Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Your plane is boarding

Airplanes makes us primal. 

Airplane friendships.  Not airPORT conversations.  Those might actually end up with social contacts or business deals.

I'm talking airPLANES.  We all have had conversations on a plane that we would never had in real life.  With the people we really know.  Airplanes are safe.  Not safe from danger.  Nothing in life is safe from danger.  Accidents do happen - every where.  Not just in planes.  Airplanes are safe places for friendships and conversations.

Some flights are better than others:  clean, nice people, not too crowded.  Others?  Dirty, crowded, crying babies.  However, no matter what flight we are on - we are all primal.  The business executive walking around in his socks.  The news anchor, with the night mask and neck brace.  Walking around - with socks on.  Head phones on.  Laughing to different movies, pretending not to watch the others.  All headed to the same city - all with different destinations.

The person sitting next to you.  You tell them your deepest, darkest, happiest, craziest thing about your life.  Chances are?  You will NEVER see this person again.  EVER.  I've flown a lot of flights.  Only once have I seen someone I sat next too - we had a date a week or so later when he was back in town.  Other than that?  NEVER.  The the thing is, I think everyone knows it.  I've heard stories I know no one else has ever heard either.

September 11, 2001, I was stranded in Los Angeles. I was supposed to fly home that day.  Back to Denver.  It was a short business trip.  I was a "Class II" passenger allowed to fly home Friday, after the Tuesday of Nine Eleven.  Class One flew home on Thursday.  Class II - I had a return ticket, I wasn't "stranded in an emergency landing".  Basically, the first return flights.  A guy whom worked for me dropped me off at a hotel.  There was no airport drop-off allowed.  They shuttled me from some hotel parking lot to LAX.  Before that we had stopped at a drug store to buy over-the-counter muscle relaxer (Doane's backache relief).  I was a little tense.

There were armed guards at LAX.  The planes that all crashed were headed to LAX. 

As I sat at LAX, I remember looking around at the people.  I remember thinking:
  • If the theory is correct, we are all connected by 6 people.  
  • In theory, everyone sitting right here.  Right now, is connected.
Everyone knows someone whom knows someone, whom knows someone, etc.

TRULY?  We continue to tell people on this plane secrets?

I also remember I wasn't sure if I had the courage to get on the plane.  Though I knew, it would be safer that day than it would ever be again. Aren't those always our fears?  Are we brave enough?

But see, on the plane, we don't have to be brave.  We have to be instinctual.  We have to trust the person next to us, to take our insecurities. Make us safe.

The plane ride home from LAX was quiet.  Still primal.  An undercover Air Marshall was on that flight.  There were only 20 of us - all gathered in one little section.  We all told stories.  We all shared fears.  We shared hopes.  No one said too much though.  Hoping this time we all had at least one destination in common.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Comfort Zone

Living confined within our comfort zone is an easy thing to do.  It's safe inside the comfort zone.  We think we know what will happen.  What WON'T happen.  The expected.

It can also get boring there.  Predictable.  Comfortable.

Even me, the adventurous one must venture outside my comfort zone.  And it's hard.  Yes, even for me.  I'm not afraid to try.  But it's still a push, and I'm a social person.  Going somewhere new.  Well, it's new.  You don't know what to expect.  It's hard.  The people might not like you.  We all still have that insecure person living deep inside.  What if I fail?  

Of course, most of our worries in life are just in our head.  It's really not that bad.

So tonight, I'm going out with a few of the "hockey moms" - not my normal, "hockey mom" group - another group invited me out.  I said yes.  I always say "yes".  Doesn't mean it isn't hard.  What if I'm bored to death?  What if they don't like me?

Who cares?  It's not for the rest of my life.  It's one night.  I just might like a different place.  Out of the rut.

Which brings me to my original adventure to Hawaii.  It was risky.  It was out of my comfort zone.  It was a new thing to try.  Actually though, I never even thought about it twice.

On the other hand, I've been quite stingy with my invitations for others to join us.  This was MY adventure.  Going to a place I had never been.  Doing something I had never done.  I wanted to go alone.  It was important to me.  In the past, I had traveled for business alone, but never on an "adventure".  I needed to do it, for me. By myself.  Then I wanted the boys there, just us. Usually, we meet up with people we know.  I love those times, I just needed this.

Quite honestly, I'm a little possessive of "our island".  Possessive of the time I have with my boys.  Of course, I have invited some friends, and they have shown up!  It's been a blast, but the invitations have been few and far between.  Truthfully too, there are people I haven't invited - it's my escape from the real world.  My real friends.  Which is truly ironic, because they are my "real" friends.

