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 Grow Old Before Your Time – And It’s Never Time

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

Some days we wake up full of energy, ready to take on the day and crush anything that stands in our way. Priorities have been set, a plan is in place, and we won’t stop until everything has been finished to perfection. When sleep finally comes, it’ll be out of sheer exhaustion from all the magnificent things we’ve accomplished. Today is not that day.

After being awakened by a pretty intense thunderstorm sometime when all good people are supposed to be asleep, I was a little slow rolling out of bed this morning. It’s not a lack of enthusiasm. It’s a lack of uninterrupted sleep. We all have days like this. Thankfully for me, they only come on days ending in “y.”

I’m told waking up during the night comes with age. I hope that’s not the case, because aging is something that never stops, and I’m nowhere even close to being old. Never mind the fact that, as of tomorrow, my oldest grandson will turn 20. That doesn’t mean I’m getting old. He is.

I still remember the day he was born. Watching him grow has been more than just a privilege. It’s a gift. And, like a lot of gifts, there were days when I wanted to take it back to the store. But overall, he’s been my buddy from the start. And he’s still not too proud to give his grandpa a hug, even if other people are watching.

Still, I’ll never forget the day I took him to little league football practice. We pulled up right in front of the team and, as he went to get out of my truck I said, “Hey, what about my kiss?” He gave me that wide-eyed stare that instantly conveyed what his 9-year-old brain was thinking. “Are you freaking insane???” I guess he didn’t care to be the tackling dummy for the day.

I’ve always said aging is inevitable, but growing old is a matter of choice. I’ve met people much older who are more vibrant and energetic than I was on my best day. And I’ve met others half my age who stopped living long ago. Benjamin Franklin once said that most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75. Can I get an amen?

And you know, I was part of that crowd until about 20 years ago. I don’t know if it was becoming a grandfather that breathed new life into the hollow shell I’d become. It may have been getting out of a job that sucked the life out of me, writing my humor column, getting into stand-up comedy, or any combination of things. I’m sure my wife had something to do with it.

But I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed the past 20 years a lot more than the years leading up to it. As a consequence, I’ve enjoyed better health and emotional vitality than I did before. Sure, I’m starting to show some signs of wear and there are things that need a doctor’s care. But all things considered, I’ve never been healthier than I am today.

That’s not the result of modern medicine or a healthy & active lifestyle. Please, weightlifting for me involves standing up, and the closest I come to a workout is bending over to tie my shoes. The reason for my good health is simple – I made a choice to go on living instead of letting life slip away. Besides, my wife said till death do us part, and I’m letting her off that easy.

Am I tired? Sure. Do I ache? All over. I can’t run, I can’t jump, and getting up from the floor is a major event that requires advance planning, supporting staff, and the will of God. But put me in the front seat of a rollercoaster (one I can fit in) and I’m like a little kid – arms in the air, eyes wide open, and screaming “Rock and roll!” all the way down.

There are days when we feel a little older than normal. The trick is to make “normal” a boundary we set, not one that’s imposed upon us. There are things we can’t control as we age, but there are many more things we can control. And the greatest factor in our power is the degree to which we let age define us.

If you’ve lost some of that inner youth, it’s never too late to find it. Find something you enjoy, something that makes you feel young again, and make it a part of your life. We can’t beat the effects of time, but we can beat the effects of age. Age is just a number, but growing old is a state of mind. Make sure yours is what you want it to be.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Dreams May Wait, But Time Isn’t Quite So Patient

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

Forty years ago, a friend told me about the magic refrigerator. Apparently, I thought he said the magic inside the refrigerator, because I found my way inside and never really came out. And I have the belly to show for it. Turns out, it’s not really magic. It’s first-grade arithmetic. Take in more than you put out, and the total just keeps getting higher.

But my friend wasn’t referring to the refrigerator’s contents. He was talking about something much more intriguing. He said, “Find a picture of the car you really want and put it on your refrigerator. Every day, you’ll look at that picture several times and it’ll remind you what you’re working for. Do that, and someday that car will magically appear in your driveway.”

That’s great if you have a driveway. Back then, I had a parking space. Not even an assigned parking space – just the privilege of finding one before anybody else got there. All for one low monthly payment. Right. My rent at the time consumed almost half what I got paid each month. For that, I should have had a heated garage.

But the concept of the magic refrigerator is pretty simple. Find a picture of something you want and put it where you’ll see it several times a day. I’ve mentioned this before. It sparks the imagination. It builds excitement. It’s a constant reminder that there are things in life worth working for. Besides, it makes other people question your sanity. That’s always a plus.

