Meanwhile Back In Chicago...

Instead of blogging, I've been busy editing books, hanging out in Mexico and flight attending as needed to pay the bills. Pastimes have included packing and re-packing for travel to Africa and Europe while catching up with family, friends and overdue doctor's appointments.

I just left the rainy season in Mexico and now back in Chicago enjoying autumn while it lasts.

In flight attendant world, September until the end of November is the welcomed lull before the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel madness kicks in. During this time, many flight attendants including myself, enjoy getting the days off and the open seats that we want. There's an insane amount of freedom and flexibility that I'm trying my best not to take for granted.

However, this lull has also been the background for barrage of international tragedies coincidentally preceding and following my travel routes by a day or two.

I was on the west coast of Mexico a day after the earthquakes fielding concerned texts from family and friends. I didn't feel any of the aftershocks that were over 400 miles away. A week later, I returned to Chicago the same evening that the first relief flight arrived back from Puerto Rico with displaced families. I had friends and family in Florida, Texas and Vegas that were safe but a bit shook up.

I've been fortunate to miss every airport weather delay.

At this moment, I'm writing this post due unexpected time on my hands since Hurricane Nate thwarted my weekend travel plans to New Orleans.

As a nomad that travels across more state and national borders in a week than most people do in a year, I'm very aware of my unique position as global citizen. Lately, everything around the world is happening in my backyard or places I visited that hold special meaning to me.

Still, l like everyone else I'm figuring out how to manage life, my personal goals and my desire to help those in my communities who are much worse off than I am.

My communities are close and far. They span across continents and so does my compassion and concern. The needs especially now, are massive - a bit overwhelming. I hope the little things I can do - the small donations I make will help. That the girls I mentor in Mexico and Chicago remember and the random travel stories I share make a difference.

I still haven't figured it all out  so I just ponder out loud through my writing certain that others are doing the same.

2017 seems to be a remixed version of 2016 - Maybe more chaotic and more surreal.

Susan Schrobsdorff's article in this week's Time Magazine explores what can we do on a national level. How can we make sense of all of this and what actions we can take as our "capacity for empathy" wears thin.

To combat emotional numbness, her recommendation is this:

"Maybe the answer is for each of us to choose one thing to fix and not let go. Take a tiny piece of a larger disaster and make it your responsibility whether it means agitating for funding in Washington or sending a holiday package to a child who lost their home or a parent who lost their child. And not just this year, but next year to and the year after."

Well, that's one answer and it's a start.

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