Life is what you make it

Sometimes life is what you make it.

I have not always believed it though. On occasion, as a child, I would turn to my parents in despair over some problem at school that I needed their advise to help solve. No doubt they were busy people, but how does, “school is what you make it”, help a child with a useless teacher? It was not until much later in life that I learned the skills of “managing up”, maybe that was what they were alluding to.

Over the last 2 days, I had the opportunity to run an experiment of sorts. I was travelling on 4 flights over 48 hours with airlines where I had no privileges and my seats were not great. I decided to forget about being miserable, but rather try to enjoy the ride.

First flight was Vancouver to LAX on Alaska Airlines in a middle seat. I got to the airport early, ate a nice healthy lunch, stocked up on reading materials beyond what I had brought with me. Then at the boarding gate a message went out looking for a person to upgrade into business class for $52.

After snaking my way through the outside maze of busses around LAX, I arrived at the appointed boarding gate and was able to get on a flight 1.5 hours early for DFW. That meant I got a full 8 hours of sleep before my big meeting the next morning.

The next day after being dropped off at DFW, I asked the curbside guys if I could get a boarding pass from them even though I was not checking bags and my final destination was Canada. One of them said, “yes – just because you asked so nicely”. It took a few minutes of working through the computer system, but eventually out spat both of my boarding passes.

Somehow the run over to LAX had an aisle seat….and no-one was in the middle. I used up the whole life of my battery to get most of my graphic work done as a follow-up required from the meeting.

Then the maze back through LAX. When I was waiting for the bus, I met an older man who was also heading home to Vancouver. He had come from Trinidad and was thinking the bus would not come and that we would miss the flight. I assured him that would not happen, I had been too lucky thus far for that kind of nonsense. Sure enough, the bus pulled up shortly after.

When we made our way over to the gate area, it was on my boarding pass information we arrived at 32. The man with the red rolling bag, going home from Trinidad did not come up to the gate with me to notice the gate had changed to 30, some distance away. I rolled over to the correct gate and checked in and he did not appear. So I heaved my now, lead weight carry on bags, to my shoulder and went back to gate 32 to find him. Eventually I did, he was leaning over his open red rolling bag making some packing adjustments. He was so thankful that I came back to find him, and so was I.

At the end of my journey last night as I made my way through Canada customs and out to my car, I felt really good.

“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”   ~Eleanor Roosevelt

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