What A Fun Flight!

On Friday, September 4, 2009, I had the pleasure of being on Northwest Airlines flight 3343, (now known as Delta) from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Now if anyone has ever flown these flights, you probably know that the planes are small and it can get quite cramped. The good news is that the flight is short but usually so short that you’re not served any drink or food either. But in the spirit of appreciating what’s great about these flights, I do like the fact that they fly rather low and you can look out over the countryside and see the beauty of the landscape beneath or the cloud formations around and above. And, as I mentioned, they are short so after having just spent time on a longer flight from the East coast to Minneapolis and some time waiting in the airport, I am always appreciative when I’m on this last leg of my itinerary, as I know that soon I’ll be off the plane and into a vehicle headed toward Iowa City.

What made this particular flight special was not the scenery on the outside, but the behavior of the lone flight attendant, Kimberly. (I think that was her name!) She was absolutely wonderful. I was smiling and laughing and she really made my day. What did she do or say, you ask?

Well, I knew that I was in for a treat when she announced “We’ll be working together to ensure that we will have an on-time departure.” Her choice of words and tone of voice was so positive and cooperative (rather than a repetitive list of rules that one often hears but doesn’t really listen to). Wow. She got my attention.

So when she began her speech on using the seatbelt, demonstrating the exits and showing us the oxygen masks by saying, “I know that many of you are frequent fliers and have heard this speech millions of times, but I’d really like you to know that it’s my turn to shine so I’d appreciate the audience!” I put my book on my lap and gave her my 100% full attention.

But her fun and service didn’t stop there. She gave us a quiz and later came around to ask what we came up with, and announced the results over the loudspeaker. The quiz went something like this: “If you could have 50 pounds of anything (other than money), what would it be?” She shared that her response was guacamole and that the pilot’s choice was pulled pork…

When she came around to me, I shared with her that I thought of e-tickets because they wouldn’t weigh anything so they’re endless, and I could take my friends and family with me wherever I go! Then I shared with her that if she thought that my answer was too “monetarily-based,” I’d take love or happiness because that also cannot be measured and it, too, would be endless! Needless to say, she thought that I had put a lot of thought into my answer.

She mingled and mixed with all of us on the plane that day. We talked about raising teenage drivers, Harry Potter books and living in Wisconsin and she gave some water to a few people who asked for it before going back to the loudspeaker to announce the results of the quiz.

What was the #1 answer by the other passengers on the flight, you ask? The number one answer was beer! I guess my fellow Iowans were anxious to begin their Labor Day festivities that weekend…or they got thirsty with the thought of all that pulled pork and guacamole! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at how much fun that whole exercise was.

Thank you, Kimberly, for the unexpected fun! It was great and you made my day! I so appreciate people like you!

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Appreciating Friends, Avon and Opportunities

Friendship is such a beautiful thing. I am so grateful for my friends. I’ve had many over the years and look forward to more to come. One of my friends recently started selling Avon as a second job to increase her prosperity because working those two “traditional” jobs was exhausting! So now her second job is selling Avon, and she’s looking forward to the freedom of making her own hours.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda for her friendship, her kindness and to tell her how much I appreciate her. I’d also like to thank companies like Avon that give so many women opportunities to advance and succeed in business. I once was an Avon representative, selling products as an extra job to be able to increase my income for my family and I so appreciate the opportunities and all the people I met while selling their products.

While this not an advertisement for Avon, it is my way of paying it forward for Linda. Avon representatives have recently started online stores, and people can order online and have it delivered to their own homes. So I’d like to pay it forward to Linda by posting a link here to her site: Linda’s Page

I’m so grateful for opportunities like this that help others improve their financial, personal and career circumstances. Aren’t computers a wonderful thing that can connect people from all over the world and allow people to thrive when perhaps in their own communities there are not as many opportunities? Now that is something to appreciate!

Thanks, People!

Do you appreciate the people in your life? Tell them so! Today I’m reminded of how grateful I am for my two precious daughters, my sweet mother, and my wonderful significant other. It’s easy to appreciate people we love. But what about people that challenge us or with whom we feel we don’t get along?

I have found that when I reach for feelings of appreciation in people that I’m having “challenges” with, that they no longer bother me as much. Soon, I’m seeing more and more positive aspects of them which I can easily appreciate. It’s a simple concept yet often difficult to remember to do. Yet this one simple technique can literally change your life. It’s as if everyone who used to bother you suddenly change, yet it’s really your own feelings and energy surrounding them that has shifted.

So choose the good thoughts about someone who is “bugging” you. Then thank them! Find something to appreciate and see how miraculously things shift.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

I’m starting my first blog entry on The Gab of Gratitude with a birthday wish for my country. I do so because I truly am grateful for having grown up here. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had because I am from the U.S., and for the comforts that have been afforded to me. I know from traveling to other areas of the world that not all people are as fortunate. This contrast helps me realize and appreciate what I have.  While my readers may not be from the U.S., nor even agree with me, the beauty and fun of The Gab of Gratitude is in finding appreciation in everyday things.  Besides, I’ve always loved birthdays and particularly birthday parties!  So Happy Birthday, U.S.A.! Hit it, Jimmy and Elmo!