Terri Hanson Mead
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Terri Hanson Mead

Seeing the Moment: PYL In-Flight (Aug 15, 2021)

Welcome Back My In-Motion Passengers:

Violet, my aging brindle sidekick, truly appreciates the little things in life.

The walks. The snacks. The snuggles under the covers. Rolling in the grass. Sleeping in the sun. And nuzzling our cat Zuko first thing in the morning.

It takes so little to make her happy and smiley and grateful to be out and about.

This week I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about appreciating what’s most important to me (and who) and how to focus on both.

I had to slow down this week after having cataract surgery on my left eye (the one with the red dot above it) on Monday. (Yes, I am young to have a cataract, but it developed as a result of a retinal surgery five years ago.)

I was anxious before the surgery because I wasn’t sure what I was going to be able to see, and how well. I’m still trying to figure it out now that I have one really good eye (the left) and one that isn’t so great (I’m really nearsighted in the uncorrected right eye) and I have to wear a contact 100% of the time.

My brain is still adjusting.

After my follow up appointment (healing great!) on Tuesday, my husband Zeke suggested we get a cup of coffee on University Ave. in Palo Alto. After losing Monday to the surgery and recovery, I felt compelled and obligated to get home and get back to work. I resisted, agreed to the detour and was so glad that I did.

I stood inside Verve Coffee waiting for our order, listened to the vibin’ music, felt the energy of people working, and truly missed being around other people in cafes.

The pandemic has disrupted so much of our lives and the way we used to be in the world. It’s taken so much and we’ve been gifted the opportunity to add back what we want and need. With intention.

Once I got our coffees and met Zeke and Violet on the patio, we sat and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We chatted about various things, listened to other people’s conversations, and watched a steady stream of people come and go. It was a major vibe for sure.

I continued to resist the siren song of my to-do list, as we walked to the local Hassett hardware store and did a big loop back to the car getting in some steps and making Violet a very happy dog. I enjoyed being with Zeke, holding hands as we walked.

For many years, work has come first. I always used the excuse that I needed to build my career and support my family. Now that I know there’s more to life than work (and the to-do list is never really done), I am savoring the moments, especially the last milestones including Finn’s (my second kid) senior picture also on Tuesday.

When I did this with Adam, my first kid, I cried. I knew it was the first of the lasts for him but for some reason I am not as sad with Finn even though this is the last of the lasts.

This has always been the case with my kids and their transitions. I’m more emotional with Adam’s, and I’ve savored Finn’s. This could be explained by the fact that I’m one of those people who generally doesn’t like something the first time because of the unknown.

Finn also started their last first day of high school this past week.

I wasn’t there to take the annual pic against the front door since I was in surgery and there was no cell service in the pre-op area, so we had to take the pic when Finn got home (their high school classes are in person while their college classes are virtual). I desperately tried texting both Finn and Zeke to get the pic but had no luck.

Fortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve take the first day of school pic at the end of the day.

But that wasn’t the end of it for the week.

Finn turns 17 on Wednesday (happy early birthday, Sweet Pea! And happy birth-day to me!) so we had a birthday party last night.

Will this be the last one they let me throw for them? I hope not. This was a bit of a collab in that Finn and I made some mocktail syrups and did some mixology work on Thursday in advance of the party. Then we put out this super fun bar for Finn’s friends to enjoy.

Finn made dessert…delicious pot de creme… and the crusts for the three quiches. Zeke stepped in to help me with the quiches and salad, and made quick work of all the dishes.

Finn’s friend Maya came over earlier in the day, so we put her to work in setting the table and being a lovely work distraction as we worked through the punch list of prep items. We even got in a nap.

It’s no longer just me (and sometimes Zeke) doing all of the work for the parties, or anything else for that matter. Finn (and friends) are now part of the process.

Soon Finn will be preparing essays and submitting college applications, yet another important milestone for them, and for us. Adam’s senior year was a little bumpy, so each ‘first’ was hard to fully appreciate and I struggled to savor the moments. We were so looking forward that we often forget to be where we were.

Now, with a wiser appreciation for the important moments, I’m slowing down to truly see and be in these moments. I might have missed them the first time around but this time, the last time, I am determined not to. Now that I have a bionic eye (as Zeke calls it), how can I miss?

With much love and gratitude,


P.S. Take the controls and be the pilot in your own life. It’s a beautiful day to fly, and you are cleared for takeoff.

Song: Locomotion by OMD

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I want to live in a world where everyone has the opportunity to live freely, equally and have an extraordinary life. #PilotingYourLife #Angel Investing #Digital Health #Sol2Proj #Womanism #Tipsy

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Terri Mead

Terri Mead

IT consultant, expert witness, YouTuber, helicopter pilot. Making the world a better place, especially for women. Award winning author of Piloting Your Life.

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