2020 is over. But the gift it gave us — COVID-19 — continues to impact millions around the world. Here in Ontario, we entered a province-wide lockdown on 26 December 2020. The City of Toronto has been locked down since 23 November 2020. Tough days are still ahead, but we will, together, weather this storm. I’m still hanging on to hope because, in the words of Desmond Tutu: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” [Read more…] about 2020: Imperfectly Perfect
do what you love
When I learned to kayak, my instructor made swim the rapid. Even though I grew up with a pool in the backyard, I wasn’t a strong swimmer. And the lifejacket strapped to my body didn’t really comfort me, either. “Don’t panic. And take a big breath when the rapid shoots you out, because then it’s going to pull you back down again.” Sure enough, I panicked. Underwater, my arms flailed grandly as I tried to reach the surface. When my head popped out of the water, I took a breath — probably not as big as I should have — and then quickly disappeared underwater. When I came to the surface again, I was beyond spent and, to my dismay, headed straight for the next rapid. And I was desperately in need of a course correction. [Read more…] about Course Correction
The last thing I wanted to do was travel during a global pandemic. The idea of being stuck on a plane for hours with others held zero appeal. In fact, just thinking about it made me even more anxious and paranoid. But on 30 September, I flew to Edmonton to see a dear friend who was diagnosed with glioblastoma in August. Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive primary brain tumor. My friend’s diagnosis has left me in shock, and I’m asking myself a lot of questions about life and this journey. And one thought runs constantly through my mind: it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
In life, we’re always waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect opportunity that we believe will allow us to pursue a dream or goal. I hear people say, “When I retire…” or “Once I get a new job…” or “When I’ve saved ‘X’ amount…” The problem is that when we wait, we’re kind of tempting fate. We hope that when all those perfects align, we’ll take the plunge and do the thing that calls to us. But, sometimes, life has other plans for us.
So, don’t wait. Whatever you need to do, or feel compelled to do, do it now. Take one small step forward that sets you on the path to achieving your goals. It doesn’t all have to be done at once. You don’t have to wait until everything is perfect. Because it may never be.
It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This
I had a great visit with my friend, even though it was tough to see her in pain and how tired she was after radiation therapy. (But I am forever grateful to the thoughtful and dedicated staff at the Cross Cancer Centre for their marvellous care.) We shared some great belly laughs, and tears. Quiet moments of reflection and power naps. (Falling asleep in a hospital chair can really put a kink in your neck!). Twenty-six years of friendship, we’re not just friends. We’re more like brother and sister.
And, still, that thought is ever-present: it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Yet this is the reality we face. And, if anything, it’s a wake-up call.
Don’t wait. Do what you love. Live your best life.
This is the third and final installment in the Take Positions for Takeoff series. As a reminder, in Part I: From Chaos to Possibility, I wrote about the initial impact of COVID-19 on my life. Then in Part II: Be Ready for Anything, I shared some of my experiences as a flight attendant. Now, let’s talk about the biggest takeaway from my time in the aviation industry: patience.
Patience as Virtue
They say patience is a virtue. Maybe that’s true. And I often thought of myself as a patient person … until I became a flight attendant. At 38,000 ft, in a pressurized cabin, and when the only thing on offer is recycled air … human behaviour changes dramatically. Maybe the frontal lobe suffers some form of damage. I don’t really know. Or maybe it’s the stress of air travel and passengers trying to figure out all the different rules and restrictions that vary from one airline to another, from one country to another. Whatever the reason, it’s an opportunity to see people at their best and — unfortunately, and growing more frequently — at their worst. [Read more…] about Take Positions for Takeoff – Part III: The Art of Patience
In my last blog post, ‘From Chaos to Possibility’ (Part I of my series, Take Positions for Takeoff), I talked about the initial impact of COVID-19 on my life. Now, let’s enter the real world of being a flight attendant with Part II: Be Ready for Anything.
A Glamorous Life…
Some people think that being a flight attendant is glamorous. I thought that, too. Until I became one. It looks glamorous. And your followers on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will ooh and aah as you post photos of yourself in Hong Kong one week, then London or Paris the next. That’s kind of where the glamour ends. Well, sort of.
Because they didn’t see you, tired and battered from jet lag, dealing with the idiot complaining it took too long to start the meal service when you (like the rest of the passengers) were seated during the first hour of the flight due to moderate turbulence. They didn’t see you, at 37,000 feet above the earth, performing first aid on a passenger who just passed out when the jerk in 37H came up to you and asked, “Could I get another red wine?” They didn’t see you, holding in your own fear and remaining calm to reassure passengers, as you prepared to evacuate the aircraft. No, they didn’t see you living out your mantra: Be Ready for Anything. [Read more…] about Take Positions for Takeoff – Part II: Be Ready for Anything