This year though, a very special lady got an invitation.  Come with me.  For a week.  Come to a place you have never been.  On a journey by yourself.  To a place far away.  Out of your comfort zone.  All of it.  Long flight.  By yourself.  Come to a place that taught me so much about me.  Come let me share my journey with you.

When I first mentioned it, I received the response I thought I would, "I don't know.  It's far".  Me:  "Just think about it.  You've always wanted to go.  There were always reasons it didn't happen."  "Papo didn't want to go.  It was too far to leave him."  "Now, though, he left you airline miles - it's a free flight.  A free place to stay".  "Just think about it."

Leaving a comfort zone is difficult.  For anyone.  Trying something different is scary.  After 67 years of a  routine, I know it's scary.  But I found me, outside my comfort zone.  I know you will be fine.  After all, I am your grand-daughter.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Post Office

Or if you are from Europe "The Post".

I truly believe individual post offices are designed with the MOST inefficiency in mind.  Nothing about this place is efficient.

Parking lots are not designed for you to "drop off" packages.  You must park, then go in.  Now letters, the drive thru is great.  Usually too, the parking lots have LOTS of parking - or none at all - although it's not like you are going to be in the post for a long time - it's supposed to be a short stop.

Now on to the inside of the post office.  Granted, they have come a LONG way with the machines as well as clerks.  Only the machines can only do "some" mailings.  NO media mail.  NO international mail.  Which actually does makes sense.  Maybe though, there could be a "sign" telling us which line to stand in.  Or stand in the machine line. I don't care what anyone tells you - there is ALWAYS a line at the post office.  I don't mind standing in line.  Some guy the other day gave me his card and wrote "text me" on the card.  While it made me smile, what are we 14??  Just say call me. Or, even better, "may I call you"

The PO BOX area.  This is the area that makes the LEAST sense of all of the above.  This area is spacious.  Uncluttered.  The cleanest area of all.  Why?  You aren't there long.  You check your box, then you leave - the least amount of time is spent in this area.  Yet where you have to stand in line, is well, cramped.  Crowded.  Dingy.

Enough of my complaining.  Now, why I don't like the actual post office - I do LOVE the postal service.  You want to know why?  For $.45 they will come to MY house in Denver, CO and take a letter to YOUR house ANYWHERE in the United States of America.  AND deliver it to YOUR front door.  FOR FORTY FIVE CENTS.    No wonder they are going out of business.

My suggestions:
  • Stop mail delivery on Saturdays, but make the post office open on Saturdays.
  • No mail delivery on Tues or Thursday.  Wait make that Monday's or Thursday's - after all there are 7 Monday closed holidays already.  (This doesn't include if a July 4, Christmas or New Years fall on a Monday) 
  • Or charge for home delivery and make box delivery free
I know, I know there are mail carrier jobs out there.  But, why, oh why do we still get residential delivery.  I can see in rural areas, or for those that can't get out.  Maybe you get a tax break if you opt for "no home delivery".  Except, I would probably forget to go get my mail.  After two summers with no mail, well, it's ok.
The Postal Service was designed to get information to each other across the world in a timely matter.  Times have changed.

Truly though, you know why we can't get rid of the postal service?  No, it doesn't make money.  Yes, it could be done better.  No, it's not perfect.  But, it delivers dreams.  Thoughts. Home-made cookies. Hand-made dresses. They deliver hope. Hope with shiny catalogs of things we like.  Discounts on things we want to buy. Hope that maybe today there will be the hand-written note telling us nothing more than "hi", "I was thinking of you", "thank you" or "I'm sorry" or "I love you too".

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I've missed you too

Writing is a funny thing.  When it flows, well, it flows.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Not at all.  Nadda.  As you may have noticed, we haven't been communicating lately.  You and me.

Communication is a two way street.  Sometimes I feel I just ramble.  Nothing makes sense.  Words just come out and the story doesn't make sense.  I'm rambling again.  That guest at the party whom keeps talking about herself.  You know, the one you try to change the conversation, it just doesn't work.  They keep talking.  That's me right now...

Then the strangest things happen.  The rest of the world starts asking questions about, well, you.  Next thing you know a dialogue occurs.  Only you realize this person knows your stories.  And it's great.  You are having a conversation about things you both like.

As mentioned before, I read tons.  Blogs, editorials, columnists, books.  Yes, I too take it personally when I haven't been written lately.  I haven't received any "mail".  I miss my blogs too.  It's a modern day, public journal of happenings.  When they don't write us, we miss them.

Thank you for missing me.  Some sunshine and toes in the water have restored some creative thoughts.  I've missed you too.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Writers Block

I SOOOO want to write.  Write where the words just come out.  And make sense.  They make a story.

Although, today, yesterday and the day before that....NOTHING.  Not a thing.....  Not a story to tell. 