Well, I’ve reached the big time and I now have a driveway. Single-wide, and just big enough for one car. But it’s mine. If anybody else parks there, I can have them towed away at their expense. Problem is my refrigerator has aluminum doors. Magnets don’t stick, and my wife has dared me to use tape on it. So the “magic refrigerator” looks a lot more like the back of my desk.

For ten years, I’ve had a picture of a motorhome on my desk with the words, “If not now, when?” It was my daily reminder that this is our dream. Every day, I’ve taken small steps to make that happen. Saving money, extra work on the side, and building my credit score. And granted, I haven’t done nearly as much as I could have. Hence the dust on that ten-year-old picture.

Well, I can take that picture down, because as of Friday, the dream became a reality. We are now the proud owners of a brand new 38-foot motor home (and a whole bunch of monthly payments). Only problem is, it won’t fit in my driveway. In fact, it won’t fit in front of the house. Guess what’s gonna be next on the magic refrigerator? If you think it’s a bigger house, try again.

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale. South Florida is a boater’s paradise, but as you drive along Las Olas Boulevard, what’s docked behind those mansions can’t really be called boats. These are some of the most magnificent luxury yachts ever built. And every day going to work, I saw the same yachts – sitting in the same place every day. Maybe they couldn’t afford the motors.

We didn’t buy an RV to park in front of the house and show it off. What’s going on my magic refrigerator next will be destinations – campgrounds, national parks, beaches, canyons, and a US map with 49 stickers (they haven’t built a bridge to Hawaii yet). We plan to use this thing. And all the extra effort I put in from this day forward will be in pursuit of that dream.

You see, the RV was a dream. But it’s not THE dream – it’s just a tool that will allow us to satisfy the bigger dream of seeing this country though an ever-moving picture window. And believe me, that window is huge. On the trip home it collected a dozen bugs that weren’t smart enough to move out of the way. Care to guess who owns that window?

Yes, dreams do come true. We didn’t do this exactly the way I’d planned, and I can think of a dozen reasons we might have waited. But life moves on whether you’re ready or not. Sooner or later, you have to decide if the dream is important enough to make it happen. And if so, there’s no better time to get started.

It may take ten years for your dream to come true, but as you sit there thinking about it, the finish line isn’t getting any closer. Figure out what needs to be done and get started today. The sooner you make it happen, the longer you’ll have to enjoy it.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Life Is A Gift – Slow Down And Enjoy It

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

For most of us in the US, our circadian rhythms are all out of whack again. It’s amazing the difference one hour can make. Looking outside at 7:30 and it’s still dark just doesn’t feel right. There ought to be a law. I say we go back to bed and sleep that extra hour until the sun catches up. Funny, morning traffic seems to catch up quite nicely. It doesn’t miss a beat.

I haven’t been out for the morning drive in a while, and I have to admit that was pretty nice. I’ll be back out there in a couple of weeks, though, with one foot on the gas, the other on the brake, right hand on the wheel and left hand hanging out the window. You know … signaling a left-hand turn. You believe me, right?

I always used to wonder about all those people darting in and out of traffic, putting everybody else’s life at risk just to beat them to the exit ramp so they can slam on their brakes and stop right next to us at the light. Hopefully they’re that energetic when they actually get to work. I doubt it. They’re the ones who leave an empty coffee pot and swipe the last donut.

I remember driving home from work one day, and everybody else was going a lot faster than I was. Oh, I was doing the speed limit, but I was staying in my lane and just driving. You know, like an old man. Finally, it occurred to me. It’s not because they’re younger and more agile. It’s because they’re not going home to teenage kids. And apparently, they can afford the ticket.

No matter where we’re going, we always seem to be in a hurry to get there. So much so that, yesterday morning, we set our clocks an hour ahead. If we did that every week, I’d be 102. And, while I hope I can live that long, I’m not in that much of a hurry to get there. Life is going by fast enough, thank you. I’m ready to slow down and start enjoying it a little more.

Granted, there are times when we need to get somewhere fast. Like when you get out of work last and dinner is waiting. I’m kidding. Dinner is never ready. Well, unless you’re running late and it’s something that tastes better hot. And yes, we have a microwave. But some things don’t play nicely in the microwave. Ever try biting into a chunk of silicone?

