Airplane Etiquette

No, I’m not the Emily Post of air travel, nor am I a disgruntled airline employee. I’m just a woman who gets on a plane several times a month and has learned a thing or two about getting from Point A to Point B without losing her mind or pissing people off.

fullsizeoutput_3535In my experience, there are 10 simple things that one can do to maintain sanity and foster goodwill. I have not written these in order of importance, but rather as they come to mind, because I’m at 32,000 feet right now, and I’m sadly watching several of these scenarios play out.

They are as follows:

  1. Refrain from grabbing the headrest in front of you to lift yourself out of your seat. There’s someone attached to that headrest, and you’ve just jarred them out of their comfortable position – or, worse yet, woken them up.
  2. Speaking of sleep, unless you’re fortunate enough to be in first class, a full recline should be avoided. I’ve actually had my laptop jammed between myself and someone’s seat back, unable to pry it loose. Most travelers are professionals with work to do. Be respectful of space.
  3. And be respectful of laptops. I recently sat between two guys who decided to share drinks. One of them held his glass over my laptop, while the other reached out to pour whiskey into it. Ah . . . no. DO NOT pour liquids anywhere near the vicinity of someone’s keyboard.
  4. Try hard not to lose patience with screaming babies or their mothers. Babies cry. They’re in unfamiliar environments, they’re being held tight against their will, and moms can’t just say “pop your ears.” There’s a good chance that they’re in pain.
  5. Keep children from kicking the back of the seat in front of them. Cry, scream, laugh all you want, but a constant pounding from behind can make even the kindest of us take a turn.
  6. We’re all going to get to our seats eventually, so chill. If there are seniors boarding in front of you, or someone who is handicapped, do not let out a loud sigh and start rolling your eyes. Give them a hand, instead. Remember kindness?
  7. While boarding a plane, please be careful not to hit people in the aisle with your purse/carry-on. I’ve gotten beaned by a backpack more than once.
  8. If you’re seated beside someone who is reading, staring out the window, has their eyes closed or is wearing headphones/earbuds, do not start talking to them. They do not want to engage. A friend recently had his earbuds literally pulled out of his ears by a person beside them so that they could talk for an entire flight. Good karma will never come from this.
  9. Smile. It’s easy.
  10. Be nice to your flight attendants. Dealing with impatient, rude passengers, day-in and day-out, can really suck. It actually is not all about you. Surprising, I know.

There you have it. Ten simple rules that have the potential to make your travels far more enjoyable. If you have additional suggestions, add them to the comments section below. I’d love to hear them.

Feel free to share this information with the road warriors in your life, and if you see me on your next flight, please take the time to say hello. Unless, of course, I’m wearing headphones and/or reading.

Happy trails!

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Politics and Religion

I’ve learned a lot of very valuable lessons from my parents over the years, but I have to say that one of the best social lessons I’ve learned from them is to never discuss politics or religion. Unless I’m wrong, few people that I’m close to actually know what my leanings are in either department. And that, my friends, is on purpose. I tend to smile and nod a lot, which could be construed as any number of opinions, but I rarely go into detail about how I feel.

politics-and-religionHere’s my point: there’s no point! No point in arguing your point, because arguing just creates animosity and alienation.

Can you name one person that you know who has changed their political opinion or religion based on a Saturday night argument? I highly doubt it. Or altered their vote because of your bumper sticker? Not likely.

I’m a middle aged woman now, and I can honestly say that I had no idea how either of my parents voted until recent years. I often suspected that they preferred different camps, but I was never sure. My God, what a great gift that was. I say “was,” because I now know how my dad votes, but I’m not impressionable anymore, and I could care less (no offense, Dad).

Friendships and relationships should be based on a myriad of factors, but not religion or politics alone. Looking past someone’s view of social issues, and seeing them for who they really are, is the absolute ideal, and I’ll be forever grateful to my parents for raising me to have a mind of my own and to respect every party and walk of life.

My friends are Republicans. My friends are Democrats. My friends in Canada are moreProgressive Conservatives, Liberals and NDPs. My friends are straight, gay, lesbian and bi. They’re black, white, and several combos of each. My friends prefer dogs. My friends prefer cats. They’re catholics, protestants, buddhists and atheists, and I love every one of them as much as the other.

Friendships should be based on souls, not poles.

Actually, the only thing I have zero tolerance for is zero tolerance. It’s true that I haven’t been an American my entire life. Hell, I’ve only been one for a few years, but I am American, and unless I’m completely mistaken, the epitome of being an American is embracing the rights of others to be who they want to be.

Now THAT I’ll pledge allegiance to.

And let’s not lose our sense of humor about politics and religion. I know they’re intense issues, but if we can’t laugh at ourselves and our differences, we’re nothing short of doomed.

Again, thanks Mom and Dad. You are absolutely the best. I love you, and that’s one opinion I’ll never hesitate to share. xo

**This blog is also available at http://www.leanadelle.com

 

 

 

Chère France,

I don’t follow many blogs, primarily because I have little time to read them, but I do read this one. A fellow Canadian who makes France her home:

FranceSays

Chère CharlieIt’s been a long time. Thirty years since we began this relationship; more than twenty since I decided to call you home. Since I married in Paris, gave birth in Lyon, made friends, built a life, put down roots.

In all these years, I’ve never felt moved to share my feelings about what it is to be French. Until now.

