Walk A Mile

5:03 AM Alarm

5:25 AM Wake up baby

5:30 AM Leave for airport

6:00 AM Enjoy the TSA experience

6:40 AM Flight leaves for Chicago.

8:15 AM Flight lands

And so on…

Today I hopped a flight to Chicago for a friends bachelor party and although I’m sure we’ll have fun, one thing I am 100% certain is that I’ll miss my daughter Camille. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss my wife, dogs, and fish as well but the weekends with Camille are amazingly fun! She laughs, walks, smiles, plays, and yes cries too but it’s a blessing to be there for all of it. The funny part about this is until we found out Emily was pregnant with Camille, we didn’t plan on having kids. At least not anytime soon. However from her pregnancy through birth and over the past 11 months, I have learned quite a bit from her. Perhaps the biggest of all is perspective.

Today while waking up at 5:03 AM I thought to myself, “it’s time to get up.” (You might want to write that one down.) The point is I wasn’t dreading a 5:03 AM wake up call. I didn’t hit “snooze.” I didn’t think twice. I just woke up. The reason isn’t because I wasn’t going to work. I trace the reason to having a new perspective. Over the last couple of years I have transitioned to “a morning person.” I wake up early and start the day while many still lay in bed, sound asleep. In fact, the 5:03 AM alarm was 29 minutes later than my normal alarm clock. I’m not saying this because I think this makes me a better person or a warrior who can get up early and go hard while others sleep in. That’s not my point at all. I used to be a second shifter who would rise and shine anywhere between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM depending on the day. At that point in my life I couldn’t fathom being out of bed before the sun. It didn’t seem feasible. Then my lifestyle changed. Now I am consistently using the morning hours to workout and start my day ahead of the curve. Not only do I love how this makes me feel, I have also found I am accomplishing more throughout my days despite having a relatively early bed time. Needless to say, my early bird perspective has changed as I began to live that lifestyle.

  • Side note: if you’re interested in trying this out, give it a solid 30–60 days of consistently waking up early before you write it off as a bad idea. If you need a nap in the afternoons, take one but don’t give up after a week of kind of trying it. If you do take the plunge, I’d like to read your experience in the comments below!

After a short morning at home, I find myself in a big ole’ piece of metal ready to hit the air for a grueling 60ish minute flight. After boarding and before the doors close, I noticed how much work our flight attendants are doing. In the past, I never paid any mind. I got on, sat down, and waited for two events: 1)take off 2)landing. That’s really all I was focused on. However after working side by side with an ex-flight attendant I was in awe when I discovered how little flight attendants get paid. Did you know that flight attendants get paid an hourly wage that only includes the time the doors on the aircraft are closed? Let’s visualize together: imagine going into work early, prepping everything for the day for 30 minutes, working for 1 hour, followed by cleaning up for another 30 minutes and only getting paid for the 1 hour in the middle? This is the reality for the flight attendants. Sure they have flight benefits but with their work schedules and with the flights being standby, perhaps it’s a little more difficult to get that family trip than expected. Now as I watch them scurry around and help the passengers load bags, find their seats, and keep the aircraft in order, I have a new found respect for what they do. That’s a new perspective.

The doors are closed, the attendants are telling me how to buckle my seatbelt, I now know where the exits are, and then… a baby cries. At first I hardly notice it. It is literally background noise to my thoughts. It isn’t distracting or annoying. It is simply there. Just as classical music during a study session, the sound of wind chimes in a light breeze, or people chatting at a sporting event, the high pitched screeching is a side dish to everything else. After a few minutes, I finally start to pay attention and notice how upset the child must be. The lady next to me scoffs. The gentlemen in front of me shakes his head while making a comment to who I presume to be his wife. Both whom have probably been around kids and maybe even have their own but neither seem too pleased to be on this flight with this child.

The interesting thing is while they experience a similar auditory experience as me, I can’t help but wonder how I can help. In fact I even smile a bit as hearing that baby’s cry reminds me of Camille. Camille’s cries don’t bother me nor do those coming from seat 30D. Now I sit and ponder the source of the pain while a grinch size smile grows on my face. Ah-ha. It hits me. I realize how much perspective little miss Cami-Sue has provided me in a short span of 20 months (pregnancy included).

I no longer cringe at crying kids or shake my head at their parents. I now realize the reality of children more than I have in the past. Instead, I am waiting for the seatbelt sign to deactivate so I can sit in an empty seat across the aisle from the sound machine. That time has come and now I smile and waive while she laughs and in her shyness looks back a her mom. Her mom who is traveling with two children, one the age of three and the other is one. WOW, she is a trooper. I can’t imagine traveling with Camille more less two Camilles and no Emily to help! But for this mother, it’s normal and it’s ok. This is her perspective.

It’s now 8:06 am and I am being informed that our plane is on the ground and the weather here in Chicago includes snow. Although I’m not enthused about more powder plummeting from the heavens above, I at least understand this is to be expected since I’ve spent my entire life in the midwest. Just over three hours ago I was brushing my teeth and now it’s time to go workout in Chicago before the fun starts for the weekend. It’s my intent that sharing my perspective with you on a consistent basis with help open your eyes to others thoughts and ideas. I look to learn the same from you!

Take a couple of minutes and type a comment below highlighting an “aha” moment of yours where you realized you have grown or your mindset has changed when confronted with a recurring obstacle from your past. I look forward to reading and learning from your perspective!

UPDATE: I’ve been sitting in the plane for about 45 minutes now waiting for our gate to clear up. 95%+ of the people on this plane are probably not as happy as they would be if the doors were open and we were anywhere but here. On the other hand, I believe the remaining percentage of folks, i.e. the flight attendants, are happy to make a little extra money for this flight!