Lessons from 3500 feet up

I recently spent the better part of two days at 3500 feet, flying to Orlando, Florida, for the International Iridology Practitioners Association Symposium. Flying is what it is – cramped, confining, and not very comfortable overall when you’re not in business class. I actually looked at driving – which would have been a three-long-days-each-way road trip. That didn’t seem very appealing either – so WestJet won out.

When I have to fly I take my laptop with the goal that I will get stuff done. When the flights aren’t full, and I feel like there’s a little room to move, I’ll pull down the tray table, set up the laptop and start working. But when every row is full and there are no empty seats, it’s just too tight, so this time I didn’t get any work done ‘up there’. Instead, I watched movies.

It’s been awhile since I last flew. Okay, maybe a few years. Much has changed. You can still watch movies on the little screen on the seat back in front of you, but now they have wifi – and you can watch movies on your own device if you so choose. Way back when, they used to give you ear buds to listen to the audio, then it changed to ‘bring your own’, and now, just in case you don’t have a ‘device’ with you, you can rent tablets on the airplane to access the wifi. Who knew?

What movies did I watch? Well, I have definite preferences – anything with George Clooney as long as there is no language and no sex – which means I don’t get to see much of what he makes. I enjoy movies that are based on true stories – again no sex or language, so that rules out a lot, and kids’ movies.

At 3500 feet, over four flights and 14 hours, I finally did manage to figure out how to connect to the wifi. The flight attendants aren’t allowed to coach or help, I’m not that great with tech, and hubby was seated two rows behind and across the aisle – so one flight was a write-off entertainment-wise – but the other three yielded success.

The first lesson I learned at 3500 feet was – never give up. Keep trying. Eventually you are bound to have success, even if you don’t know exactly what you did to create the success – my story of connecting to the wifi. Don’t ask me how I did it because I really couldn’t tell you! LOL.

The first movie I watched was Eddie the Eagle. (I admit there was one short scene that was a little off-color.) What Eddie taught me was to have a dream that is so audacious that no one will take you seriously, then work your tail off to make it come true. (On a side note, Calgary, the location of the Olympics where Eddie won the hearts of the world, is looking at making a bid for the 2026 Olympics – and I will make every effort to be a volunteer! I was busy having babies for the 1988 Olympics and I really think I missed out!)

The next movie was Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children – a movie totally based on fantasy. Watch it to see if you come up with ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’

Queen of Katwe was the third movie.This one is about a young girl named Madina who lived in poverty in Uganda with her mother, sister, and two younger brothers. Her brother was not allowed to play soccer with the mission because the mom could not afford the medical bills if he got hurt. Instead, one of the men who coached the soccer team suggested another sport and invited the children to meet him at the mission building. There, he taught them how to play chess. Madina showed amazing talent and had a heart for the game. She entered competitions, facing mostly rich, snobby boys, and won. Along the way she faced discrimination for being a girl and for being poor. What I learned was that when things are tough and you want to quit, get a coach and rely on his insight and courage to pull you through. You don’t have to go it alone.

The fourth movie (and I think I’m about movied out for a few months) was We Bought a Zoo. A recently widowed father, looking for a way to create good memories and a good life for his children, buys a rural zoo. His teenage son wants nothing to do with it. Dad, still grieving also, can’t figure out why his son is being so difficult. In the end, the relationship is healed as the dad is shown by one of his zoo staff (the one he’s falling in love with) why the father-son relationship is not working. Dad is then able to turn things around. I learned two things from this excellent movie: 1) sometimes it takes an outsider to see a situation clearly; and 2) it all comes down to communication.

What will you learn the next time you are at 3500 feet?


4 thoughts on “Lessons from 3500 feet up”

  1. Judith,
    I really liked this post!! Isn’t it amazing how much we can still learn??!!
    Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time!

    1. Thank you, Gaby. The older I get the more I see opportunities to learn. Makes me wonder how many I missed I when I was young and pretty sure I knew it all. LOL

  2. Interesting take on a way to make Lemonade out of a sour lemon, good job, entertaining to all who have shared this experience enough times to take a good book when all else fails, but then we would not have had the opportunity to hear how creative your mind works, again.

    I hope you enjoyed what you learned making the trip worth it in the end, ? how much did you learn verses how much did you teach???????????

    1. This was a learning trip – one of these years I’ll teach at IIPA. I loved meeting Ellen Tart-Jensen and Betty Sue O’Brian. They are such gifted iridologists and so gentle and genuine. I have much to learn from them in many, many ways!

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