Yesterday I was in Atlanta on a business trip. I had been there since Thursday. My return flight was scheduled to be the last flight back to Milwaukee on Saturday night. Pre-Covid, when I used to fly with a naked face, I took that 2-hour 10:30 pm flight all the time. Because it allowed me to get a full day of work in before hitting the airport. But yesterday I finished early and was thrilled to be able to try to catch an earlier flight from ATL to MKE.
I got to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 3 pm, and went to a Delta kiosk (unpaid endorsement) to try to change flights. Because when I tried to call to change flights the phone system told me there was a 2-hour wait time. Which I thought was phoney baloney. But after just a few taps at the kiosk (tap tap tap in) an option to take an earlier flight at 4:30 pm appeared. However, it also came with a $75 change fee.
I considered the fee for a moment. And I did the following math:
I get home at 6:00 pm CT. Not Midnight.
+ I get to see my kids today.
+ I get to run in the house screaming MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!
+ I get to have dinner with my family.
+ I can go for an evening walk with my wife.
+ I can watch the sunset over the pond in my backyard.
+ I can participate in family game night.
+ I can toss a lacrosse ball with my son Magnus.
+ I can work on some discus technique in the backyard with my daughter Ava.
+ I can look for the new baby geese that just hatched in the nest in our backyard.
+ I can tuck my 3 kids into bed.
+ I can have a glass of red wine with my wife Dawn. (I can, but I won’t because I have the palate of a 6-year old and think alcohol tastes ucky.)
+ I can watch Netflix and chill with my wife Dawn. (Or I can watch a repeat SNL and probably no chill.)
I could do ALL of these things for $75.
In that moment, I had the clarity and insight to realize that there will come a day at the end of my days when I would spend everything I had for that opportunity. I swiped my credit card and quickly snatched up one of the greatest bargains life had ever offered me.
Thank you Delta for getting me home early last night. I did everything on the list. Plus it was 88 degrees in Milwaukee, which is unseasonably awesome in Brew City. Game Night was Klask. Dinner was Culver’s Butter Burgers on our back patio. And I didn’t take a moment for granted.
Time is the most valuable commodity on Earth. Enjoy every moment you get. Steal it if you have to. If you ever find it on sale somewhere, don’t think twice about paying for it. You’ll never regret more time spent on or with your top priorities.
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