Legacy Of Fun

A cure for athletes foot and stress

4 comments

Traveling by plane these days can be a little stressful.

Traveling with a two-year-old daughter for the first time, even more so.

Add to that, the logistics of carrying her car seat around the terminal, down the narrow aisle of a crowded plane and then installing it in the oh so roomy seat in row 57A.

Not to mention all the other little things that incrementally raise the blood pressure… the line building up behind you, running out of trays for the security check, miss-communication with your wife over who’s grabbing the stroller, daughter afraid of the metal detector, security staff even more stern and gruff than normal… it can get ugly fast.

One silly thought…

As our things disappear into the shadowy depths of the x-ray contraption, I glance at the sign that says Danger: Radiation Risk. I think to myself, “maybe that will kill my shoe stink.” A thought quickly overrun with thoughts of “what a silly thought… oh crap, is the car seat going to jam the machine – security guy looks mad – mob behind me looks mad – get me outta here!” At this point, the tension of the past 30 minutes has about ruined my entire day.

One man’s thought, another man’s action…

As my family reconnects on the other side of hell to put our shoes, belts and hopes back together, I look up and see a man I’d noticed earlier, if only briefly.

He didn’t seem so stressed like everyone else. I think he even winked at our daughter at one point, just taking things in stride. And then he gave voice to my glancing thought from earlier…

He looked at the gruff, sour-faced security guy and pointing at the x-ray machine said, “Will that cure my athletes foot?”

Something amazing happened in that instant. The security guard who looked like he was ready to shoot someone… and the travelers nearby who looked like being shot might be preferred over traveling today… all cracked a smile.

And one stressed out father with one shoe on, one off and struggling with his belt, suddenly felt a moment of relief from all the stress he’d been feeling.

One sentence spoken out loud. Not really even very funny… was all it took. A thought I’d had myself not two minutes earlier but kept to myself.

He did it again later on the plane. A stewardess was trying to get to the back of the plane, but the aisle was blocked… she looked mad and stressed. “You’re stuck now… no turning back…” The man from earlier. I watched the anger and stress melt from her face. Again, one sentence, a touch of humor lightly applied.

30 seconds to a legacy of fun…

I had zero conversations with this man and only heard a few sentences spoken from him… and yet here I am talking about him two months later. He is leaving a legacy of fun.

It’s good to mind our mouths and watch what we say. However, if the only reason we don’t say something is because we think it might make us look silly, then we are missing a great opportunity to make the day better for ourselves and others.

How about you? On the bus, in the plane terminal, at the grocery store, at the stop light… who has lightened your day lately? What was it like? What did they do or say? Why wasn’t it you doing or saying it?

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Langela

Oct 28,2010 @ 09:08AM

My kids are usually good at pulling people up. They talk to everyone with no prejudices or insecurities. People laugh at their complete openess. And they can find out more info from someone than most reporters. Somedays I am the person saying silly, ridiculus things and somedays I am the one standing frustrated that the line isn’t moving faster.

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Oct 28,2010 @ 11:58AM

Thanks for sharing Langela! Being a father for the first time has certainly changed my priorities and outlook.

I’ve always liked to have fun, and considered myself a kid at heart. Recently that aspect has come more into focus. Finding that balance between treating life as serious business without taking myself too seriously.

My daughter has made me a better man in 3 years than I think I could have made myself in a lifetime.

Langela

Oct 28,2010 @ 01:04PM

They sure have a way of making you look at yourself, don’t they? I find so many times when I see them doing or saying something I don’t like, it’s because they are mimicking me. Kids are the best mirrors! Annoying little twerps. Did they ever stop to think that I might just want to stay an ugly old caterpillar and not continue on a journey toward beautiful butterfly-hood?

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Oct 28,2010 @ 01:54PM

Exactly!



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