I have often criticized you, and rightly so. It has not always been easy to live here, to decode your culture, understand your language and fully appreciate your history. There have been moments of mutual incomprehension. Sometimes I felt alone. But I never felt judged, nor excluded.

Never once did you ask about my religion or political beliefs. You gave my children an education that has enabled them to go forth in the world as free-thinking, critical spirits. You kept us healthy and safe.

So this is to say merci

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Shape Your New Year / Shape Your Life

First off . . . are we really heading into 2015?!? How did that happen? Yowza.

IMG_0960I think New Years Eve is my favorite night of the year, and New Year’s Day my favorite day. Why? Because they incorporate two of my favorite activities: reflecting on blessings and preparing to receive more.

I also read recently that resolutions can improve our lives, so there’s another bonus to the whole transition thing; however, concentrating on outcomes vs. processes has been speculated to be the best way of not accomplishing those goals. For example, instead of “I’m going to lose 15 lbs,” it’s better to say, “I’m going to start going to the gym four times a week.”

Our approach to life essentially works in the same way. If it’s all about the outcome, the task at hand can become too daunting. Take writing, for example. If I set out at the beginning of a novel thinking, “I’m going to write a book,” it’s far more overwhelming than, “I’m going to write 500 words a day,” or “I’m going to create two chapters a week.” Little bits eventually accumulate into one great big one.

Consider each year to be a chapter. Let’s think about the things we’d like to see happen over the next 12 months and write a little bit each day toward them. And by “write,” I mean take some form of process oriented action that can move us forward.don't know

We can’t let the big picture keep us from using our cameras!

Besides, concentrating on outcomes can be limiting. Be open to new potential directions and let the results fall where they may.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL! May each of us move through our next chapter with an ample supply of creativity and health.

xo

**This blog is also available at: http://www.leanadelle.com

HO HO HOME!!

I lived in Canada at this time last year and was able to drive “home” for Christmas. A seven hour drive, mind you, but able to drive nonetheless. Peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful, I marveled at the sun shining down on snow laden evergreens, making each limb glisten and practically wave at me as I passed by. I arrived just as the sun made its slow decent in the western sky and Bing Crosby launched into my favorite song of the season.

What’s the practical thing to do at that moment? Well, set your iPad up on your dash and record the event, naturally.

Sharing my 2013 arrival home (ignore the rolling stop and occasional speeding, but note Timmie’s on the right, Canada).

Wishing each one of you a joyous and gratitude filled Christmas.

See you in the new year, my friends!!

The Perfect Present

Here we are. That time of year again. Time to figure out what to give everyone on our Christmas lists. The masters of marketing are ramping up their efforts to bombard us with the latest toys, gadgets and extravagances. I actually saw a Lamborghini in a showroom window with a bow on it just last week. Really.

christmasgiftboxI love giving. There are few feelings quite so gratifying as getting just the right thing for just the right person. It’s joyful and far better than receiving. I often wish that I could give something to humanity as a whole.

Well, here’s a thought: Maybe I can, and maybe you can, too.

Are you aware of the fact that the greatest gifts any of us have ever been given are our talents? That each one of us, whether we’ve identified them or not, were given some unique abilities that are just ours and no one else’s? It’s true, and it’s a damned shame if we don’t try and regift at every opportunity.

You may have a talent that you’re fully aware of but afraid to share – that one thing that comes easily to you and brings you joy. Know that sharing it will also bring joy to others and make floating around on this blue and green orb all worthwhile. And, like a lot of bullies, fear will back down if you confront it, anyway. It’s secretly wimpy that way.

Regift your talents and abilities this holiday season. If you want to put a bow on your head while you do it, I say, CHEERS!!

Merry Christmas, everyone, and may 2015 see you expressing the truest version of ourselves.

**This blog is also available at http://www.leanadelle.com**

 

 

 

Thankful For Gratitude

Have I always been grateful? I can’t say as I have, but I have never been ungrateful either, if that makes any sense. I’m learning that genuine gratitude is something that comes from a place of conscious effort. Not being ungrateful is something that – in and of itself – can be taken for granted. It’s a state of being, so to speak, like being healthy or even employed. Actually acknowledging, “Hey, I’m healthy,” or “Look at me. I’m employed,” shifts the state of not being ungrateful into one of active gratitude.

IMG_1302I recently attended one of Oprah’s “Live The Life You Want” weekends in Houston, TX, and I literally left feeling changed – as did many of the other men and women who filled the Toyota Center. I’d heard the gratitude message before – even from Oprah herself – but this time it hit home, and I’ve been consciously shifting my perspective since, and with amazing results.

Something magical happens when you stop striving to have and simply strive to be. When it becomes blatantly clear that all you need is right here, right now, your heart overflows, and you begin to feel more fulfilled. Great word, that one: full – filled.

I’m thankful for so much this Thanksgiving: My family, my friends, my health, my work, my apartment, my fridge full of food, my tank full of gas, my plants, my stories, my laugh lines, my toothbrush, my socks, my pillows, my nail file . . . well, you get the picture. Everything. Every little thing. Genuinely.IMG_0441

Take your “not being ungrateful” to another level. See not only the loss of, or the absence of, but – instead – the joy of having had and the presence of abundance that exists now.

I wish each one of you – who I am also grateful for – a joyous and happy Thanksgiving.

Another great word, by the way: Thanks – giving.

**This blog is also available on my website at http://www.leanadelle.com