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Flying High

My work frequently requires me to travel by plane. As I was cruising through the Denver airport a few days ago, I heard the chirping of birds. Yes, there were birds inside the airport, and in fact I’ve seen birds in quite a few airports.

I often wonder, how did they get in here? Did they have to go through security? And will they ever find their way out again? Do they miss the outside, where there are trees to nest in, winds to soar on, and fresh food to gobble? It must be frustrating to see the outside world on the other side of the glass and never be able to reach it.

Sometimes we are like these birds, stuck in a rut, perhaps able to see where we want to be but not able to get there. Do we hold on to that dream of finally breaking out, or do we simply become complacent where we are and just make a nest in the metal rafters?
Too often, I believe, we simply settle. We don’t try to spread our wings for fear of bumping into the glass and falling, SMACK! Staying where you are, your view will be sorely limited, and there is a lot of world you’ll never see from inside an airport terminal, as those around you embark on amazing adventures. So book that flight into your future, and hop on board.

On my way back from Denver to my home in Appleton, Wis., there was a fly on the plane. In all my travels, this is the first time I’ve seen a fly hitch a ride. I wonder how weird it would feel to be him (and I can only assume the gender because I have no clue how to sex a fly) and to arrive someplace totally foreign a few hours after flying around inside a plane. I don’t think anyone’s ever put tracking equipment on flies before, but I assume their usual territory is not that large.

Come to think of it, that happens to us sometimes--we think we’re in one place, and then WHOOSH, we’re in a completely new territory.
Maybe this happened when you entered veterinary medicine from another career, or maybe when you moved into a new position in management or supervision. Maybe it happened when you switched from one practice to another, particularly if the type of practice was different, say general practice to emergency practice.
One reaction to this type of quick change is to want to turn right back around and return to where you came from, where you were familiar with the landscape … maybe the fly will take a seat and wait for the plane’s return trip home.
Or, most likely you buzzed around trying to get the lay of the land as you acclimated to your new surroundings. The most important thing, perhaps, is admitting that you are in unfamiliar lands, and asking the natives for help. They will respect you much more than if you pretend to know your way around.

On this most recent trip, we were delayed in Minneapolis St.Paul because the arriving plane had, well, not arrived yet. I heard this announcement: “The plane has not arrived yet, so we’ll hold off on boarding.” Hmmm, what was the alternative, lining us up outside on the tarmac?

Gotta have a sense of humor when you fly these days.


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