Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk … But For Heaven’s Sake, Wipe It Up!

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

When you need an obscure item around the house, one of those things you almost never need but when you do need it nothing else will do the job, where do you look for it? You know the things I’m talking about. Tweezers, safety pins, screws and anchors, batteries – okay, we use the batteries a lot, but they usually get stored with all the others. Where? In the “junk drawer.”

Don’t act like you don’t have one. EVERY house has a junk drawer. We have four – one in the kitchen and one in the living room. The other two go by different names. You know, “garage” and “basement.” Don’t know what to do with it? Throw it in the junk drawer. Drawer’s full? Put it in the garage.

I would venture to say I have enough hardware and scrap lumber in the garage to build a small spaceship. Clean out the basement and you could furnish it. And in those two small drawers – you know, the ones that only open three inches because something in the back is jammed against the frame – I could completely wire it up and run the lights for a year.

Then, maybe, I’d be able to get the drawers open the rest of the way to see what we shoved in there in 2006. There are keys in those drawers that have never fit any lock in this house. They were there when we moved in, and I still have no idea why. Of course, one of the drawers is in a table that came with us, so at some point they went to something I owned. I think.

Basements and garages are easy to overlook if you don’t spend a lot of time there. And even when you do pay a visit, you look around and think, “One of these days I need to clean this up a little.” Ten years later, a little cleanup would barely put a dent in it. Now you’re checking into the cost of renting a dumpster. They’re not cheap. Don’t ask how I know that.

Like a lot of things, it starts off pretty simple. You buy a new TV and the box has to be stored somewhere until trash day because it’s too big to fit in the can. So, it goes in the garage. Right next to the toaster box that could have been thrown away, but it was snowing that day. So you put it on top of the table saw that never gets used with all the other boxes.

You notice a pile of sawdust under the table saw and remember that you didn’t have time to clean it up before you put it away. Now, where’s the shop vac? Oh yeah, it’s in the basement, right next to those bags of old clothes you’re donating to a homeless shelter when you find time to carry them upstairs and put them in the car. But not today. It’s raining.

I know some of you are shaking your head and saying, “How on earth can anyone live like that?” Well, if we’re being completely honest, it happens to most of us at some level. It’s not because we’re slobs. It just happens. One little thing is left unattended and before you know it, fifty more are piled on top of it. After a while, moving is the only viable option.

If it were just messes around the house, we could deal with that. But life is full of messes, some a lot less visible than others, and they all share one thing in common – they take on a life of their own and continue to grow without any care and feeding on our part. It’s like pulling weeds. Sooner or later, they’ll come back even stronger. Constant attention is the only cure.

Whether those weeds take the form of household messes, financial problems, relationship issues, or just putting down roots of your own in a pattern of mediocrity, they will continue to reproduce and grow all on their own until we do something to interrupt the cycle.

If we take action at the first sign of trouble, it’s usually simple enough to keep things under control. But once it builds a head of steam, you’re faced with a monumental task and possibly some irreparable damage. All because it was raining that day.

Take care of today’s problems today. Sure, tomorrow is another day, but tomorrow will bring messes of its own. It’s easy to wipe up a spill or throw away a box. But cleaning the garage is a big deal. And make no mistake – sooner or later, you’ll clean it. Invest that time today and you’ll have that much more tomorrow. Maybe even enough to do something fun!

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall …

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

Have you ever had that feeling something is happening right under your nose, something sinister that you would never allow? It’s like parents smelling incense from a teenager’s room, or noticing that the bottle of vodka in the freezer is all of a sudden … you know, frozen. It’s almost like somebody is refilling it with water to keep you from knowing how much is gone.

That’s how I feel every morning when I look in my closet. It’s full of clothes that are a perfect fit for somebody who’s carrying around a bunch of extra weight. And judging by his fashion sense, he’s old, too. Like really old. There’s only one plausible explanation. I think my wife is having an affair.

Okay, before she reads this and smacks me in the head, I guess I should take that back. I know the clothes are mine, simply because they fit. Well, they used to. They’ve shrunk. Not in length, but in the waistline. How does that even work?

And when it comes to fashion, let me share a little story. Several years ago I had a part in a movie. It never saw the big screen, but it was fun going through the process. I played an older comedian who was mentoring a younger comedian. Right up until the scene where they found my body slumped over the table with a very real-looking bullet hole in my head.

As I was reading my lines the day before our first shoot, the wardrobe director asked if I knew where I could get my hands on a button-down sweater. You know, “Like the old men wear.” Yes, it was a low-budget film. That wasn’t the worst part. I had two sweaters just like that hanging in my closet. Right next to my powder-blue leisure suit.