Still, there are times when we’re legitimately in a hurry. But more often than not, we put ourselves in that situation by choices we made. Like leaving for work at the last possible minute and then expecting everybody else to get out of your way. I know, I sound like my dad. He always used to tell me if the car backfired one time, I’d be late. He was right.

Traffic is a fact of life. Tires go flat, batteries go dead, and every now and then Mother Nature decides to throw a wrench in the spokes. Any one of them can mess up your day. But if we’d just anticipate those things and leave a little earlier, we could start our day with a lot less stress and get to work in one piece. Early. Oh, the horror!  Now I really DO sound like an old man.

Well, here’s the thing. The first person there gets the freshest cup of coffee. The pot’s never empty, you get your choice of the best stuff in the vending machine, and you can pretty much park wherever you want. So, what if you can’t clock in early? Take a newspaper, check your email, read my morning post – whatever. Breathe. Start your day on your own terms.

Somebody once said Heaven must be a great place because we’re all dying to get there. And you know what? You’ll get there soon enough. Even the idiot on the road who’s making your life miserable. But as the title of a 1978 movie suggests, Heaven can wait. It’ll still be there. So will work, and dinner, and the school play, and all the other things we’re rushing to enjoy.

An old Mac Davis song warned, “You’re gonna find your way to Heaven is a rough and rocky road if you don’t stop and smell the roses along the way.” Breathe. Slow down. Take time to appreciate what’s in front of you right now, even if it’s a line of stopped cars. Every minute we rush through life puts us a minute closer to the end. Enjoy it before those minutes are gone.

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

Time Is What You Make Of It

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

It’s been a busy week on my end. Not busy in the sense that you would normally think, but sometimes it’s all about perspective. For some people, getting out of bed every morning is productive. I’ve made a little more progress than that, so I guess I can’t complain. At least I haven’t had to shovel snow (or pick up frozen lizards out of the yard). Yeah, that last one was a news story that caught my eye.

I did have a job interview this week that went really well. I’m sure at least a dozen other who applied for that job felt the same, but they have room for a few of us, so I guess we’ll find out. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing some cleaning in my basement which, over the years, has become the collection area for everything nobody wants to mess with right now and is unwilling to throw away.

Some people take time off from work just to stay home and catch up on things like this. I’ve never liked working vacations, so I let the company set this one up for me. And, since I don’t have the option to go to work each morning, it’s a good time to get caught up on all those things I didn’t do before because I was too busy working.

Notice I didn’t say all those things I couldn’t do … didn’t and couldn’t are two different things. We always love to say we can’t do something because we don’t have the time. But let somebody suggest a movie, or invite you to card night, and suddenly time isn’t so much of an issue. Time can pretty much materialize any time we want it. And if it doesn’t, we find ways to bend it.

Here’s a question I ask people a lot. Think of someplace you’d love to go on vacation – someplace really nice. And not just for a few days, but for a couple of weeks. Now, if the boss were to come to  you and say, “Give me an extra 7 hours every week – split it up any way you want, but it has to be 7 hours – and I’ll pay for that vacation,” would you do it?

Everybody I’ve asked has said absolutely, they’d put in the extra time. Notice, we didn’t say what the boss wants you to do for those 7 hours each week. Maybe he needs somebody to clean toilets. Maybe he needs somebody to make sales calls. Maybe he needs somebody to demo products. But not one person has even asked that question. For 7 hours a week, they’d do pretty much anything.

Yet, when I ask those same people if they’ve ever considered starting a side business, the number one excuse is, “I just don’t have the time.” Okay, let me get this straight. You can find 7 hours every week for the boss, but you can’t find time to do something for yourself, something that could someday buy a vacation home instead of just a two-week visit?

Part of the issue is that we tend to trust our employers more than we trust ourselves. That money is pretty much guaranteed. You know, until they say, “You’ve done a great job, but we just don’t need you anymore.” Now I have all the time in the world to build a business. Yet, I’ve spent most of that time dawdling around the house, reading, and working on a few freelance assignments.

Stepping out on your own takes courage. There’s a risk involved. That risk may be financial, and it may be personal. You might have to buy some equipment, tools, or inventory. You might have to invest in a website. You may have to spend a little on advertising. But, for the most part, you can manage those costs and thereby minimize the risk. There are businesses you can start for less than $100.

But the real fun starts when you tell your family and friends about your new venture. “Are you serious? That’ll never work!” Ever heard of a man named Gary Dahl? In 1975, he came up with the idea of putting a rock in a box with straw bedding and breathing holes, and selling them for $4. You think people laughed at the idea of a pet rock? Absolutely. Gary Dahl laughed all the way to the bank.

