrapping paper. And don’t forget the card. There’s nothing more impersonal than a card that says, “Seasons Greetings – Love, Mom.” Well, don’t get your knickers in a wad. Kids don’t read the card anyway. They just flip it upside down to see if any cash falls out.

According to the old Andy Williams song, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. And, according to the lesser-known duo of Elmo & Patsy, it’s the time when Grandma got run over by a reindeer. Apparently, she drank too much eggnog and … well, you know the rest. I can certainly see how that could happen. Because, with all the extra stress, a little extra eggnog can be a blessing.

My girls learned as toddlers that Santa Claus likes cookies and pumpkin bread. But instead of milk, he prefers bourbon. Straight up, no mixers, and stainless-steel ice cubes that don’t melt and water it down. Hey, don’t judge me. I got the bicycles together and looked almost like the picture on the box. And I saved all those extra parts in case something fell off. That’s what helmets and knee pads are for.

These are the stories we all laugh about with friends. You know, several years later when the kids have safely grown up with no broken bones that can be traceable to Dad’s mechanical skills. I’m not suggesting you get hammered before you put your kid’s bike together. Just that it’s okay to set aside a little time for yourself to enjoy some of the craziness. After all, who’s paying the medical bills anyway?

It’s important that we make time for ourselves – time to relax, time to unwind, time to enjoy the season just a little. That may come in the form of a sleigh ride, a drink with friends, pizza night, taking the kids for ice cream, or just relaxing by the fire. If you have a fireplace, that is. That’s important. Almost as important as saving that second drink until after the bicycles are assembled.

Enjoy the season. Eat a few extra cookies. Put a few extra marshmallows in your hot cocoa. Have a piece of pie with whipped cream. Then turn the can upside down and fill your mouth the fun way. Act young. Snuggle under a blanket, and watch Rudolph with the kids. Twice. Sing a little louder, dance a little harder, and feel the magic in the air. It’s there. And once you find it, never let go.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Don’t Mess With Stress!

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is starting off just right.

For those who asked, my daughter went home from the hospital yesterday. There are issues that will require follow-up, but she dodged the bullet this time. Then, yesterday afternoon while chasing my grandson through the back yard, my wife tripped and her face and right shoulder took the full brunt of the fall. Two hospitals in two days. I seriously hope we’re done for the year.

This time of year, I don’t ask anybody what they’ve got planned for the weekend because I know. Most of us will be shopping. And it’ll be that way for the rest of the month. It’s a happy time, as we pick up gifts and imagine the look on the recipient’s face when they open it. Giving does bring joy.

But along with the joy of shopping comes the stress. Finding a parking spot, finding an empty shelf where you were hoping to pick up that special gift, and realizing the whole time that your budget has been ripped to shreds. Those little gifts for the neighbors, the stocking stuffers, extra eggnog for the party … all of those things add up and before it’s all over, you’ve spent a small fortune. It happens.

Stress takes away from our enjoyment of the holidays and, left unchecked, it can lead you into a deep depression. It wreaks havoc on your physical and emotional health. And, the thing we don’t really think about is that stress doesn’t care about your emotional state – it can happen when you’re excited or … well, stressed. Any big change from the ordinary, good or bad, is a source of stress.

Don’t believe me? Hang around a couple as their wedding day approaches. It’s probably the happiest day of their lives, and all the planning is geared toward making sure it’s absolutely perfect. The dress, the venue, the food, the flowers, the color choices, the guest list, the limousine, where to seat Uncle Fred so he isn’t too close to the bar. Is it any wonder newlyweds need to get away for a few days?

And, whether you’ll admit it or not, none of us handles stress very well. Nobody. I love it when somebody says, “I thrive on stress!” No, you don’t. You just take it out on everybody around you. You bury yourself in your work and forget that life exists outside of work. You imagine yourself the hero, but you’re really just wearing yourself down. And sooner or later, we all have to pay the piper.

Stress is like a rattlesnake, just waiting for the opportunity to strike. And when it does, the effects can be just about as devastating. But unlike a rattlesnake, stress doesn’t give you any warning that you’re about to have a really bad day. It just sneaks up until the opportunity is right, and leaves you wondering what happened.

As you go through the holidays, pay attention to the signs of stress. It’s easy to spot the bad kind. Impatience, a short fuse, exhaustion, and despair, are all signs of stress. Do you find yourself going through the entire day without eating? Stress. Are you driving just a little faster than normal? Stress. Are you working harder to get those projects done so you can take a little time off? Stress.

It’s impossible to avoid stress at any point through the year, but especially during the holidays. The key is recognizing it and doing something about it. Allow yourself a little extra time. Get up a little earlier and start the day a little slower. Drive in the slow lane and let the hotheads race around. Eat lunch with a friend. Turn off the news and turn on your favorite holiday show. Relax. Breathe.

