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Sunset @ 30,000 feet
Sunset @ 30,000 feet

More thoughts from 30,000 feet.  Rare air makes you think.  It makes you appreciate.  It helps you to understand.

 I write these thoughts from the air somewhere along the Pacific Coast after having spent a beautiful day in Los Angeles on business.  The weather there is always debon “air” as Herb Caen once wrote I think. There was just enough of a breeze to keep the smog at bay.   I always feel a bit younger when traveling down there on business maybe because I am hanging out in the hip area of LA in Hollywood.  At the same time I find myself feeling quite antiquated for not recognizing the newest starlet as she just pranced by me in front of Le Petit Four…”that was LC, don’t you know?”.  Even if I did, I wouldn’t have recognized her.

The past week has been the fun part of my job at a music conference where we talked about the ever changing landscape of the music industry and listened to fantastic music of yet to be discovered artists such as Meiko and Matt Morris (@mattmorrisfeed).  I’m probably a relative novice in the world of music, but in terms of talking about the industry, its preservation, and its future, it is a great topic.  Working in an industry that is in turmoil keeps your job interesting much like my regular life.

The future has been on my mind quite a bit.  Why?  Because I find it really great to be optimistic about things and the future is something you can dictate yourself.  For example, my wife has been lamenting about not having been to Hawaii in a few years.  So rather than worrying about it, we booked flights for 9 months from now to our favorite hotel.  Sure lots will happen between now and then, but I sure can’t wait for Spring Break 2010.  We aren’t even sure yet what we are doing this summer or this holiday season.   The message though is that my wife was thinking about doing something fun and going to somplace that made her happy and I was more than happy to want to see that happen.

Its always been a great part of my relationship with my wife that I treasure.  I like to dream and my wife likes to laugh at me as if I were the little kids who is telling her that when I grow up that I want to be “an astronaut and meet aliens” (that’s what I told my mother when I was 9).  That was about 4 months before I met Farrah Fawcett’s manager and I decided that I wanted to grow up to be a manager of a beautiful starlet and earn 10% of everything she made.  I know my wife thinks I’m nuts sometimes when I show her photos of beautiful places and say “we’re going there”.

My wife has always been that rock, that voice of reason.  The one who tells me that we should think before we act and to wait a few days and think about it first.  I’ve always been  the one to do quick analytics and go with my gut instinct based upon those calculations.  I believe that this battle with cancer has made her not only appreciate me more, but the attitude of not waiting.  When I used to ask  her thoughts, she used to say, “I don’t know” or “what does it matter?” as if these were just my musings for me and not for her.  Now she realizes they are for all of us.  My wife has been right to analyze things for sure, but I think when it comes to matters of the heart and mind, sometimes it is good to go with your instincts.

Most of all I think we are all beginning to learn how to live “with” cancer and not let cancer lead our lives.  This morning I saw the article about golfer Phil Mickelson’s wife having breast cancer.  My children saw it as well and while I thought to myself that it’s always interesting how nobody really seems to pay attention about it until a celebrity is afflicted : Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Patrick Sayze, Steve Jobs, etc.,  my son looked at the article and said, “She’ll be okay, right?  They have kids our ages. Sounds like what mom had.  I guess Tiger is going to win a lot of money while Phil is out.”  That statement hit me hard, not by the words, but by his casualness.  First it showed me that my son hadn’t found the experience of the last 9 months to be all that traumatic, second that he seemed to think of cancer as something that yoursurvive and not something that kills, and last that he felt if a celebrity and their family had cancer, it must be something somewhat normal.  I spent all day thinking about whether all of those outcomes were good.  I don’t want my son to be terrified and I do want him to erealize this can hit anyone and I am happy that he wasn’t faced with the emotional issues.

My thoughts do go out to Phil and his wife Amy as well as all those who are suffering from breast cancer right now.  I am happy to be exiting that long dark tunnel with my wife’s hand in mine and really look forward to seeing that daylight at the end.  Sometimes that daylight still looks like 4 years away, but at least its bright and we have a lot of good hopes ahead.