In Asian philosophy, the concept of Yin Yang is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world and how they give rise to each other. There are many nautral dualities that we witness everyday: light and dark, black and white, male and female, hot and cold and on and on. In the western world, we have a much less eloquent term of simply, "Opposites" or "Opposition".
Whatever you want to call it, it's the very same concept which simply stated, is that Yin Yang are complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole as part of a dynamic system. Basically, everything has an opposite! Most opposites represent a positive and a negative and whatever the case, they ebb and flow at their own pace over time.
Recently, I embarked on a new journey during what are supposed to be my "Golden Years". I went back to the world of aviation and began flying again as a Flight Attendant for a large Regional Carrier. The aircraft are completely different from the huge "Jumbo Jets" (Wow, that term is a blast from the past...do they even use that term anymore??) that I used to work for. I work jets with 70 or less passengers each. I even work a Brasilia EMB120 Turbo Prop that is noisy and naturally bumpy even during the calmest of air patterns. At any rate, I love it! I have embraced the job. I know that time is a benefit and am waiting for the day when I can transfer back to the base that is only 45 min from my home and actually sleep in my own bed when I'm not working. But for now, I am in beautiful Portland, OR sharing a house with about 15 people!
So what does this have to do with opposites? Just about everything!
- I am living about 780 miles from where I WANT to live.
- I am working during what should have been my retirement years.
- I am NOT with the most important people in my life aka, my family.
- I have had to relinquish my seats on several committees (temporarily) that I simply LOVE serving on.
- I live with some amazing women who have become life-long, even eternal friends.
- I appreciate my husband and children SO much more.
- I am doing what I love, and since I need to work at this juncture in my life, who could ask for anything more?
- I am providing medical/dental benefits for my family that have been extremely costly up to this point.
- I am providing amazing travel benefits for my family and I am able to see parts of the country that I have never even thought of visiting before!
- I am safe, healthy and happy.
We landed in Boise. For those of us continuing on to Portland, we were asked to stay on the plane but told that we could spread out and get a more comfortable seat if we wanted to. I moved from the center to an aisle seat, started up with my book again, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the undeniable fatigues of a young soldier who moved up to a seat just in front of me. I felt humbled.
I started thinking of how blessed I am to be able to "hop" on a plane every 4 or 5 days and within two hours, be home with my sweet family. How flying into the Salt Lake valley and seeing the majestic Wasatch Range of mountains causes my heart to leap and immediately, the comfort of "home" engulfs me.
Opposites are abundant everywhere. They serve their purpose and they help us remember how incredibly blessed we are. Seeing that stoic young man in his desert fatigues anxious to see his precious family for just a short leave, reminded me of all that I have.
So as I live in a new place which seems to be opposite of what I love and know, in many ways, I am thankful for the opposites that give my life meaning and color it with purpose and inspiration.