Stress will always be there, to some extent. We can’t eliminate it completely, but we don’t have to add to it unnecessarily. No matter what you’re doing, find something to enjoy. Make time to do the things you like to do. Have a drink. Light a candle. Read a book. Share stories. Look through old photos. It won’t eliminate stress completely, but you’ll have a lot more strength for the next round.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Make Time to Enjoy the Season

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is starting off nicely.

This is a time of year when routines change and what we’ve become accustomed to yields to something completely out of the normal. We shop. We go to parties. We spend a little time with the kids as they thumb through toy catalogs with nearly every page earmarked. And we eat. Oh, do we eat. Candy, cookies, cupcakes, pastries, and everything else our brain tells us we should avoid.

Even the morning traffic is reduced, which I’m still trying to figure out because the parking lot at work is still just as full, so I imagine everyone else’s is as well. Are people just leaving a little later? Are they leaving earlier? Or are they simply driving with a little more of a cool head, not in such a rush to get someplace they’d rather not be? Maybe someday I’ll look into that. For now, I’m just enjoying it.

But in the evening, there are a lot more people out and about. Parking lots at stores fill up more by the day, and even Walmart has hired a few extra people to work the cash registers. Too bad they don’t keep that up through the year. It’s a good time to go grocery shopping, because everybody else is in a different store. Unless they shop online, which more and more people are doing.

And then there are the parties. I have one this week and one next week, plus a happy hour after work. Twice. After that, I’m not sure. But given that this will be my last month in my current position, I’m sure I’ll get out with a few more people before this calendar page hits the floor.

And then there are the holiday celebrations, church services, and meals. You’d think we’d lose weight with all this running around. But, remember the candy and cookies? Yeah. Mystery solved.

It’s a time of year most of us look forward to, because we find ourselves interacting just a little more. We’re a little nicer (well, most of us). We’re a little more generous. We find delight in the simple things, like a child sitting on Santa’s lap, eyes aglow, as they verbalize their dreams.

It’s also a time when stress levels are through the roof. Just watch cars in a parking lot jockeying for position as somebody in a prime spot sits with the engine running and the transmission in reverse, carefully checking their receipts against their shopping list. It takes about 6.2 seconds for tempers to flare. Before long, fingers are in the air and the Christmas spirit goes right out the window.

A lot of that is simply the result of overcommitment – trying to do too much in too short a time, when there are other things we should be doing instead. Kids are still in school, and the teacher still expects them to finish their homework. Dinner still needs to be served. And the boss still expects us to get the job done, even if that means working a little late to make up for all the socializing. And on it goes.

I’m not sure how to really fix that, but there are a couple of things we can do. First, be realistic about what you can and can’t do each day. You don’t have to do it all, and certainly not all at once. If the store is sold out of that prized toy, look online. With parties, you don’t have to be the first to arrive and the last to leave. Just showing up is enough. Fit it into your schedule as your schedule permits.

And no matter what, set aside some time to drive around and look at house decorations, or to take the kids for a sleigh ride. Go out for ice cream. Enjoy a quiet dinner for two, or drinks by the fire. Breathe. The holidays will come regardless, and in January another year begins. Make sure you leave enough of yourself intact to face the new year. Everything else will work out. It always does.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Take a Breather – You’ve Earned It!

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

Those of you who have been with me for a while know I try to be an upbeat person who can find the good in just about any situation. I’ve always believed life is what we make of it, and if we choose to focus on the positive, we’ll get a little extra bounce in our step and find more reasons to smile. And let me tell you, it sure beats wallowing in the negativity that is just looking for a chance to sneak in.

But lately, it seems I’ve allowed that negativity to take a more prominent place in my mind. I find myself letting little things get under my skin more than normal, to the point that I don’t really even notice it. And I guess it’s starting to show. Several times lately, my wife has suggested I should go back and read a little more of what I’ve written each day. Ouch!

It can happen to any of us. Positivity isn’t something that comes naturally. It has to be practiced, sometimes with a conscious effort, in order to become a habit. That’s the way habits work. Negativity, on the other hand, doesn’t take much effort. If you pull the plug out of a sink, the water will drain out and air will take its place, because nature seeks to fill a void. Let the positive thoughts slip away, and negativity will rise to the surface.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned signs of stress. We all like to think we can handle stress. Some folks even brag about it. “I thrive on stress!” No, you don’t. You may think you do, but the reality is stress erodes away your spirit until there’s no room left for anything but more stress. And along with stress comes the inability to enjoy life’s little treasures. Positivity out, negativity in. Just like clockwork.

Well, in a conference call yesterday afternoon, I was asked a simple question, and I gave a simple answer. No big deal. Twenty seconds later, another person on the call sent me a text message … “You sound happy!” Wow. I had to think back to what I’d said, and still didn’t realize it came off a bit abrupt. The next message was a little more direct. “You need a vacation.”

It’s easy to get so caught up in everyday life that we forget to slow down and enjoy everyday life. There are jobs to be done, bills to pay, people to see, things to fix, walls to paint, grass to mow, stores to shop, oil to change, trash to take out, and all those hundreds of little things that consume our day. At some point, we need to take a step back and say, “TIME OUT!”

