A flight that was delayed by four hours gave me a good amount of time to be still and contemplate my blog, amongst other topics, this week. I was to fly to Cleveland on Monday afternoon and about 5 minutes from my house, Delta called to let me know my flight was estimated to leave about 3 hours later than scheduled. I could have turned around and driven home, but I chose to head out to the airport and make the best of my extra time. It was interesting to watch how other people were reacting to delayed or cancelled flights. I want to personally celebrate that I chose to take the path less traveled and simply go with the flow. The 3 hours turned into 4 hours, but I was still cool with it all. I want to share some of the things I feel were a gift I received as I chose not to be crabby or have a meltdown or fret about not getting out of town "on time". They are things that I was able to notice because I was still on the inside and on the outside and thus, I was able to see things I would typically blow right by. Please note that not everything I noticed was profound or meaningful to anyone but me - that's okay!
By the way, I know I have done this before: but, this is a new list because I was in a new place, literally, and psychologically.
- Not all airports are created equal; all in all, MSP is an awesome airport
- A BLT on non-toasted bread does not really work for me; however, the honey glazed, black pepper bacon was awesome (Ike's)
- There seem to be more people flying who are alone than people flying with someone
- There is nothing quite so beautiful as old love. I got to witness a couple (likely in their 70's) who were completely committed to one another. He seemed to have suffered a stroke at some point - speech and body movements and balance were not great. When he would stand to do something, his sweet wife watched his every move - partly out of concern, but partly out of simply wanting to watch him. She never took her eyes off him, and when they were together, he never let go of her hand. It was beautiful!
- In general, people want to help one another if they can. I saw a mom/dad/little girl trio disrupt 3 comfortably seated adults in order to be able to sit together on the plane. I loved watching the mom ask for what she needed, and I loved seeing how many people eagerly volunteered to move so that this family could be together.
- Small acts of thoughtfulness really do make a difference. I had fallen asleep during the time the beverage service was in action. I have done this many times in my years of traveling and typically wake up feeling just a tad sad that I missed my soda and peanuts. NOT THIS TIME! I woke up to find a bag of pretzels and a cookie on my tray. Within a few minutes, I had a tap on my shoulder from our flight attendant. He asked me if I wanted anything to drink. ARE YOU KIDDING? The drink cart was totally locked up in its little garage and he had moved on to collecting trash. I was so impressed that he had noticed me and remembered that I had been asleep and missed choosing a beverage. At that moment, Delta was scoring MOST EXCELLENT on my list of airlines.
- I finished 3 books on this trip; I can still read really fast if I am not distracted.
- Theodore Boone, The Accused by John Grisham is actually a story about a 7th grader wanting to be a lawyer and it's written for junior high kids. YEP - I bought it by accident, but I read it on purpose - it was adorable. I was prepared for any odd looks or comments from strangers about why I was reading a kid's book. None came ....
- Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz is a good read - not stellar, but good. It does make you think about choosing differently. You start to notice how you make choices and you start to judge others that make choices differently than you. I am a satisfiser (pronounced sa-tiss-fi-sir), not a maximizer. I will look at a couple of choices and settle. Others need to make certain they have looked at all of their options and have made the absolute best choice. Those people make me crazy, and I likely make them crazy!
- The best book is Quiet, by Susan Cain. If you are an introvert, know an introvert, have an introverted child or spend any time with people that have different energy than you, you need to read this book. It is top ten fantastic. I think I may dedicate a blog to some of my favorite quotes from her book sometime soon.
- Connecting is a big deal to me. I found myself smiling and yes, tearing up, as I watched people connecting with one another. We are made to connect - I could see that great pain and great joy came from two or more people connecting with one another - it's the stuff life is made of.
I am so happy that I took the time to relax and read and listen to music and simply notice the world around me for a few hours. I am not quite sure how else I would have accumulated the gifts I have discussed here. I encourage you to spend some time this holiday weekend stepping out of the motion into stillness - there are gifts waiting there for you!