About a week ago, I just stopped posting to social media. No warning. It wasn’t planned like some of my earlier off-the-grid exploits. There was just this urgent need to disconnect. And for the seven days that followed, I kept my phone off. (If there had been any type of emergency, I could have been reached through e-mail, which I was still checking sporadically.) When I rejoined the world, there were several messages across different social media platforms from people wondering if I was okay. I was fine. And my time out reminded me of something I’ve always struggled with: the art of rest. [Read more…] about Taking Time to Rest
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I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room: COVID-19 fatigue. I’m not talking about the physical symptom associated with the virus — feeling weak, tired, or exhausted. What I’m talking about is the fatigue of hearing about it 24/7, 7 days a week. The earth-shattering, apocalyptic music news shows play as an intro to their coverage.
The virus has transformed, and continues to transform, so many aspects of our lives. And as people battle for their lives and ICUs reach capacity, I’m stunned. Stunned how mask wearing has become politicized. Stunned that with whole industries shattered and millions forced out of work, we’re told it’s simply time to ‘Try Something New.’ Stunned that some people so brazenly and selfishly put others at risk by flagrantly disrespecting public health guidance. [Read more…] about The Fix: Gratitude
When I started my vacation on 10 March, it was just days before the world began to turn in on itself because of COVID-19. Nothing had really changed for me, though. I was still waking up around 3:30 or 4:00 to write while the rest of the world slept. Then, after a run, I’d return to the business of writing for a good chunk of the day before prepping dinner late in the afternoon. My evening ritual of either reading or watching reruns of Two and a Half Men rounded out the day. I had my groove on.
But as my vacation transitioned to an involuntary leave of absence and then a layoff, there was a shift. Since I had the condo to myself, I started going to bed later, which meant getting up later. Still writing in the morning, I’d unexpectedly become an early afternoon runner (lesson learned: not my greatest time to run). Something else was at play, too. My body was adjusting to not zipping through time zones. I had lost my rhythm, fell out of my groove. [Read more…] about How I Lost and Found My Groove
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