Brenda’s Blog – December 30, 2014
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a slight problem and will be leaving soon… Ladies and Gentlemen, there is an additional problem so the maintenance crew will be coming out to check… Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be returning to the gate for repairs… Ladies and Gentlemen, the maintenance department will be coming with the required paperwork and we will depart for Dallas/Fort Worth shortly.”
The running narrative represented a series of “few minutes” until we had been squooshed into a full flight for nearly two hours before takeoff. I am a road warrior, loving my time in the car with all the freedom, space, and independence afforded by my own wheels. Here I was leaning into the window as the heavy set gentlemen next to me snuggled into my side and slept soundly.
All on a Thanksgiving Day morning! Clearly, I had a choice: grumpiness or gratitude. I would like to say I immediately shifted into grateful heart mode, but momentarily I tried on the grumpy face to see how it felt.
Then I remembered a man who spent years imprisoned, impoverished, and isolated who taught us the only true freedom is the control of our attitude. Viktor Frankl came back, as did my Dad’s love of his philosophy. I looked at the man in the seat next to me trying to get to Tucson to watch his son play in a college football game and acknowledged the power of parental love. I looked at the two basketball teams on the plane and thought of those young men who would assume leadership positions in our world someday. I silently thanked the woman in the seat in front for not reclining into my already cage-like space.
Instead of a run of the mill flight, I experienced the opportunity to practice appreciation. I even mentally thanked the FAA for having regulations which prevent planes from flying with non-working pumps!
Dad said, “Never lose the good of a bad experience.” The Bible says, “In all things give thanks.” Gratitude is the pathway to a joyful life.