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

Your Tomorrow Begins Today

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

Yes, I’m back. Hope you enjoyed the break. Okay, I hope at least a couple of you missed your morning dose of motivation. I’ve missed my time with you. As I’ve said many times before, sometimes these morning messages are as much for me as anyone. Either way, I’m glad to be back.

We took a nice trip across the country for a weekend business conference in Denver. And we drove, all the way from Ohio … 2,435 miles round-trip. I guess it would have been faster and easier to fly, but there’s something about experiencing the trip that makes it all the more enjoyable. All told, our (almost) new car has been in 18 states over the past two years. I guess we must enjoy it.

It was our first time in that part of the country, and it was nice to be able to spend time with a bunch of old friends and a few hundred others we’ve never met before. As a bonus, I have a cousin who works just a couple of miles from our hotel, so we were able to get together for the first time in at least ten years to share dinner and laugh about old times.

The program itself was motivating. I didn’t go out there hoping to be set on fire – I just wanted the inspiration to re-focus on my goals and come back with the energy to do something constructive. We had at least a dozen different speakers, all very accomplished in their own lives, and the message they shared was focused on one simple premise – your future begins today.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done to this point in life. We’ve all made some mistakes, and maybe we’ve accomplished some magnificent feats as well. But that’s in the past. Whether we enjoy or languish in the life we’ve built, that’s all in the past. From this day forward, we will build the life we enjoy (or suffer) going forward. It can all change in an instant. And that instant is now.

We met people from all walks of life with stories that, when you boil it all down, sound eerily similar to our own. They worked hard. They had bills. They worried about the future. They fought. They struggled. They wondered how they would ever take care of all the things they needed to do and still have time to plan for tomorrow. Sound familiar?

Some started out wealthy (at least on paper), and some were flat broke. But they all had a dream and the drive to do something about it. That dream may have been material, like a new house or car. It may have been to strengthen their relationship by working together on their dreams. It may have been to pay medical bills, save for college, or simply to have more time to enjoy the life they’d built.

Again, if you took their story and changed the names and a few other details, they could have been talking about any one of us. The difference is they got up and did something about it. They saw an opportunity to build a better life and made the most of it. And, as a result, they enjoy a lifestyle most of us can only dream of. It took time. It took effort. It took persistence. But it was worth it.

No matter what you’ve done in life, good or bad, your future begins today. You can build on the good and make it even better, and you can work past the mistakes to get back on track. It’s all a matter of desire and drive. But you have to believe it can happen – not just that it’s possible, but that if you put in the effort and never let up, it’s inevitable. There’s nothing you can’t accomplish.

If I learned one thing over the weekend, it was that all of those people on the stage don’t have a single thing on me – not one personal characteristic or inner gift that gives them an edge the rest of us don’t have. The only difference is how they put those talents to use. And if any one of them can do it, there’s nothing stopping the rest of us from doing the same thing.

You have dreams. We all do. They may be simple or grand, but to each of us they’re equally important. And all that separates you from your dreams is belief and action. Believe you can achieve, do the things that need to be done, and success is simply a matter of time.

That all begins today. Forget any mistakes you’ve made and look past where you are right now to where you want to be. Then make a plan and get busy. Do the things that need to be done and don’t stop until you reach your goal. It’s there waiting for you. All you have to do is go get it.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

A Single Spark Can Change It All

Good morning! I hope you’re having a nice day so far.

It would be hard to write anything today without addressing the news of yesterday’s devastating fire at the Notre Dame. Thankfully the main part of the building was saved, as well as many of the important works of art. But the damage has forever left an 850-year-old cathedral permanently changed, and those who see it in the future will see a substantially different historical landmark.

It appears most of what was destroyed can be rebuilt and, to the naked eye, will retain its original magnificence. But I read an article yesterday that described the building’s huge oak timbers, cut from trees in the surrounding area that were saplings nearly 1200 years ago. Lumber like that just isn’t available anymore, and it’s just one more architectural feature that will never be the same.

As I read the news and watched video of the fire, starting in a relatively small area of the roof and rapidly growing to consume most of the skyline, it occurred to me that this is just one of the many historical treasures in this world I’ve never seen, and quite possibly would never again have the opportunity to see. It could have been reduced to rubble by this time today.

I spoke with a woman at work who’s traveling to France and Germany in a few weeks. The Notre Dame was one of her planned destinations. I thought of all those people who were planning to celebrate Easter in or near the cathedral this week. For many of them, this would have been their first visit. But, simply by virtue of this year’s Lenten calendar, they’re arriving one week too late.

All through our lives, we make choices. Most of us have some type of “bucket list” of things we’d like to see and do before our days on this earth are over. We make choices along the way, sometimes opting to set our dreams aside for another day. Those choices may be voluntary or imposed upon us by circumstances over which we have little control, but the net result is the same.

We always assume that, for whatever it is we want to do, tomorrow is always an option. We put off that vacation until the kids are a little older. Then we put it off until they’re grown. Then we put it off until we’ve saved a little more for retirement. Then we put it off until after we retire. Our intentions were sincere. But then one small spark changes it all.

Sadly, you hear that same story repeated over and over in the funeral parlor. Plans people had made to call or visit “sometime soon,” invitations they turned down or never extended themselves, that one big get-together they’d been dreaming about for years. And then, in an instant, those plans are forever changed.

The intentions were sincere. But intentions can’t be shared and enjoyed. They can’t build those memories that people will treasure for a lifetime. They can’t even motivate us to act on our dreams. They are simply a thought floating around in our head, occasionally reminding us of something we hope to do someday.

If there are people in your life you would miss tomorrow, call them today. Don’t just make plans to visit – do it. You can probably come up with a dozen excuses for putting it off until another day … time, money, your work schedule, other obligations … all valid reasons on the surface, but excuses that will haunt you for a long time if fate steps in with other plans.

If there’s something in this world you really want to see, whether it’s a cathedral, a famous theater, a redwood forest, or a bunch of faces carved in the side of a mountain, don’t wait for the perfect opportunity because things will never be perfect. Life has little regard for our intentions, and until we act on them, they’re little more than a checklist for our obituary.

Build that dream list and start checking things off instead of crossing them off. The best of intentions won’t mean a thing when the opportunity is gone. As we found out yesterday, it can all change with a single spark. So, let that spark come from within. And, once it’s started, never let that fire die.

Make time for the things you want to do in your life. Make time for the people you want to see. Someday is now. Today. Change the things you need to change and prioritize what’s important to you. If money is an issue, make some. If time is the problem, find some. If physical impairments are getting in the way, work around them. Other people do it every day. You can, too.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved