The Simply Layover Life

Photo courtesy of these earthly delights.com 
Things were not going close to planned. Shucks they weren’t even going close to what I hoped. The last straw was when it was clear that the person whose position I filled called several colleagues including my supervisor, but not me, with her two cents about a decision I made and her two cents were esteemed as being more valuable then any of my sense, including common sense. I packed up my office. 

Now, I wasn’t having a 30 year old temper tantrum. Quite the contrary. I was having a bonafide Oprah Winfrey Aha moment. Or for my more faith inclined readers, a revelation. I made the job the final destination and the job had made it clear it as more of a layover.  My office reflected final destination. It reflected being here for the long haul, a mutual embracing and respect for how I saw the company and my work and vice versa. My office was priming me for comfort. It would allow me to take more stock in tomorrow, less care for anything urgent or pressing, and a deafening ear to the very concerns and challenges that excited me and drew me to the work. My office communicated I had landed, I was safe, I could stop listening for changes. That’s what happens when we reach final destinations right? We stop reading signs for delays, gates, gate changes, etc.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Price as pinned on Pinterest

But what if my space reflected a layover? What if it reflected that I was en route. That it wasn’t yet time to get my baggage, board super shuttle, go home, and unpack. What if it reminded me that I needed to stay alert, aware, focused, cognizant of changes, delays, and cancellations so I could adjust accordingly and make the best out of my time at that airport, knowing it was a necessary part of my trip to get me to my final destination.

So I  redecorated and being the visual person that I am, kept the things that would help remind me of the layover front and centered. I went for a minimalist look. I used black, white, and gray as the colors to guide me, playing with some pattern, texture, and shape. I created a space that reflected I was there to do a job, do it well, and make the most of that opportunity. Besides, when I have a layover  I typically make the most out of them. After I locate the gate of my connecting flight I am off to explore. It would be no different here. I’d still spend much of my time out of the actual office, observing, engaging, and learning about my surroundings for however long I was to be there and eventually wander back to my gate, in this case, my office. 
Photo courtesy of Vogue Mexico

I have no idea how long this layover in my life is. Yet I am determined to keep in mind that it’s just that, a lay over. I am determined to treat it as such, which means I am going to maximize my time here while I am here. I will explore, assess, engage strangers far more willingly than I would if I were home, wander back to my gate to make sure nothing changed, read the monitors to make sure there aren’t delays, and when it’s time for me to catch my next flight, I will. 

Maybe you read this and worry that I have mentally resigned and that it’s only a matter of time before I am speaking of a new 9 to 5 gig. I’m not. Although a few well meaning folk have already volunteered to start the search on my behalf. You can’t board a flight that’s not on your boarding pass. Despite the challenges I’ve encountered during this layover, to leave now would be me totally trying to board the flight boarding and heading to Heathrow knowing my boarding pass says Chicago. In a post 9/11 world you and I both know pulling a stint like that may get me detained and missing my flight altogether (that’ a whole different post, doing things that get us lost in layovers an missing connections or opportunities in our lives).

Photo courtesy of Phenomenon of History.com

Maybe you worry that I’m not reading the monitors and that there are updates about my final destination that could impact my layover. That’s possible. But I’ve never known a flight to leave before it was originally scheduled. If the monitors are saying my flight’s delayed,  I am taking advantage of the extra time. I have taken time this week to learn more about a few people who could help make the layover even better. Have you ever met a fantastic stranger during a lay over or a flight? I have and it’s wonderful. If the flight’s canceled, well you know canceled flights are headaches but airlines always rework things to get passengers to their final destination. So with that in mind I simply keep in mind that this isn’t the end, that I get to choose how much I make out of this layover, and patiently wait for God (the airline) to work out whatever needs to be worked out for me to get to the next place in my journey (cause sometimes flights have multiple layovers, I’m just saying.)

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