Enjoying a cup of Mocha Java Coffee

I am on vacation in Florida, visiting my son and daughter-in-law, creating a bundle of memories. I am enjoying the warmth of the Florida sun, waiting for the Texas weather to warm to an acceptable level. My son had recently purchased a book for me to read, Splash of Colors: The Self Destruction of Braniff International written by John J. Nance. I have spent a lot of time just reading and enjoying a cup of my favorite coffee, Mocha Java from The Enjoyable Grind.

I worked for Braniff in the ’60s. And as I read, my mind was flooded with memories. I remember the Emilio Pucci flight attendant’s uniforms and the airplanes painted a kaleidoscope of colors. Many of the memories brought a smile to my face, but there were other less favorable memories, too. I also worked for Ozark Airlines from 1968 to 1990. So, I have a huge bank of memories from there as well, both pleasant and unpleasant.

The thing about memories is that they represent our entire life span except for the very present moment. As soon as this moment passes, it, too, is a memory. And the memory can be pleasant or unpleasant. The memories we are running through our mind at any given time can determine how we are feeling emotionally at that time.

While here is Florida, I had lunch with a fellow employee from Ozark. We talked about our memories of Ozark. We laughed and chuckled and compared notes. As we talked about our memories, I observed that our recollections were not always identical, and of course, not all memories were pleasant.

I was not with Braniff at the end. But I was with Ozark Airlines when it was purchased by Trans World Airlines (TWA). There are other “ends” in our lives, the passing of a close friend or relative, jobs ending, changing of locations or some other dreadful event that has taken place. Each event creates memories, pleasant or unpleasant. Reading a book, looking at pictures, watching a movie or just visiting with old friends will bring back memories, both pleasant and unpleasant. Unfortunately, some of us try to avoid the unpleasant memories, thus avoiding the unpleasant emotions those memories bring.

Brené Brown, a researcher, and speaker, in a TED Talk, January 11, 2011, said in part, “We cannot selectively numb emotions.” In other words, we cannot select only good emotions and numb bad emotions. If we selectively numb the unpleasant emotions, we also numb the pleasant emotions as well. And I find this is true in my own life. If I did not accept the unpleasant memories, the pleasant memories would not be near as pleasant.

Next time something triggers your memories, whether reading a book, looking at pictures, watching a movie or just meeting with an old friend, allow your memories to come, both pleasant and unpleasant. You may find yourself crying, but you might also find yourself laughing. And as you lean back and enjoy the memories, good and bad, enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee from The Enjoyable Grind.

Dwayne Collins

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