We all know the don’ts of air travel: Don’t turn on your phone after the doors are closed or before landing, don’t carry on more than two items, and, by God, don’t dare think of boarding before your turn.
So, instead I present five of my do’s.
Charge! I have become extremely dependent upon my smartphone for just about everything (boarding pass, watch, book, magazine, messenger, planner, theater, and phone) that I take advantage of every opportunity to keep it juiced up. Many airports now have convenient charging stations and we no longer have to look silly sitting on the carpet by some isolated outlet. But such amenities are few and far between (i.e., a privilege and not yet a convenience). And, unless you’re sitting in first class on certain planes or on an overseas flight, charging above 10,000 feet is not an option.
Stand, Stretch, Walk Move! Instead of sitting at the gate, waiting impatiently and listening to annoying announcements, get up and wander around. Peruse the overpriced souvenirs. Blocking fellow travelers rushing to their gates can be fun, too! There’ll be time enough for lounging around later.
Elevate If you must sit and wait at the gate, then throw your feet up on your suitcase like I do. Yes, it may seem gauche to some, but who cares? Your legs and feet will thank you later. Socks or no socks, that’s up to you (socks for me). But, ladies, do take extra caution when wearing a skirt or dress.
Alleviate Popping a few pills before your flight may be just as important as staying hydrated. Two regular old aspirin to prevent DVT. I know personally of frequent fliers hospitalized because of it and that’s proof enough for me. Though, remember, I am not a medical doctor so best to consult one when in doubt.
Learn and Obey Get over it and learn to tolerate the Transportation Security Administration. They are here to stay. The TSA website is chockfull of useful information; everyone who flies commercially should review this at least once. They even have an app (gasp!). And, the TSA actually has a formal complaint process if you feel you have been treated unfairly…I highly recommended using this over making a scene at the airport. Really. Bottom line: THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO BE PREPARED. And, you are dumb if you get into trouble for making snide remarks out loud.
Yes, no doubt, air travel has moved on from the days of glitz and glamour
to comfort and efficiency. What travel tips or quirks do you have to share to make it a bit more tolerable?
Taking a big step can be scary.
I begin a new job tomorrow. Off on an (very) early morning flight to the big city. I cannot wait!
Leaving something you know, something you enjoy is hard. People wonder why you want to change. But these people understand. They know me. They matter.
I wish I were a poet.
That way, I could bury my emotions behind a piece of art, of prose. Instead of focusing on me, people would focus on the art, trying to interpret it instead of me.
When facing fear, I fall behind a smile, a laugh…”It’s okay, really.” Afraid to expose my feelings, wanting to scream, “DON’T MAKE ME SHARE!”
I wish I were a poet.
To share or not to share. How much as a parent am I really supposed to discuss with and expose to our twelve-year-old son? Ken is better at sharing than I am. He’s not squeamish. He’s matter-of-fact and lays it out for the taking. Which, I think in the long run, is good and healthy.
I’m still working on it. Sometimes, topics come up at the dinner table that make me want to crawl out of my skin and go hide under a blanket. But, that’s okay. Maybe I’m growing up, too. As I reflect, I appreciate that we can discuss taboo subjects as a family in a mature, unemotional, and nonjudgmental way.
Don’t overreact. My mom’s cousin offers this: Don’t appear shell-shocked when your kid tells you something you may not want to hear. Poker face it all the way, baby. Or, at least until you have had time (and, maybe a drink) to consider your options. Older children are guaranteed to clam up the moment they think you don’t get it, or don’t ever want to get it.
Perhaps as parents, we can open our minds and share a bit more, too.
I write this as a plea to my past, current, and future fellow professionals to not give up on good grammar. Heck, let’s include spelling, too. Just because we’re more “social” is no excuse. More of us will read your work. Don’t you want it to look good?
Now, I am no expert nor was I an English major. Translation: I screw up, too. But, still, I beg for your support.
Case in point: A person takes the time to put his or her innermost feelings on paper (or, rather, the Web). Then said person 1. shares those thoughts over a very social network, 2. tags others who may not wish to be exposed, and 3. openly criticizes former employers. Logic would say “proofread your work before you hit Share.” Right? Riggghhhtttt. Or, perhaps those who love him or her would offer their input, ever so gently.
Maybe it’s not the what but the how that counts the most.
The what is easy…it’s what’s in our hearts, our heads.
The how will help people form an impression. Impressions can last a lifetime.
our impromptu small investment in a spanking new 24-hour emergency vet clinic Jasmine’s unfortunate intake of 70 (yes SEVENTY) 200 mg ibuprofen tablets last week and her subsequent three-night stay at the animal hospital, we now keep dibs on her pretty much all of the time. Oh, not familiar with what happened? In short, I found her lying on our bedroom floor, tail wagging, munching on the pills like candy. Yum! So much better than paper towels.
Not to worry, she’s just fine. Thankfully.
But, we have a new habit: Keeping up with Jasmine. Now, the sounds of “Where’s Jasmine?” ring out from downstairs to up. “Is she with you?” “Come Jasmine!” “Jas-mine, where are you?”
Yes, just like when Christian learned to walk and cared to do nothing but explore everywhere, oh that seems-like-it-will-never-end phase when parents eat in shifts, we now require Jasmine to be within view at all times.
So, when you wonder something like When are we ever going to take down that child gate on the stairs? you never know why you didn’t until you need it. Oh, and those childproof lids? They are not Jasmine-proof.
Do I like to travel? I LOVE to travel.
Why? I spent my first Christmas flying to Australia. And so it begun, a childhood chock full of exotic layovers (Ever been to Tashkent? In the 1970’s?). I was hooked.
One of my habits? Constantly perusing the Web for our next goto destination. Thank you, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Those who have no desire to discover new places, learn new cultures, eat different food? I DON’T GET YOU.
Invest in house improvements or travel? That’s easy.
My Christmas wish? To remove from our lives those things which sit in boxes or hang in closets and never see the light of day. We keep them as reminders. But why? The best mementos are those that creep into our head as we are doing the most mundane of things…they are the best at making us smile, cringe, and even tear up. No storage required.
You know, when do you’re doing the most boring, mundane things, that’s when ideas start to ramble. That happened the other morning as I was pulling the delicates out of the washer.
I think constantly about how I should share more on this blog. What better way to find new friends than to share about things that I like or love. My favorite things. I mean, so very many of us like to write about things that we hate, or ‘cilantro’ as Andra would say.
What are some of your favorite things?
I like waking up early.
Now, I’m not talking about the get-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-pee-and-not-going-back-to-sleep kind of waking up.
I mean, waking just before dawn. When things are still, as if nothing has happened yet.
It’s not a matter of self-discipline or an attempt to be better than anyone else. Rather, the introvert in me likes the alone time while the sun rises. I need it, to compose my thoughts and my day.
No wonder early morning software release deployments don’t annoy me. I say, “Let’s get up, brew some joe, and get this thing live!”
Late night? I zone out. I want to lose myself in a mind-numbing television sitcom or non-critical read and, of course, sleep. I never pulled an All-Nighter in college. Recalling my first career, hotel management, I sometimes had to cover the front desk during the dreaded night audit shift. 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. Yuck. I fought to stay awake past midnight, let alone balance the previous day’s books.
Our dogs also like the early morning. We walk our neighborhood before dawn. In their canine way, they ensure all is in-check, that everything smells the same, they take inventory of all squirrels, and ensure no new cats have moved in overnight.
Me? I relish the quiet, the sometimes fog (and foghorns), the end of dark, and the burgeoning light.