That's not true.  My "husband"  (read owner of the company I'm working with) met an old boyfriend of mine the other day.  Quite humorous - we are looking at expanding the company,  I know what he wants to do, I sent him to met Robert.  It was funny - I wish I could have been a fly on the wall.  I didn't tell my husband that Robert was an old boyfriend.  I will have to ask his real wife if she heard, of course, he's not going to tell me how it came up.  Arrgh..... 

My "Open Me" blog has been read over 300 times - I sent it to the Newtown Kindness to let them know the story.  They posted a link on their website.  They also sent the link to Charlotte's dad.  He e-mailed me.  Tears. 

I don't do well in the month of February.  It's the longest month ever.  No wonder I ran away last February to Kona. 

I'm trying to write.  I really am.  It's not personal.  Maybe it's just a couple of days with a block.  However, as I read my old blogs, I can get tears in my eyes too.  So, I'll work on some good stories.  They will come out.  A block is just a stepping stone. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Day

A really cute movie called "Valentine's Day" came out a few years ago.  It's one of those movies that has several stories within the movie.  It's a star studded cast  (Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, Dr's McDreamy and McSteamy from Grey's Anatomy - just to name a few).  You know they all connect, you just aren't sure how.  Different story lines. You try to piece it together as the movie goes along, but never really knowing whom is connected to whom, until the end.

I LOVE movies like this.  Another one like this is "Love Actually"  (Hugh Grant!!!).  "New Year's Eve", etc.  They all seem to revolve around holidays.  Hmmmm - just now noticed that....

I guess holiday's are romanticized.  Hollywood making us think that this is real life.  The glitter.  The shine.  The many stories going on at once.  That part is true.  Pieces of our lives over-lapping the other pieces then finally combining, making one story.  Your life.

I'm a connector.  Guess that's why I recruit.  Ha.  I'm really good at meeting someone, then knowing they need to meet someone else I've met.  Connecting two people.  My  life overlaps, ebbs and flows with pieces over-lapping.  That's just everyday life for me.

However, next week, I'm going to have my own little Hollywood movie.

This is what is scripted:

Wednesday:  I fly to Los Angeles.  My summer daughter and her mother are picking me up.  I'm spending the night with them.  And if you have been following this story - yes, that's an old flame's ex-wife whom is picking me up at the airport.  And yes, I'm spending the night with them.

Thursday:  An old flame (a different one - this one is Ed) from many years ago, whom by the way, I met one summer and we have been great friends for years and years, is picking me up from their house.  From there we are going to San Diego.

Friday:  Both boys have a hockey tournament in San Diego - they don't know I'm coming.  They really don't care that I'm going to be there - they do know Ed is coming to watch them.  Oh, yes, my ex-husband will be there too.

Saturday:  Summer daughter and her mom are coming to San Diego to see the boys play - the boys don't know this either.

Monday:  Fly back to Denver.  End of script.

That is all that is in the script - I think that's enough.  It's a star studded cast.  Thursday is Valentine's Day.  This is my script.  We are improvising the rest. I'm wondering what the other scripts contain.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A life well lived

We often say "I wish I would have....".  "We should have done/gone/etc...."  "What if I had......"  A bunch of questions re-guessing the way we live.  Or the way we thought we should have lived.  Could have lived.  Were supposed to have lived.

Second guessing ourselves.  Our lives.  When in reality, the way we live, well, is the way we were supposed to live.

Yes, we all make mistakes.  We also make really good decisions all the time.  We just don't trust ourselves.  We don't believe that our life - was - scratch that - is -  supposed to be this way.  Did I do the right thing?

I know it's hard.  But really, our gut knows, make a decision.  It is the right decision, regardless of other decisions.  It's the right decision at the right time.  We don't trust those moments often enough.

The last week has been one of the most emotional weeks of my life.  My grandfather died.  Tears.  Laughter.  Love.  Sadness. Happiness.

As this week winds to a close.  As I think of the past.  As I think of the future.  The emotions are mixed.  The feelings are mixed too.

Then I started thinking of things I could do that my grandfather would like.  You know, those "Oh, this one is for you Papo".  The "My Papo would be so proud".  The "He would have loved this".

I kept thinking about all the things I want to do in my life.  My journeys yet to come.  The adventures that are next for me.  Each time I think of those moments I tried to place those thoughts there:

I'm hiking this....    (This one is for you)  I'm running this....   (you get the idea) I'm volunteering to ..... I graduated from Texas A&M.......  (oh yeah, I did that - he was there)  I'm going to _____________  (fill in the blank)

There is not ONE SINGLE THING I can think of that I haven't already done that would make my Papo even more proud of me than he already was.  There is also not one more thing I need to do to make him even more proud.

Now, THAT, is a life well lived.