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When I was a kid, probably around the age of 10, I used to love taking time from playing outside to watch the airplanes go by overhead.  On a clear day, I loved watching the little trails that they left and could spend a good long time watching it come out and then break up as the plane flew across the sky.

The other day, my son pointed up to an airplane and said ‘Look at that cloud' and it brought back how much I enjoyed it, and I started thinking about why I enjoyed it so much.

Simple: Because it relaxed me.

Looking back, it's easy to say that I was 10 and had not a care in the world.  But one thing I think we need to be honest about ourselves is that I did have cares back then.

Compared to now, I'm sure that they were simpler things.  I didn't have to worry about money or my house or a job.  Still, when you're ten, thinking about school and having friends and what people think of you, and wondering about these girls and what they're all about, and whether I could hit and catch a baseball; well, it all made a difference then.

Taking time to watch the airplane trails took me away from that, even for the five or ten minutes that I'd watch the trail form and break up, eventually vanishing as though it had never been there.

I've been rambling, but here's what this boils down to:

You'll always need an airplane trail to watch.  Because you're always going to have things to worry about.

This is an important thing to think about and keep in mind.  We all have goals we're trying to achieve.  We all have problems we're working to overcome.  We are all working toward something for our future.

But, what I think people often forget is that we'll always be doing these things.  We're human beings.  Your goals and your focus today might include things like raising your young kids and educating them, advancing at your career, building the world's greatest blog, or getting of debt.

These are fine and you may in fact achieve every one of those things (well, you'll have to wait until I stop blogging to hit that one *lol*) but what I think people often forget is that it doesn't end.  Regardless if you hit those goals or move on from them, you'll always have new things to be working toward.

Think of it this way.  Say your primary goal when it comes to money is to get out of debt.  You work hard.  You pay extra.  You sacrifice.  You end up owing nobody.  You've done it.


Now, are you done?  No. 

Do you have no other goals to accomplish when it comes to money?  Of course.  Just like at work if you complete a project, you can be assured that your desk won't be empty for long.  There's always more to do.

Of course not!  There will be something new that will present itself as your primary goal.  Maybe it will be saving a certain amount for retirement or giving to charity.  Whatever the case may be, realize that once you hit a goal, you can cross it off your list, but you had better be prepared to write a new one on your list.

Thinking of this is where it all comes back to the airplane trails in the sky.  I say this because I think that many people look at their list and when they see their list never grow any smaller, they get frustrated.  They let it get them down.  They let life get to them.  That's when you see people look worn.  That's when you see the stress on people's faces.  That's when you hear people say, “I thought it would be easier.”

It's not easy.  It just changes.  But it can stay easier if you do two things:

  1.  Realize that there will always be a list.
  2. Have an outlet.  Have your airplane trails in the sky.  These little things that give you your ‘time out' will change.  I loved that when I was ten, but now I might get my ‘time out' from something else.

Regardless of what your outlet is, look at it for what it is.  It lets you take a break from life for just a minute.  Take a break from your list.  It lets you unplug and see the world from a different angle.  If you're doing it right, then w\hen you plug back in, you'll have a different focus.  Maybe even renewed energy.

But, you have to take the time to do it first.  It's not just a nice thing to look at those airplane trails (or whatever your outlet is).  It's a necessary thing.

Embrace.  Enjoy.  Energize.  Whatever it takes, find your airplane trail in the sky.