It reminded me of the time when I went to the vision center for an eye exam. As I was trying on a pair of glasses with large squared lenses, a very attractive female clerk gently took them off my face and put them back on the rack. “We keep a few of these around for the old men. Let’s try something a little more fun.” Wham! A two-point shot and I didn’t even see it coming!

Age is one of those things that sneaks up on us. It happens while you’re sleeping. I offer that scientific observation based on the fact that my hair is no grayer at the end of the day than it is when I wake up, but every morning it seems a little less colorful than it was yesterday. And the problem is, the older I get, the more I sleep. Damn.

The same is true of weight. I know, there are people who can eat a single donut and say, “I feel bloated!” Yes, Karen, those extra 150 calories went straight to your gut. Everybody duck! The button on her pants may fly off at any moment. It could put an eye out. Seriously. I read it on Facebook!

Okay, there are days when we feel a little older and temporary bloating is a real thing. But the long-term trend is something we rarely notice until it becomes … well, noticeable. With women, age is easy to conceal. With men, it’s a little more obvious. Checkered shorts, black knee socks, and leather sandals? Give him a pair of wraparound sunglasses and send him to Golden Oaks.

Think back over your career. Were there times when you felt you just weren’t making any progress? You’d wake up each day and think, “Here we go again. Same stuff, different day.” Yet somewhere along the way, things changed. Odds are, you’re not still doing the same things you did when you first started working. You grew. It may have been slow, but here you are.

Now, think of your dreams – things you’ve been slowly working toward for several years. It’s hard to notice any real progress from one day to another, but when you look at where you were a month ago, or maybe a year ago, you’ve probably gotten closer, even if you weren’t trying as hard as you could have.

One of the hardest things about achieving long-term goals is the lack of noticeable results from one day to the next. It’s that way with savings, weight loss, education, muscle-conditioning, business-building, and just about anything else you can imagine. You may notice small gains over time, but it’s hard to see progress on a daily basis.

But the progress continues as long as you keep working at it. We barely notice each mile in a 1000-mile trip, but that doesn’t mean we’re not getting there. Just keep going. Do what you need to be doing, and stick with it. And one day when you least expect it, you’ll realize you’re just about there. Almost like magic.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Time is What We Make of It – Make Yours Count

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

It’s been a crazy week for me, and the calendar says it’s barely started. I think we talked about this last week. Just lots going on, between work, cleaning my dad’s house, my brother in the hospital, and taking the motorhome in for warranty work. Oh, and that freelance assignment I was supposed to have done two weeks ago. When it rains, it pours.

It seems a lot of my posts center on this topic – too much to do, and too little time to get it all done. And yet, at the end of the week, we still fill those 168 hours doing something. Maybe not what we’d planned on doing, because life has a way of spotting extra time. “Oh, you thought were getting all this done? Yeah. Hold my beer!”

It keeps us on our toes. It sparks our creativity. It makes us talk like a drunken sailor. It’s been said that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive. Wrong! I learned to swear when my sister learned to drive. She taught me all the words. The Navy taught me how to use them in proper context. And time (or lack of it) was one of those contexts. Still is.

Dad always used to say “first things first.” Okay, that’s a simple concept for people who can tell the kid to go cut the grass. It’s easy to get the important stuff done when you can delegate the rest. That’s why the boss always looks so impressive and the rest of us are running around looking like Keith Richards on a three-day binge.

But there are some things we just can’t delegate. I’ve had help with the house cleaning, and I’m thankful for everyone who’s pitched in. But I have to do the freelance work myself and the boss says I can’t subcontract the work he’s paying me to do. I’d send somebody else to the hospital to visit, but I’m pretty sure my brother would catch on. And nobody else is driving that RV.

Okay, I’m having a little fun here, because that’s the best way to work through trying times. No, I wouldn’t try to farm out the work I get paid to do. And I’m happy to spend time with my brother, even if it is in such a clinical setting. And someday, I’ll teach my wife to drive the RV. You know, after I put the first dent in it. I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s been waiting for.

Leadership is a word we often misconstrue to mean bossing people around, when what it really means is taking the bull by the horns and making things happen. It’s a word employers like to throw around, and for good reason. Every successful company needs leaders. And not everybody wants to be a leader. That’s why we have pay scales.

But leadership applies to most areas of life, including the parts where we’re doing things for ourselves. You know, chasing our dreams. It’s an important part of life, and one we all too often ignore for the sake of all those other things we have to do. You know, now. Right this minute!

