I haven’t written a post like this for a while because I had no insight into what it was like flying during the COVID pandemic. We didn’t want to fly. We have our reasons for our decision which isn’t only about the risk of catching the coronavirus while onboard a plane.
I’m writing this post because my Facebook feed showed me a memory I’d typically ignore. It was Sharon’s post about us flying home from New York.
Just an uneventful flight from LaGuardia to Orlando on an American 737-800.
It confirmed something I knew was coming—the one-year anniversary of not flying on a plane. I can’t remember any time in the last 30 years of my life when it’s been so long between flights.
I got to thinking about how nonchalant I was about my last flight. I took a pedestrian attitude towards the whole thing because it was something I regularly did. I had at least four trips planned for 2020 at that point, one of which was our trip to Japan at the end of the year. There was no reason to remember anything about the short flight, so I didn’t.
I remember watching a comedian on TV years ago telling a joke that struck a chord with me. The story was based on something he called “The Last Cookie Principle.”
In short, he walked into the kitchen to get a cookie. He reached into the packet, but there were no more cookies. He had previously eaten the last cookie without knowing it was the last one, missing out on the enjoyment you get when savoring the last bite of the cookie.
He said that he had since started living his life with the thought, “Every cookie is the last cookie.”
It’s another anecdote about living your life to the fullest or paying attention to the little things because you never know when they’ll happen again. This one rang true because I think we’ve all had something like this happen to us.
When I get back onto a plane, I’ll appreciate where I am and what I’m doing, knowing that it can be gone at any moment. It doesn’t mean that as soon as I’m on board and settled into my seat I won’t put on my noise-canceling headphones and zone out for the flight because that’s how I enjoy flying. However, I probably will take a few extra glances out of the window. You never know, that flight could be the last cookie.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary