Waiting to get on a plane at Reagan National Airport last week, I listened to a TED Talk given by Ric Elias. Ric was one of the passengers on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in 2009. His brief, moving talk describes what went through his mind during the landing and the lessons he learned from that experience (if you have 5 minutes, click on the link and listen). Perhaps a plane crash wasn’t the best pre-flight topic choice but the lessons he shared were well worth hearing: “I no longer try to be right. I choose to be happy.” “Above all, the only goal I have in life is to be a good dad.”
Thankfully, I’ve never had a plane experience that comes close to Elias’ but several flights and their lessons came to mind after hearing his. First, was the flight my husband M and I took home from California with 13 day old baby K. We had just survived 12 days and nights in a hotel room. Most significantly K had survived while in the care of two terrified adults 3000 miles away from anyone they knew. We now all needed to get through the 6 hour flight home. M and I created a precise timeline with tasks and responsibilities. We discussed how we would handle the rental car drop off. We discussed the check-in process in detail. We discussed our pre-boarding and seat assignment strategies. We stuck to our plan and K did her part by sleeping most of the way. The plane touched down at Logan and we were home……”
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