Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Movie? 35,000 ft? First Class?

A Movie? 35,000 ft? First Class?

What do they have in common??? Me…

First let me warn you that this is unfiltered and transparent.

Second, this is longer than the usual blog post.

Lastly, not everyone in life is trying to do more and get better (heck…few are trying to do either) but somewhere in these lines I wanted to share a few thoughts on how I am trying to do both. Here goes…

Here I am on Alaska Airlines somewhere over New Mexico on my way from DC to LA and a flood of thoughts happened. I was recently riding in a friends Camaro (actually it was his sons’…but either way, it was a fun ride; he was sharing his journey over the last several months and how he came to some decision points. One thing he mentioned was that recently he would start crying for no reason. This concept did not surprise me…I have been there…but I guess the timing was right to be reminded that when it happens, someone is tapping us on the shoulder and we need to stop and figure why.

The Bucket List is the best movie I have seen in a very long time! It is family-friendly, has a good message, minimal profane language, and I laughed hard. And yes…I cried. Not because the movie was a sob story or mushy…but because it clearly brought back several thoughts to my ‘frontal lobe’.

Not some spiritual prayer, scripture reading, or deep meditation…just a simple movie with Morgan Freedman and Jack Nicholson. The movie was not some revelation, analogy, or parallel. It just brought me back into focus on several things…here they are:

1. Last night I was packing for my trip and I heard it loud and clear, “You’re comfortable and won’t change until you recognize this and do something about it.

2. In the last three years I have flown business or first class more than I have flown coach (which is pretty frequent if you are wondering) and in the last 5 years I can only think of once when I have not had at least an exit seat to sit in. I am not bragging…just need to say that somewhere along the line I forgot how blessed and highly favored I really am. Now I also have to say that I work a lot (a lot!) while up there and actually accomplish more than the average bear when given the space to do so…so the upgrades and time in first class has not been wasted.

3. Sharon said this weekend that she wants to go somewhere (where is something for her to share) on our 15th anniversary and I poked fun at her and mentioned how optimistic 15 years of marriage is. The reality is, I want to be able to say I was not only married longer than I was single but that at some point, I don’t know any other way to live than with Sharon by my side (I think that is true now but every year it becomes a little more real). I watched this couple in the plane and he had to go to the restroom three times during the 5 hour flight. Each time his wife got up and helped him to and from his seat to the restroom. Now if Sharon has to help me to and from the bathroom, please shoot me and put me out of my misery :-) but I have to say there is something about the closeness and relationship that is displayed by this couple.

4. It’s hard enough when you cry and don’t know why…it’s worse when you are trapped on an aircraft at 35,000 ft. I have a passion and mission….when I am not on target it is tough to focus and everyday things quickly serve as a reminder that I need to change something. We all need to change something…what do you need to change?

5. I think there is a general misperception that people are called to things that excite them and make them happy. The reality is that sometimes we are called to things that are hard, not fun, and frustrate us. The difference in whether we are happy or not depends on our attitude, commitment, and in whom we are trying to please. There have been several places, people, and situations in the last year that I have encountered and failed to look at with the right perspective and therefore not only did not have the right result but was unhappy.

In the last 12 months we have hit some of our life goals (and it has been awesome to do so) but the journey is just getting started and there is still much to do. While I am not sure where all the potholes and traffic jams are...I do know the destination.

The biggest challenge right now (metaphorically speaking) is figuring out what we are supposed to do with the passengers we've picked up, which vehicle we are supposed to be driving, and which roads we are supposed to use to get us there on time. I am happy with what God has provided, I am thrilled about who he choose for me as a co-pilot, and I don't want to let days go by and not be course correcting.



Elaine said...

David, You are very wise and perceptive. I fear my opportunities to get to know you and your lovely wife may have escaped us all at the present moment, but I also must say I learn a little more with each blog post. You are truly an inspiration. All the best, Elaine

David Simon said...

Thanks Elaine! It is too bad that the only time we got to hang out was at the ADP Alumni gathering at that Mexican Restaurant next to Chuck E Cheese :-) Next time we are in the Pacific NW...we'll let you know!