If a man can become a millionaire, almost overnight, selling imaginary pets disguised as a rock, there’s not much you can’t do to make a little extra money yourself. Maybe not a million dollars, but would a few hundred a month make a difference? Would it pay for that vacation you for which you’d gladly invest 7 hours a week?

Invest those 7 hours in yourself. Don’t tell me the time just isn’t there. You just haven’t looked. But if you find that time and use it to your own advantage, a vacation may be just the beginning of the great things you can do.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

How’s Your “Year in Review”?

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

I’ve missed you folks these past few days. I’d like to say it was an intentional hiatus. I could tell you it was because of the holidays. You know, I was so busy wrapping gifts and recovering from a night of reveling. I could blame it on an old war injury if I’d actually been in a war. But the truth is, I’ve just been sick. Yes, I know. I never get sick. I even told my body that. It talked back.

Last night was the first time in eight nights that I’ve slept without waking up coughing. We’re talking the kind of coughing that wakes up the whole house and brings up stuff that would give a catfish the dry heaves. By the time morning came, I was just in a complete fog. My writing at that point wouldn’t have been any better than my driving. Just ask anybody who was on the road with me.

Thanks to a combination of antibiotics, cough medicine, Earl Grey tea, and a little bourbon (it’s Mom’s old recipe), I’m on the road to recovery. I can’t carry a bath towel up the stairs without wheezing, but I’m getting there. Maybe that’s because, in addition to the bath towel, I have to carry this belly up the stairs as well. But I’d rather blame it on the towel. Don’t argue with me. It’s my story.

The new year is nearly upon us. Turn on the news, and there’s a “year in review” story on nearly every channel. Disasters of 2019. Celebrity losses in 2019. Heroes of 2019. Tweets of 2019. Okay, I made that last one up. We all know it would take all of 2020 to recap that one. But you get the idea. It’s a time of year when we reflect on all that’s happened in the past year.

And, if you watch any of those segments, you find yourself thinking, “That was this year???” Time has a way of disguising itself, along with a lot of the emotion and details of the events it encompasses. You know, like those New Year’s resolutions we made. “That was this year???” There’s a reason we don’t write those things down. We don’t want to be reminded how incredibly naïve we really are.

We also don’t like to be reminded of things left undone. You know, like the baseboard trim in my living room … from the reflooring job I did with my own two hands. It looks incredible. It’s hard to believe it’s held up so well over the years. Fourteen years to be exact. And it’s not that I couldn’t afford the trim. It’s been sitting in my garage acclimating to the ambient humidity. For fourteen years.

By noon tomorrow, I’ll be at least temporarily unemployed. My bosses have decided I did such a good job they no longer need me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So, while I wait for something else to open up, I have to sit around the house and be reminded of all the things I never got around to. That’s my punishment for being so good on the job. Woe is me.

Funny, I haven’t even posted this yet and I can already hear some of you chuckling in agreement. The fact is, we all have things we’ve meant to get around to and just never did it. Maybe not big things, and maybe not something as simple as baseboard trim that’s been collecting dust for over a decade. But life just gets in the way, and it seems some things never get done.

That’s why we need to prioritize. What’s most important to you? Make a list of things you’d like to get done, and then decide which ones need to be done first. But don’t set aside the ones that are just for you. Those are important as well. How important? Only you can answer that. If it’s something you can do a little at a time, get started. You may not get it all done this year. But think how much closer you’ll be.

I’ve often said my weight loss journey is a victim of my own impatience. The doctor says lose one pound a week, and I say at that rate, it’ll take me two years. Well, guess what? If I’d started two years ago, I’d be there.

It’s that way with most of the things you’d like to accomplish. Do what you can – a little here and a little there. It may take a while, but maybe your 2020 “year in review” will have a few more wins. And then just think of the fun you can have in 2021.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

It’s All a Matter of Perspective

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

I woke up later this morning than normal. Sometimes the old body just needs a little more rest before the day can start. Know the feeling? The only problem is, the clock never seems to get tired. It just keeps running and running and running. This far into the 21st century, you’d think we could figure out a way to fix that.

Time is the one constant in life that never really changes. Okay, aside from twice a year when we get the directive to change our clocks, but time itself doesn’t change as a result. All that changes is the way we measure it. “I got an extra hour of sleep this weekend!” No, you didn’t. You woke up at the same time you always do. Only this time, you were an hour early. There’s no snooze button for that.

