I had arrived at the airport about 30 minutes before the required check in to catch an early flight home. It had been a very busy three days for me on an interstate trip with lots of meetings, business to do and new customers to meet. So I was glad to have the extra time to make my notes on what I needed to action when I got back to my office the following day.
Equally, it is always a great feeling when you complete your 'to do' list, as well as the sense of control that comes from getting it out of your head and onto paper, or should I say into the laptop.
Then came the announcement that I am sure all air travelers loath to hear - the flight had been delayed indefinitely due to a technical problem with the plane.
As I sat in the departure lounge, I could see a group of technicians and ground staff rushing about, obviously endeavoring to fix the problem with the plane. I watched and listened as many of the passengers sitting near me shared their frustration about the inconvenience and why couldn't the airline just wheel out another plane or put us on another flight.
A steady stream of passengers lined up at the departure desk only to receive the expected update from the customer service attendants that they can do very little other than ask us all to be patient and that as soon as they can get us away, they would call the flight.
The mobiles phones were working over time throughout the departure lounge as passengers left messages for business associates and loved ones to update them on our predicament.
As I sat waiting for the announcement, which would no doubt bring cheers from all of my fellow travelers, I reflected on my last meeting for the day. It was not a business meeting but rather a very enjoyable and all too brief lunch with an old business associate and friend I had not seen for over 12 years, and who I had worked with for nearly 15 years prior to us losing contact.
I had been given his contact phone number by a customer I had visited on the first day of my trip, so I called him out of the blue and made a time for us to meet. Our lunch was spent recalling times gone by and as well filling each other in on what had happened in our lives over the last 12 years.
Our conversation was punctuated with statements such as 'remember when we did ….', 'whatever happened to ….' and of course the one we all liked to hear …. 'you know you haven't changed one bit, except for a few more grey hairs.'
We both laughed and smiled as we recalled the good times and the great experiences we had shared over the 15 years we had worked together.
Each event we discussed triggered another recollection and everything we talked about centered on the good times and only served to energize each of us during the course of our lunch. Almost simultaneously, right at the end of our time together, we both said how much we both enjoyed it and that we must do it again. We agreed to catch up when I was next in town, then said our goodbyes and I was off to the airport.
As I sat waiting for the announcement that my flight was finally ready to depart, it was great to have this additional time to revisit and replay in my mind all that we had talked about. I realized at that moment just how important it is to have regular reminders of the good times in your life and to be able to take the time to reminisce, for so much of what we have done in our lives, shapes us and makes us who we are today and beyond.
Sandwiched in between the busy time of my trip and the focus on getting business done, I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to take a short break and reflect on the good things that had happened in my life over 12 years ago.
It was somewhat like looking at an old photo album that you have found stored away in a cupboard in your house, there before your eyes are lots of wonderful memories in print that take you back to that time and place, and most importantly to those people who are in the photos.
It also made me realize when you get caught up doing what has to be done in the moment, how easy it is to forget the people you have met in your life who have made a positive impact on and enriched you, often in only the smallest of ways.
My flight home was finally called nearly three hours later and yes, as you would have expected, many of the passengers cheered when the announcement was made. I smiled as I boarded the plane and realized that I was not at all upset about the delay in the flight departure, as I had been able to spend much of my time reflecting on the good times from days gone by and I eagerly look forward to many more opportunities to reminisce.
Inspired by Vasil Delvizis, my business associate and good friend from times gone by.
Copyright © 2006 Keith Ready
Keith Ready is an Australian based business adviser and trainer whose specialty is working with his clients to improve top and bottom line business performance in a measurable way, through people. Keith is also known as Mr Inspiration and is publisher of InspirEmail which provides inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account.
You can visit his website at www.agiftofinspiration.com.au