Home reflecting — a status update I posted that I thought was worthy to share.
Home reflecting — a status update I posted that I thought was worthy to share.
Enjoying Helen today and as it approaches to 1am, I have spent a few minutes of time reflecting on that day in history, 9/11. A day that for our generation will be paramount similar to where were you during Pearl Harbor or when JFK was shot. No doubt you remember where you were when you heard the news, but my story I often try not to think about as it all seems too surreal to fathom.
My good friend is a flight attendant for United Airlines, at the time we had all plans to visit NYC, explore the city, and return home on 9/11. Through my connection with Hilton, I managed to secure a Junior Suite at the Hilton WTC (the narrow black building you see in many photos). The room was situated some 49 floors above the city, this would be my first trip to NYC. The excitement built. Flying on a buddy pass is not always easy, our odds were much better to travel through Newark.
Where I spend some time pondering, we were to spend the night in NJ, and fly home from Newark on Flight 93. This all would have occurred had one thing that summer not change. Dr. Bhatia, my stats professor refused to let me take my final early. The professor was clear that taking any test early could potentially harm others knowing the questions being asked, and the validity of his tests.
Looking back, who could possibly think that his eagerness to not let me depart for NYC as planned, would forever change my path. With the last minute change in plans, the hotels were changed to check into the WTC Hilton on 9/12. I awaited for my vacation to start, and spent the night prior in San Diego.
Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) – Alan Jackson, Written in memory of 9/11
Where was I on 9/11? I awoke at the Hilton Mission Bay to hearing fighter jets flying over the hotel. It seemed so unusually loud and eerie. I turned the TV on, and the hotel information TV noted “Due to Presidential Order, all airports are closed”. I thought, this couldn’t be possible, why would they be closed. I called the Front Desk, in which the Front Desk agent in a very somber voice, said “yes, yes sir, they are closed”. I thought to myself, how strange and will this impact my vacation to NYC tomorrow (9/12).
I walked to the desk in the room and turned on my cell. My phone quickly lit up, voicemail box was full. Several messages were marked urgent, the first I heard was from my father.
“Hey Doug, it’s Dad, you may have not seen it yet, turn your TV on, there has been a terrorist attack on an airplane in NYC, I Love you”
The messages after that from my dad was a blur. Messages were left from colleagues, unbeknownst I changed NYC dates, frantically asking where I was, if I was okay. I changed the channel on the TV, to see footage of the second tower to start falling. The TV came up, and I fell off the side of the bed and sat on the floor, weeping. I had no clue to understand, how could someone do that in the US. Imagining the people in the building, the jumpers, the planes igniting so quickly as they passed through the building. The families on the news, asking if they found their loved one, to please, please call. Pictures of brothers, firemen, employees, EMTs, etc.
Here is a video you may not remember, from Budweiser Superbowl saluting 9/11.
With my travel and love of aviation ever increasing through the years, 9/11 has continued to grow to be more of something I accept but at times, cannot imagine. Imagining those on the planes, altitude dropping so quickly, and the unforgettable flight 93. Looking back on that day that forever changed the world, I pause in a moment of reflection and appreciation of those that lost their lives for our freedom. I pass along the memory of that day, and my love and support to those who have left us as a result of these acts.
Last month, during a work trip to NYC, we toured the 9/11 Tribute under construction. Besides the buildings being beautiful, the tribute site itself was moving. From the names of the flights, towers, pentagon and the previous attempt on WTC, to the lone tree that survived the collapse, and then survived the bad weather in the nursery. The church directly next to the WTC has some memorabilia that is most moving, and will make you heart cry for the families that posted the search papers and pictures.
9/11, it may have passed but it will never be forgotten.
Thinking back on the past 3 weeks, it seems 2011 was already a month ago. The holidays have come and gone, and the dreaded long haul from MLK Day to Memorial is quickly approaching for us in the U.S.
In thinking about how to approach the year we have jumped into, the cliche of “New Years Resolution” resonated with me. The definition of Resolution is ‘A firm decision” – key word firm. I thought to myself, what could I do that would be a change in my life that I could focus on in 2012 but would last greater then one year. While gym membership / activity sky rockets in Quarter 1, with the “I’m going to lose weight” group, I thought I would try a new approach in my personal goal.
I thought of the approach of the phrase coined by the book – “How Do You Eat An Elephant? One Bite at a Time. by Bill Hogan” . Smokers don’t quite overnight nor can a person expect to see immediate change in their life starting on January 1. Deni noted on facebook not too long ago, “People worry so much about what they eat Christmas to New Years, they should think about what they eat from New Years to Christmas”.
