Today I am thankful for the night before travel.
While there is usually a fun stress and excitement prior to taking a trip, that’s not what I am thankful for today. The thing that sticks out for me today, the thing that I’m most thankful for is the extra appreciation for spending time with my boys (Becky and I are going to get some extra time over lunch tomorrow).
This one may be a little morbid, but you never know when it may be your last trip, your last time going around the Earth, or the last time you see someone you love. I don’t day that out of fear, but rather out of appreciation for knowing that.
As such, a night like this reminds me to be present with my boys and spend time with them. It makes me think that if this was the last memory they would have of me, what would I want it to look like? What would I do with them if I knew we only had one night? Again, it sounds incredibly depressing, but it’s actually a fantastically sobering thought.
With that in mind, guess how much time I’ve spent looking at Facebook? How many times have I checked my email? Can you figure out how many times I lost track of my focus on them? It was AWESOME! We planed a bunch of games and had a great time. We joked around with each other, gave each other a hard time, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. We didn’t worry about who won or lost the games, we only cared about how much fun we were having.
In his 2005 commencement address at Stanford, Steve Jobs said:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
And that’s why I am thankful for the night before travel today. For some crazy reason I mentally equate flying somewhere with death and take a little extra time to remember what’s truly important. It’s kind of a messed up concept, but I really am thankful for it. I don’t dwell on death or fear death, rather, I am aware of death more keenly at certain times and use that awareness to focus on what’s most important… my family.