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What do we really want but can’t buy?

The Gift of Time ...

What will you do the next time your flight is delayed? Embrace the Gift of Time.

I am stuck at the airport. Flight delayed. Most likely will miss my connection.

I quietly curse our city’s loss of a major airline hub. It makes traveling much more difficult.

What am I going to do with this unplanned extra time?

I have two options. First, get annoyed, upset, frustrated. I roll my eyes, look important and feel mad at the world.

Second option: Enjoy the Gift of Time. This is rare: unplanned time in my packed schedule. No meetings to attend. No patients to see. No phone calls to make.

I choose Option 2.

Take a Deep Breath

I take a deep breath and decide to savor this gift because I never know when I am going to receive it. Now that I have, I unwrap it slowly.

I look around and observe. People watching is forever entertaining.

I make a call to a friend, whom I haven’t spoken to in a while.

I daydream.

I go for a walk, adding steps to my daily log.

I stop at the newsstand and buy an indulgent magazine.

Tea Time

I swing by the coffee shop and try a different tea.

I sit and take a few slow, calming, breaths.

I write in my journal.

I smile and say hello to a stranger. We engage in casual conversation.

I people-watch again.

I get up and walk casually — I am in no rush — to a nearby restaurant and peruse the menu.

Now, I’m feeling relaxed

Ahh, much better. I’m smiling and feeling like I’m on vacation.

Resilience is seeing a challenge or frustrating situation as an opportunity. It is eliminating unnecessary, self-imposed drama. It is making a commitment not to sweat the small stuff.

I am late to somewhere but I am right on time here.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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