What is my firm decision, as my 2012 Resolution? A few things actually! During the holiday season, I spent time with family and began to develop a strategy to improve in the new year. I thought what do I need to do to get to my goal – Remove the Noise from my life. This is a variety of things, but the key is what do I need to do, to get their, versus what is my goal.
That is how I am going to Remove the Noise in my Life in 2012 – I will provide updates on each one as the year progresses. Do you have a resolution? Send me a note, or comment below, we can look back in 2013 on what we planned to tackle.
Happy New Year!
Sitting outside on this warm summer evening, I remember my first trip to Atlanta to interview. It was Memorial Day Weekend, 2006. After my relocation from Chicago to Atlanta started, I commuted to Atlanta on a weekly basis in 2008, I can remember the heat along the highway to the airport as I sat in traffic. Passing under buildings on 400 and seeing large fans on to circulate out the exhaust from the automobiles crawling beneath.
Fast forward 5 years later with my current company, and I look back and wonder where the time has gone. When my father would tell me that time flies or it goes by so quick as you get older, I thought the man was crazy. How could the 5 minutes before school got out at 2:30 pm ever go by quick? How could falling asleep on Christmas Eve ever make morning come any sooner? The moments in my life where time seems to slow are when I am at the airport waiting to get through security, most likely because the person in front of me has not heard about the ban on jugs of vegetable oil as carry on, and also for the phone to ring when you hope to hear back from someone you have interest in.
While it goes by quick, at times I feel it may even be passing me by. I began work while in High School and recollect many times I forewent vacations and personal breaks to work. While the end result drastically improved my career, the fun along the way was few and far between. What I did learn to do is make fun out of any situation I am in, whether it be the night I had someone with a gun standing in front of me at the hotel (3 days before the big 21), or being on Newport Beach to be told that I was a great person, and oddly, the passion I evoked in them made them long for that passion in their ex…. Needless to say, if I have serious interest in you, I will never take you to that beach.
Thinking back to my childhood, in 1995 the movie 9 Months debuted which has an amazing song about the Time of your Life. Unfortunately, the soundtrack featured a different version, but it serves as a reminder about living life in the moment. How the moments we wish would go slow, pass us by, like an amazing first date, or saying goodbye to a loved one briefly, or for eternity. I love you mom, had our moments of happiness only lasted longer.
Below is the song by Little Stevens – “The Time Of Your Life”
A particular part that makes me remind myself of living in the moment - Carpe Diem
Don’t think about the future, don’t think about the past
There’s just this moment, better make it last
You better get it right ’cause
This is the time of your life
Of course, who could not think about time of your life, and Green Day Good Riddance (Time of your Life)? When I hear that song I remember being at an old high school friends home, with a pool, with that playing so loud. When it gained more popularity being on friends.
The picture shown above is my mother and I, outside the theatre inside Knott’s Berry Farm waiting to see KIDS Incorporated… I would guess sometime around 1985 to 1986. One of the pictures of her that I can almost hear her laughter. In case you can remember part of the jingle for KIDS Incorporated, here is a refresher! Jennifer Love Hewitt was also in the cast.
While preparing dinner last night, Slacker popped up the album 31 Minutes to Take Off by Mike Posner. The song of the cover is only 53 seconds but what grabbed me was the album cover. Sitting on a plane at sunset, no one next to you, seat in front of you, and bound for wherever the jet is going to touch down.
Whenever it is close to take off, I still get the feeling of excitement. The plane pushing back from the gate, being cleared to taxi, and finally rolling down the runway. Looking out the small oval window at the wing flexing as we lift off, hearing the engines rev up more, and finally the sinking feeling as we gain altitude. Looking back and seeing the runway behind us, the world passing by so quickly. Sitting down yet going so fast, how life often passes you by if you rest, while the world we live in just keeps moving faster and feeling smaller. Sitting alone on the flight, feeling the solitude knowing that an adventure can start with a plane ride and also draw to a close.
More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination. ~Wilbur Wright
Many times I’ve gone flying and people mention they forget that the cloud layer is only so high, and above it, sun is shining. Passing through those clouds, a bump or two, and soaring above them, the shadow of the plane on the clouds growing smaller as we ascend. Closing your eyes, and you can wake up half way around the world 15 hours later. Granted, I could never sleep for 15 solid hours on a plane.
How strange is this combination of proximity and separation. That ground – seconds away – thousands of miles away. ~Charles A. Lindbergh
The quiet time on a flight allows my mind to wander, I think of friends, the path of my future, challenges in life, and oddly, I associate flying with evoking emotion. Whether it is the excitement to get to the place, or the sadness of the conclusion or a farewell, or the stress knowing the heavy tasks at hand upon arrival.