There are two types of people in this world: aisle people and window seat people. I mean, no one is a middle seat person…what are you nuts? 🙂 For as long as I can remember I have always been a window seat person.
I remember the excitement of flying when I was a little. I used to press my face against the glass to spot familiar landmarks or try to pin-point my own house at take-off. As I got older I remained a firm fan of the window seat but for two very different reasons. First, the window seat avoids the dreaded sting of the in-flight drink cart knocking against my elbow. Second, it is comforting knowing I can lean against a non-human surface if I doze off, which tends to happen on early morning commutes. As I got older, my love of the window seat remained yet I seemed to stop looking out the window and became numb to the beauty on the other side of the glass. Flying became a mode of transportation and a means of getting to my clients and teams. I began to wonder: when did I start taking my treasured window seat view for granted? Sure, we all get preoccupied with work, kids, school, activities and more pressing priorities but does that make the 30,000-foot view any less wondrous than it was when I was 8 years old?
No, it does not.
Taking the little things for granted is all too easy. They start out as unconscious decisions to prioritize one more important thing over another. In my case, I read and respond to emails rather than look out the window. After a while, what started as an unconscious decision becomes routine and the next thing you know, you are stuck in an inescapable habit hole.
But don’t feel bad if you can relate to this; it’s normal. I don’t know, maybe it’s even a part of growing up and taking on more responsibility.
We all juggle competing priorities and fight a never-ending battle of balancing opposing demands for our time and attention. I think the trick is to make sure you are taking time for at least some the little things in your life that tend to go unnoticed or under-appreciated. Don’t become totally numb to the beauty around you. It’s unrealistic to spend your life staring out the window but it is important you recognize what lay on the other side from time to time.
So, as I write this article, I find myself on a plane staring out at northern Indiana admiring its beauty at 7,000 feet thinking about all the other “window seats” in my life.
Take some time every now and then to rediscover your window seats; the things that bring you joy and happiness but are often taken for granted in the rush of the important things around you.
With that, I bid you farewell for this week. It’s time to see if I can spot a few familiar landmarks.