There Is a Season

David Gartland

Dave was born and raised on Long Island, New York, and has lived in central New Jersey since 1987. He earned a bachelor’s degree in math from the State University of New York at Cortland and holds various professional insurance designations. Dave’s property and casualty insurance career with different companies lasted 42 years. He’s been married 36 years, and has a son with special needs. Dave has identified three areas of interest that he focuses on to enjoy retirement: exploring, learning and accomplishing. Pursuing any one of these leads to contentment. 

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There Is a Season

David Gartland  |  May 13, 2024

THE FIRST ROCK concert I attended was The Byrds at Bowdoin College in Maine. We stayed nearby at a cabin in the woods. It was there that I had my first experience with marijuana. It was not a good experience—thank goodness. My drug days were short-lived.
One of the songs made famous by The Byrds is Turn! Turn! Turn! The song was written by Pete Seeger, who derived it from verses in the Bible.

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Not Dead Yet

David Gartland  |  May 9, 2024

FOR MY BIRTHDAY this year, my wife gave me a card that declares, “Not Dead Yet.” That might sound morbid, but I laughed. The reason: My wife had misinterpreted something I used to say to colleagues at my final job.
When they saw me at the coffee machine, they’d often ask, “How are you doing, Dave?”
Instead of saying “fine,” I used to say, “I’m still breathing. Count your blessings. Blessing No. 1: I’m still breathing.”
In many cases,

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Stinking Thinking

David Gartland  |  May 6, 2024

ONE OF THE POSITIVE outcomes of my unsuccessful life: I’ve had an incentive to study ways to be successful.
Among the self-improvement materials I’ve looked at, many have titles like “how to become…” or something similar. The good ones are easy to understand and make you feel it’s possible for you to achieve whatever they’re selling.
When the material is delivered in person, you get the advantage of a great presentation from a dynamic public speaker.

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Define Done

David Gartland  |  Apr 29, 2024

ONE OF MY MOST enjoyable jobs was in training and development. This involved creating lesson plans and conducting classes for the insurance company where I worked.
One mantra in the training department was “define done.” When we ran a training program for another part of the company, our department manager would stress that we needed to find out the internal client’s definition of “done.” In other words, what would the client require or expect our department to deliver so that the client would be satisfied with our service?

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Back to Life

David Gartland  |  Apr 25, 2024

SOME PEOPLE CAN LOOK at a blank page and imagine a new creation—perhaps a new business or a new house. I can’t.
What I seem to be pretty good at is taking something that’s broken and coming up with creative solutions for fixing it. It’s like a game or a puzzle. The goal: Bring this broken object back to life as cheaply as possible.
When, say, a washing machine or a dishwasher breaks, the repair person will look up the manufacturer and order the necessary replacement part.

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Ask the Question

David Gartland  |  Apr 22, 2024

I WAS A PART-TIME instructor in public speaking for Dale Carnegie & Associates during the 1980s and early 1990s. I taught a course at the Downtown Athletic Club in lower Manhattan.
At the time, my wife and I were living in northwestern New Jersey, and we each took the bus into Manhattan to our respective jobs. The course was given after work, so I had to take a late bus home. This meant my wife needed to drive to the bus depot to pick me up.

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Making Everyone Happy

David Gartland  |  Apr 19, 2024

I’M NOT A GENEROUS guy. Which brings me to tipping.
I see a price on the menu, and I’m willing to spend that amount on the food. Then I have to spend additional money, after having consumed that food, because someone served it to me. Why?
What about the kitchen staff who cooked my meal? Should I tip them also? After all, I can’t cook, so the kitchen staff is doing me a more important service than the person who carries my food to the table.

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Make That Choice

David Gartland  |  Apr 15, 2024

I’M NOT THE SMARTEST guy. That used to bother me when I was in school. The smart guys were making their teachers happy. They were named to the National Honor Society. They went to the best colleges. They seemed to have it all.
As I got older, and began to make more and more decisions on my own, I had to come up with a method that would allow me to make good decisions,

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Eat Sleep Move

David Gartland  |  Apr 8, 2024

WHEN I WAS A KID, I would hear “old people” say, “If you have your health, you have just about everything.” I heard it. I understood it. But in truth, I didn’t really understand it—until I joined the “old people” category.
Looking back, I realize I’ve been blessed with good health. I’ve never broken any bones. I’ve never spent a night in the hospital. I’ve never had any long-lasting illnesses. I don’t regularly take medication,

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Time to Stop

David Gartland  |  Apr 1, 2024

MY WIFE AND I ARE different in many ways. This is good and bad. The good part: I get to see both sides of any issue we discuss. This includes our retirement.
Toward the end of 2020, we stopped working within three months of each other. We were both eligible for Social Security and Medicare, so those two key ingredients of a successful retirement were there for us. But we have different visions of retirement.

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Charging Ahead

David Gartland  |  Mar 28, 2024

I GREW UP DURING the muscle car era. That was when Detroit automakers became aware of the baby boomers’ buying power.
The boomers, of whom I’m a proud member, didn’t live through the Great Depression. We had television, frozen foods, Mattel toys and a car in every driveway. Prosperity is what we were used to, and we loved it. It seemed everyone had jobs, so there was money to spend.
My friends and I felt that having a nice car was the key to getting that special girl.

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Killing Time

David Gartland  |  Mar 25, 2024

WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, my father and I went to the local mall. I don’t recall why we went shopping together, but I do remember going into a Tandy craft store and buying a customizing kit for leather belts. Tandy Corp. would later become well known as the owner of RadioShack.
On the way home, my father and I were talking about the kit, and I made the comment, “It’ll be a good way to kill time.” My father shot back,

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Cool Has a Cost

David Gartland  |  Mar 18, 2024

I’M SITTING ON MY patio drinking coffee, as I do every morning before my wife and son wake up. I go to bed early and wake up before sunrise, so when I’m drinking my coffee, it’s still dark. This is a great time for me to think.
This morning, I’ve been thinking about Jordache jeans. For those of you too young to remember, Jordache jeans were the thing to own in the late 1970s and early 1980s if you were a teenager or in your 20s.

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It’s What We Do Next

David Gartland  |  Mar 11, 2024

BOXING CHAMPION Mike Tyson famously said, “Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time.”
I’ve only been punched in the face once in my life. It occurred in sixth grade. I was alone in the boys’ bathroom when a bully came in. He said something to me and didn’t like my response, so he attempted to kick me.
I saw this happening out of the corner of my eye and I lifted his leg up,

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Aiming High

David Gartland  |  Mar 7, 2024

MY WIFE NEEDED KNEE replacement surgery a few years ago. Her health plan, which was provided through the school district where she worked, was a preferred provider organization with a large network of doctors. After some research, my wife decided she wanted her operation done at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery.
I love hearing about people’s lives. I’ve long read biographies to learn how others gained their fame or fortune, hoping for pointers that would help me with my own life.

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