Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

Allow me to preface this with the admission that I am not a big fan of either flying or lying.

So, it is with some trepidation that I am embarking on a journey that will require me to not only fly, but has (as life is wont to do) also revealed some, shall we say, half truths.

In every sense of the word, I’m the consummate control freak. I’d rather drive than ride. Never been a big fan of being herded through lines, and most certainly don’t appreciate being told what I can and cannot take (or, for that matter, where I can and cannot smoke – but that’s a matter for another blog).

In fact, the last time I flew was nearly a decade ago and I still have memories of the crowded uncomfortable plane, the rude airport personnel and the pervasive feeling of being trapped.

But, I was presented with a golden  opportunity to visit a place I’d never been to, network, and, most importantly, to finally meet some people I’ve only interacted with online until now.

Plus, did I mention that I haven’t had a vacation in forever?

So, I jumped at the chance.

Over the past month, I’ve had occasion to spend a great deal of time with my nanogenerian father in law (subject for yet another blog. Gee, I’m going to be busy). Like many 90-somethings, his hearing has seriously deteriorated. Until I was finally able to talk him into getting hearing aids, I nearly lost my voice from having to speak loudly enough for him to hear me.

He had developed “selective listening” as a result of his hearing loss. Conversations and words that he deemed important were the ones he’d pay extra attention to. But, he missed a lot in the interim.  By only hearing what he wanted to hear, little details were overlooked.

I’m reminded that we all do that to a degree. In a way, we overlook little details that we deem unimportant because our focus and our attention is on what we want to hear.

That leaves us vulnerable (for lack of a better word) to those who would only offer tantalizing bits of information to paint a rosy picture that we’ll gladly sign on to – because they’re telling us mostly what we want to hear. And being so giddy over a few buzzwords induces us to agree wholeheartedly without asking some pointed questions first.

How many times have we been admonished to “look before you leap”? Perhaps we should add “listen” to that maxim.

And another old saying (while we’re at it): “if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is”.

Miscommunication (and flying) aside, I’m excited at the opportunity to meet so many of you face to face.

And…I promise to listen.