As with most things in life, time is subjective. Sure, there are officially 24 hours in a day, and there are 60 minutes in each hour. And if your favorite show comes on in an hour, that’s a measurable span of time. But remember when you were little and your mom would say, “In a minute”? Hmmm. Now we’re getting into a gray area. Is that sixty seconds, or sometime in the next hour?

It’s the same with a lot of things. “I did a really good job on that!” Well, in your opinion. Hopefully everybody else will agree, but there’s always that one person who can spot a flaw in anything, no matter how well it was done. Sometimes you’d like to smack them so hard the only thing they can spot are the little stars swirling around inside their own judgmental head.

It’s like the scene in Christmas Vacation where, after several frustrating attempts and life-endangering mishaps, Clark finally gets his display of 250,000 outdoor lights to illuminate. As he dances around in excitement, tears of joy streaming down his face, his father-in-law casually comments, “The little lights aren’t twinkling, Clark.” “Yes, I know Art. And thank you for noticing.”

But in a world where very few things are cut and dried, we all have to find our own meaning in things that are a little more subjective. How long is a moment? How much is a little bit? How soon is right away? And how good is pretty good? It pretty much depends on who’s asking. Tell your kid you’ll take them to the amusement park “one of these days” and to them that means tomorrow.

A couple of days ago, I got an email from an RV dealer offering an unbelievably low price on a motorhome we’ve had our eyes on. It was a little over $50,000 off the list price. Who can turn down an offer like that? That’s a huge savings! But, then there’s the matter of what’s left after that deep discount. And, any way you slice it, it’s still a lot of money.

But what’s “a lot of money?” It’s different from one person to the next. What’s “a lot of work”, or “too much time?” Again, it depends who’s asking because it’s all a matter of perspective. One person may say, “That’ll take four hours!” while another says, “I can have it done in no time!” Neither one is any faster than the other. It’s all in how they view the time compared to the reward.

Tell somebody you’re doing something grand, like buying an RV or starting a business, and you’ll get all kinds of opinions. Everything ranging from how much money you’ll spend to how much time it’ll take and how hard you’ll have to work. To some people, getting off the sofa to get a drink of water is just too much effort. But to another, a year of working late every evening is well worth the effort.

You have to find your own level of “worth” in all things. Is $10 too much to pay for lunch? Is 5 miles too far to drive for ice cream? Is an hour a day too much time to spend working toward a dream you’d desperately love to achieve? To one person, the answer to any of those questions is yes. But only you can decide what something is worth to you. You only get one chance to live your own life. Make it count.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Take Life at Your Own Pace – You’ll Enjoy the Ride a Lot More

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

In yesterday’s post, we talked about making the most of our time. Normally, that presents an image of somebody who’s up and running, working from morning till night, cramming something into every minute of their day. And for some people, that works. It suits their personality and gives them energy to do even more. But there are times when we need to slow down and just appreciate the world around us.

The movie Dirty Dancing has been on several times lately. I think the program directors in some of these broadcast stations pick three or four movies for the month and just put them on a loop. During the holidays, there are a few that’ll completely dominate the airwaves. “Hey kid – you’re gonna put “your eye out!” (That was strictly for those of you who love “A Christmas Story.”)

At the end of Dirty Dancing, the owner of an exclusive summer retreat comments that kids don’t want to go to camp with their parents and take foxtrot lessons. “Trips to Europe – 14 countries in three days!” I actually remember a time when travel agencies offered such trips. It sounds like fun until you think about what that means. “Get back on the bus!  We’ve got a schedule to keep!”

When I was in the Navy, we made a port visit to Naples, Italy. I really wanted to see Rome, so I bought a tour ticket. It was only $20 and included everything from the train ride to a full day of sightseeing in one of the world’s oldest cities. I was really looking forward to it.

But at the time, I had a real problem with oversleeping. I couldn’t wake up on time if my life depended on it. And, as luck would have it, I overslept that day. By the time I woke up, the tour had already departed. I was heartsick. I had breakfast and reluctantly decided to go ashore for another day of walking, cheap wine, spaghetti, and negotiating with street vendors for cheesy souvenirs.

But I still had that burn – I wanted to see Rome. So, I went to the USO and asked about getting there. They told me which train to take and suggested taking bus 61 to the USO in Rome, where I could get a map of the city and see the sights on my own. And I had a day I’ll never forget. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted, but I saw most of it.

