One thing I’ve really been working and concentrating on lately is being in the moment. It takes a lot of effort for me to do this. Right now, I’m sitting in SFO on my way back from a work trip to Chicago, and it seems to me there are few better places to witness those in the moment—and those not—than at the airport.
I’ve been traveling for 12 hours now due to plane delays, and it’s been difficult not to be upset about what’s already happened, and it’s been difficult throughout the day not to worry about what might happen. And in this, I am not alone, and it’s pretty obvious to tell those in the moment from those that aren’t.
I’m going to take a little leap here and add that being in the moment means not trying to control what you can’t. If I’m focusing on what’s happening at this point in time, my vision is focused, and I can clearly see what’s possible. I’m able to see what I can do and am more able to let what I can’t control go.
As you can imagine, there were quite a few people upset today, and it was all about things that were out of their control. Our plane had a leak in the cockpit window and some people tried to take control by yelling at the gate agent. Others got angry because all later flights were booked. I even found myself blaming ORD and Chicago in general because I was upset too. I think it’s fine to be upset, but I’m working on getting out of that state as quickly as I can, and the best way to do this is to be in the moment. I looked at where I was sitting and was thankful I wasn’t on the runway waiting. I saw the mechanics inspecting the window and appreciated the fact that they knew where to look for the problem, and trusted that was the best course of action. I sat and waited and hoped for an opportunity to get home some time today but I let go of worrying about it. When I found myself wandering into the future with worry, I came back to my seat, the window, and observing my fellow passengers around me, and I was calmed.
It really takes almost all my effort to even come close to this kind of peace, but the more I practice and the more I succeed, the more I see how critical it is to my survival.
One of the many perks of my job is traveling. Less now than when I first started in 2004, but still, I have gotten to see me some America on the company’s dime. And of course, people are people wherever you go—at least under their environmentally-influenced shells—but it is always so interesting to see the differences of the people and their place, compared to where I’m from.