The Bar Without The Alcohol

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My mom was a force to be reckoned with. She was smart, beautiful, artistic, and a helluva business woman. She owned a picture framing store called “Frames By You,” the “By You” part meaning you could do the framing yourself at the shop with the help of employees. Many people enjoyed doing the framing themselves, especially the ones who had created the art they were framing in the first place. When the piece was finished, there was a sticker on the back where you could sign your name, “Framed By _________.” From my early teens into my early twenties,...

Push The Envelope To Expand Your Comfort Zone

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Before I joined the airlines I was a flight instructor at a prestigious flight school in Florida. I was given the distinct honor of becoming one of their aerobatic instructors, a position very few flight instructors were given. In fact, most flight schools do not include aerobatic training, but mine felt it was important to teach stall/spin training since it is one of the more common ways new pilots could get into trouble and the recovery procedure goes against what some pilots would logically want to do. I consider this training to have been the most important I received...

I broke the Post Office Lady

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I live in a tiny town with a post office the size of a porta-potty (I exaggerate, but still…). We inherited a transplant in the post office from the great big post office a town away. And she was mean! I always brought my dog to the post office with me as it’s a nice walk from home. With a pointed finger jabbing the air, “No dogs allowed!” And away I would go, unable to do my post office business. Man, really??? I’d learned to avoid the post office as much as possible, for I prefer smiles and small talk....

Grease the landing

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I was flying from Anchorage to Seattle, landing at night in fairly crappy weather. It was my leg as First Officer, and the Captain was working the radios. The flight had been uneventful, and we were getting ready for our descent and landing into Seattle. The Captain made one last PA to the passengers to let them know our estimated arrival time and weather. I glanced over at him and he had a sly look in his eyes. I turned on my intercom to hear what he was saying to the passengers… “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a very special...

Give a 5

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Years ago I attended a self-awareness workshop. There was a quite varied mix of people in the group – self-assured and confident to broken, scared, closed-off to everything in between. The first exercise we did as a group was line up in two rows facing each other. We were given five seconds with the person in front of us before shifting to the next person until we had been face to face with each person in the room. Our instructions were simple: without talking, grade the person in front of you on a scale of 1 to 5. And…...
international justice mission

My 50th birthday present

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When my best friend and I turned 40, we made a pact that our 50th birthday would entail renting a castle in Italy, inviting all our friends, and partying for a week. It was going to be EPIC. That didn’t happen. Not just because I had visions of being a lot richer than I am… but because I felt that a calling was placed on my heart to live boldly into my 50s for others. What the heck did this mean? A plan was hatched. This is what became of my 50th birthday. Ever since I was introduced to the fact...

The Recovering Perfectionist (We are perfect in our imperfection)

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My whole life I’ve been a perfectionist and competitive. It’s how I was hard wired. From my earliest memories – of winning the spelling bee in 5th grade to winning speech competitions in high school to winning scholarships, awards, and competitions in piano performance in college, I always set myself up for “winning.” In flight school I was hard on myself if I didn’t get a maneuver correct the first time I tried. I expected perfection. My flight instructor, in attempting to help me, told me to “strive for perfection, expect excellence.” It became my mantra. In all things...