At the end of the day, as the tour group was on the train headed back to Naples, I was sitting in St. Peter’s Square watching the sun go down. It was the most peaceful moment of my entire life. Sitting at the base of the Vatican Obelisk, a tall spire that likely inspired the Lincoln Memorial, I was captivated by a feeling of complete ease. It was the perfect end to the perfect day.

I was on the move most of the day, simply because there were so many things to see. But I got to see them at my own pace, taking time when I wanted and moving on when I was good and ready. Luckily, bus 61 ran past most of them. And as I think of that day, it stands in complete contrast to the stressed bustle of attempting to see 14 countries in three days.

When we talk about making the most of our time, it doesn’t mean we have to be on the move all day. Sure, you make hay while the sun shines, or so it’s been said. But there’s something to be said for quietly enjoying what’s around us as we plan what we want to do next. It’s hard to focus on your dreams when you’re up to your elbows in work. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is slow down.

It’s in those moments of quiet reflection that we’re able to think more clearly and visualize not only what’s right in front of us, but what we want it to be. It’s a lot easier to imagine a life on the ski slopes while you’re relaxing on a beach than in the middle of your best day at work. Find those quiet moments and let your mind take you where you want to be. When you know the destination, you’re already halfway there.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Don’t Wait For Time to Come to You – Reach Out and Grab It

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

Last night, I got together with some close friends for a weekly business meeting. We’re a supportive group, and when one of us has a special need, we set aside some time to rally around them in prayer. Such was the case last night. One is in the hospital battling recurrent cancer, and we were able to give her a call and let her know we’re all thinking about her. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count.

As I drove home, I thought about how in all this talk of dreams and goals, what is the one thing she would want most right now? I doubt it would be anything material, though she did mention she’s keeping her eyes open for single doctors.

But my guess is that if you were to ask her for the one thing she wants most, it would be time. Not necessarily more time to live – for all I know, she may outlive every one of us. But I would bet that she’d like to have more time to enjoy the things she enjoys most – family, friends, travel, adventure, and maybe even a little more quiet time at home. We all need these things more than we may know.

And as I draw closer to the age of retirement, time is a lot more important than it once was. Again, not necessarily time to live, because I don’t plan on checking out any time soon. But I do look forward to having the time to enjoy my family, to play with the kids, to take my wife to some of the countries I’ve seen, and when the mood strikes, to just enjoy quiet time at home.

I remember watching a documentary years ago about a professional stock investor. He earned a seven-figure income by knowing exactly when to buy and sell certain stocks. And, because a stock exchange is always open somewhere in the world, he literally worked around the clock. All through the night, he would be awakened to a phone call advising him of price changes on a particular stock.

I remember thinking, sure, he’s a lot wealthier than I’ll ever be, but who wants to live like that? Hopefully at some point he’ll take a step back and enjoy the income he’s built, but when you work like that every day it becomes more than a job – it’s who you are. It’s what you do, not because you have to or even because you want to, but because it’s the way you’ve conditioned yourself to live.

Of course, any doctor would tell you that working like that is a quick way to put yourself in an early grave. Yet most of us, to a large degree, do the very same thing. We may not have a have people calling at all hours, asking us to make snap decisions in a fog of sleepiness that could affect our portfolio (and that of our investors) by several million dollars. But we do put a heavy emphasis on work.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what are you working for? Are you working just to pay the bills? Are you working because you want a new car? Are you working because your parents made you? Or are you working to reach a point in life when you can slow down a bit and have time to enjoy the things you’re working for?

Time is one of our most valuable commodities. And yet, we spend very little time doing the things we enjoy. Our days are mostly spent working, whether that’s on a paid job or taking care of things around the house – cleaning, laundry, repairs, lawn care, getting the kids ready for school, and all those other things that consume our day. What little time is left is spent sleeping so we can do it all again tomorrow.

And then comes that day when we don’t have to do all those things anymore. The kids are grown, we downsize into a condo where somebody else takes care of all the maintenance and yard work, and we can finally carve out a little time to do the things we want. Only now, our bodies make some of those decisions for us. We know what we’d like to do – we just can’t actually do it.

Time is not a renewable resource. You get one shot to get it right. If there’s something you want to do, a burning desire that just won’t go away, make it happen. Don’t wait for a better day, or until somebody else tells you it’s time. Because when that day comes, all the money and possessions you’ve accumulated won’t replace the time it took to get there.

We all get 168 hours each week and no amount of money will change that. So, change what you can. Make time work for you. It’s the one thing you have that nobody can take away. Make it count.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved