Remote Work, the Airport, and Happiness

I’ve since coined my little spot in the sky The Eagle’s Nest because it provides a vantage point well above the arriving parties, fresh off the giant escalators, and still with a clear view of loved ones battling palpable anxiousness while awaiting their return.

For a couple years now I’ve taken the opportunity to sit back and let the pure happiness of humanity sink in, and this morning was no exception.

As memory serves, 2015 was a year where I tended to notice a lot more of the bad stuff going on around me, particularly with the various gun violence incidents in my own backyard, but also the hundreds beyond my home state.

Any time I turned on the news—something I actively avoid, to be honest—the headlines are cemented in place with negative stories, government failures, or another corruption within society.

Rarely do we get to feel (or see) true love in this world, unless we seek it. And to be clear, the type of happiness I’m referring to isn’t sitting in the car during a commute. Or showcased on 95% of news broadcasts each evening. Or even apparent around friends at the local gym.

It’s up to us to create the moments I speak of with laughter, high fives, tears, and hugs. But this doesn’t happen all that often. In many ways, we’re timid creatures. We look for some form of approval before we show that kind of love outwardly.

And yet, where this kind of love does happen—without fail for me in my little perch, every time—is the arrivals area at Denver International Airport.

This propped up tent, all-too-far-away from the city center, is a place I frequent throughout the year in spurts. And when possible, I take extra time to work remotely from my spot, looking down upon the arriving travelers.

Allow me to be a little cliché for a moment and share with you a video from one of my favorite holiday movies, Love Actually. What this short minute-long clip captures is the essence of what I see each time I go about my business while I, well, watch other people’s business.

Seems to me that, love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends…

Family reunited, lovers together once again, old friends reconnecting. Whatever the story, whatever the circumstance, I love watching people love on others. The goofy signs, the occasional shreek, the costumes, the laughs, the tears, the sons and daughters wrapped around mom or dad.

When I look down upon these otherwise typical commute-taking, gym-going people, I see my own family, my own friends, and my own happiness. I think about what I would feel if connecting with my mom after a long absence. My brother after he moved. My partner after two weeks away.

Sometimes, it even brings a little tear to my eye. Because when the happiness is that rich all around, and your eyes are open to receiving it, the happiness feels particularly special.

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