And part of leadership is being able to categorize work into a few different buckets. In my final years in the Navy, I was the leading petty officer for my division. I sat at a desk and looked important. And I shuffled papers. Lots of papers. The officers were so impressed.

On my desk, I had three stackable baskets. You know, “In, “Out,” and “Pending.” Well, mine said, “I don’t want it,” “I’ll get to it later,” and “I’m hoping you’ll forget about it.” Guess which one stayed full? And once a month, I’d sift through the papers in that bottom basket. Nine times out of ten, nobody had ever mentioned them again. They went straight in the circular file.

Sometimes, people will dump work on your plate simply because they can. It’s up to us to decide which tasks are important, which ones we can give to somebody else, and which ones we can set aside. And here’s the important part of this whole post – your dreams NEVER go in the “set it aside” bucket. Find time. Make time if you have to. But dreams always take a priority.

They may not take top priority, and you probably won’t find anybody else willing to do the work for you. They have dreams, too. But as long as you’re willing to let other priorities steal all your time, you’ll never do anything for yourself.

Working hard will get things done. But are you getting the right things done? A cemetery awaits us all. We may not be able to change the destination, but we can certainly choose the path. Make time for yourself. Make it count.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Are Your Dreams Keeping Up With Your Age?

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

Today is my youngest grandson’s birthday. He’s five, and all that that implies. I called this morning to sing happy birthday, but not before I had him checking for chest hair. He’s pretty sure he’s all grown up.

And you know, I remember times in my life at various ages where I was pretty sure I was grown up. Like in first grade, when I was in “real” school and discovered an affinity for girls. I had similar feelings of maturity just about every year in school. And it doesn’t stop there. I sometimes even feel grown up today. I know. Delusions are just a normal part of life.

But when you think about it, everything is relative. To me, the little guy is just five. He’s only aged a year since his last birthday – that’s 1/62 of my life (so far, thank you). But to him, he’s aged by 25%. That’s a pretty huge jump. With each year that change is a little less dramatic until you’re in your 60s and it’s just another day.

Okay, first things first – every birthday should be a celebration. Yes, it’s just another day. One out of 366 (it’s leap year). But it’s still a special day and we should take advantage of that opportunity to make the birthday boy or girl feel special. It’s just a simple way of letting them know we’re happy they’re a part of our life. We should all do that a little more often.

And I know a lot of people don’t really want the attention, or at least they say they don’t. One of my daughters loves having the entire restaurant staff sing happy birthday, and the other dares us to let anybody know. Oh well, we’re the parents and embarrassing our kids in public is our God-given right.

But I get it. After a certain number of birthdays, the parties and cake are just fluff. And at my age, nobody would dare put that many candles on a cake, because it would collapse under the weight. You’d need a blowtorch to get them all lit and I’d need a bottle of oxygen to blow them all out. And you know what happens when you blow oxygen on a fire. There goes the house.

One of the blessings of having so many birthdays is that we don’t feel that much older each year. One of the downfalls is that we don’t feel that much older each year. It’s like taking a 1000-mile trip. You don’t notice every milepost along the way. But each “Welcome to our State” sign is a big deal, and there’s nothing quite like reaching your destination.

It’s the same in life. You don’t really notice each new wrinkle or age spot, but one day you wake up and realize an old person’s body has taken over your own. I notice it every time I get a haircut, because the barber stands behind me throwing somebody else’s gray hair all over the floor. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

It’s hard to see gradual change. Every day, things look pretty much the same as they did yesterday. And because we don’t notice the change, we don’t notice the lack of change. By this point in my life, I was supposed to be happily retired and living the good life. But somehow, I’ve allowed age to progress without much movement toward that dream. How about you?

Time moves on. That’s one of life’s certainties. And it happens whether we’re ready for it or not. It’s like looking at the calendar and realizing the bills are due or you’ve got a final exam today. Nothing changes the reality of those situations – not even burning the calendar. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Are there personal goals you’d hoped to accomplish by now? The correct answer is yes. So, here’s the real question – for those goals you’ve missed, is it all over or can you set a new date and try again? Or maybe you can modify the goal just a bit. That’s okay, as long as it’s still your dream and not what life decided to let you have.

All through life, we trim our dreams to match our reality. Whether that reality is constrained by age, education, income, or physical limitations, redefining dreams is something we do a lot. But we should never just let those dreams die. The key is finding ways to work around those limitations to enjoy life on our own terms.

You can’t stop time, but you can manage it. No matter how old you are, you still have time to dream and to accomplish those dreams. Put some of that time to work for you. There’s no telling what you might accomplish.

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 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