And you know the answer most people give when you suggest that? “I can’t take time off … I’m too busy!” In the immortal words of astronaut Jim Lovell, Houston, we have a problem! It’s like saying you can’t go to sleep because you’re too tired. Trust me, you WILL go to sleep. It just may not happen exactly when or where you choose.

We all like to think nobody is quite as busy as we are. We wear it like a badge of honor. Because, if we’re busy, it means we’re productive. We’re getting things done. The world depends on us every day for its very existence, and we’re not about to let the world down. Sound familiar?

But sooner or later, your body and mind go off in a corner to chat behind your back, and when they come out, they have one word for you … enough! It’s time for a break. And if you don’t take one voluntarily, your body will find a way to make you do it. Now, let me ask you, which sounds more appealing? A week on the beach, or a week in bed wishing you were on the beach?

We’re raised to believe life is about working hard and getting ahead. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we remember that life is also about taking time to smell the roses. It’s about dropping everything to enjoy what we’ve worked so hard to build. It’s about family, and dancing, and laughter. And if you dance like me, those last two come as a package deal.

When it’s time to work, give it your best effort. If you have to be there anyway, make it count. But know when it’s time to step away and give yourself a break. If you’re waiting for a “good” time to take off, forget it. Put something on the calendar and let it be known that you’ll be doing something else during that time. You’ll be happier, and so will everyone around you.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

What’s The Rush?

I don’t know of too many people who wake up in the morning yearning to take their spot in the rush-hour commute. There are a few occasions where some people are determined to show the very worst side of their personality, and that one ranks at the top of the list. Can I get an amen?

And, other than an accident that ties up traffic even worse, few things can ruin the morning commute more than rain. Anything more than a sprinkle is enough to do the job, but a downpour is a special kind of messed up. Wipers blazing, puddles in the worst possible places, and people driving like the green flag just dropped at Daytona. That describes my commute yesterday.

I’ve often wondered what goes through a person’s mind to make them drive just as fast as they can, weaving in and out of cars that are at least trying to maintain a safe distance, on days when every instinct and everything they were taught in driver’s education tells them it’s about as dangerous as a coiled-up rattlesnake. “It’s raining! I need to hurry up and get there!!!”

I usually say a silent prayer that they’ll get where they’re going in one piece, and without taking anybody else out along the way. Because that’s usually how it happens. The accident they cause is behind them, and they race on oblivious to the mess they just caused.

It makes you wonder, are these people even half as energetic when they get to work? Do they approach their whole day with an equal sense of purpose and urgency, determined to outdo everyone around them? Or are they the ones sitting in the bathroom stall for a half-hour reading the newspaper, right before they clock out to take a break? We may never know.

In his 1974 song, Mac Davis reminded us all that it’s important to “stop and smell the roses along the way.” And, given the hectic pace in which most of us are forced to live, I can’t think of a more befitting sentiment. Sure, we need to get things done. But we miss a lot of the world’s beauty when our eyes are only fixed on that car in front of us.

Okay, I’m not suggesting we should take our eyes off the car in front of us. But you get the point. It’s easy to get tunnel vision, so short-focused that we never see the wonder around us. The baby calf in the pasture, the eagle perched in a dead tree, the snowman carefully crafted a day earlier, or the toddler lovingly waving goodbye to an older sibling.

It’s easy to see our world as a challenge to be conquered, full of people who are determined to get in our way. That guy in the left lane who’s only going five miles per hour over the speed limit. The person you have to reach around to get a can of corn off the grocery store shelf. Or the child who won’t stop crying when it should be obvious to the whole world you’ve got a headache.

But it’s just as easy to take a step back and enjoy those same situations. Instead of lamenting heavy traffic, turn up the radio and sing along. If you can’t race through the grocery store, take a little time to read some labels and find healthier alternatives. And when a child is crying, think of the innocence of youth. Try to remember a similar time in your own life.

It’s all about perspective. George Carlin once said the same words that hurt can heal. It’s that way with just about anything in life. Even the deadly venom of a rattlesnake can be used to make blood-thinning medicines that can lower blood pressure and prevent stroke. Now, I don’t suggest petting one, but they do have a purpose in our world. So does everything and everyone around us.

When the pace of life starts raising your stress level, slow down and take a deep breath. Take a moment to enjoy the world around you. Smile a little. Wave somebody else into traffic in front of you. It’s therapeutic – try it sometime. And when the jerk behind you starts blowing his horn, just wave and wish him a better day. You may get the finger in return, but that’s on him, not you.

When we take time to smell the roses, we find another level of existence. We find enjoyment in things that once were a source of irritation. We make new friends. We find new paths and enjoy new scenery. But most importantly of all, we enjoy this journey a lot more, and maybe even help those around us to do the same. That, my friends, is living.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved