I heard an idea on how to connect with my 8 year old son while on the road, and decided to try it.
The idea is pretty simple. Get a map of the United States. Put the map on the wall. Stick pins into the map at the places you will visit. Show the child where home is, and where you will be. Touch base during the week with updates.
As an airline pilot, I go to 3-4 locations each day, so I decided just to pin the locations where I overnight. I printed some free clip art off the web, glued these pictures onto pins and stuck them on the map to show home, my work base, and airplanes for where I’m overnighting. I also bought a bulletin board that perfectly fit the map poster and all was ready. I found the map poster at Walmart, and the bulletin board at Office Depot. Total cost was around fifty bucks.
The whole project took around 2 hours to put together, and my son loves it. He has an Amazon Dot, so I can leave him messages through Alexa on where I’m at and how he can find me on the map. When he comes home from school, he sees that he has a message (by the way – the Alexa Dot is really great for connecting with kids while on the road), plays it, and looks for me on his map.
Now I had this idea for months – my wife heard about it from some of her pilot wife friends – yet I put off doing it because I thought I did not have the time. I tend to think that in order for something to be worthwhile, it has to take significant time and effort. So I procrastinate, putting off a thousand little things I could do with the time I have right now, waiting for that magical space of uninterrupted focus – which is all too infrequent in my life.
Although I firmly believe that it is good for me to strive for large successess, I can’t forget about the little moments of my day that are open and available for connecting/working on those small, as-important tasks that build to the larger achievements in life. Now I admit, I’ve committed most of my in-between moments to checking my e-mail, texts and social media sites, but is that the best use of these “idle” moments?
I’ve thought a lot about my micro habits. Those things I do habitually in the countless moments between what I consider important. If I think about it, those moments in-between probably make up most of life. Am I using them well?
I think I could do better.