On my flight today there were two college students heading to fun after finals. They were so excited to be on an airplane. It was as if neither one had ever flown before. They sat down and saw the movie options, and spent ten minutes trying to figure out which movie to watch. Then one noticed the plug to charge your mobile device, they both instantly plugged in and juiced up. They then couldn’t decide whether they wanted peanuts or cookies, coke or orange juice. They were cold, and quietly asked for a blanket and then shrieked with joy when they both received one from the flight attendant.

I had fun dozing in and out of sleep, listening to them extol the virtues of this airline versus the one they almost took. I smiled inside at their enthusiasm and excitement over the novelty of flying. It also made me think of the things I have taken for granted over the years. I travel on planes all the time, and to me a good flight is the one that leaves and arrives in one piece. Forget peanuts versus cookies, and ‘free’ beverages, movies and music. I just want to get there alive and close to on time. 

How true that is for so many things in life. We get used to the wonderful things and no longer see them as wonderful. They become normal, overlooked, expected and invisible. We no longer enjoy the joys because they lose their novelty and appear vanilla. What was special now becomes expected, making it no longer special. We then work harder and harder to find something that feels special, the escalation continues until not much feels special…until someone else points it out. 

And how do we react to people when they get excited about what they think is novel, and we have grown so used to? We find them fun and enthusiastic. We share in their excitement and their joy becomes our joy. We are reminded of our wide eyed days, and cherish a moment when we can see them all over again. Then we blink and settle back into our world of invisible wonderfuls. I have the secret hope that my own invisible does not tarnish their enthusiasm, and that they can keep the excitement and passion novel experiences provide. I hope they can hold on to the joy that life brings. I hope they can keep it fresh, and new, exciting and novel. I silently cheer them on! And I hope that life does not rob them of their joy. 

Let the passion and joy of excitement and youth carry you far today. Fill you heart with excitement without fear of loss or an invisible thief. Shriek with joy and let it soak into your bones, then eat peanuts or cookies…or both!

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