Captain’s Log: Enjoying Our Own Company

A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle

Captain’s Log: May 28th. No flying today, a day of rest, (although I will fly tomorrow and through the weekend as others observe the solemn Memorial Day). Starting, as I often do, in The Meadow of Wisdom, I find myself waiting for Arthur and Merlin to come riding up out of these mists, and I realize yet again that while I don’t like getting up early, I like being up early!

And it occurs to me that yesterday I had the pleasure of coffee with someone for whom it was his first face-to-face meeting in over a year. Very cool!

Are you glad to be “free” again? How have you fared during the pandemic-related months of separateness? I guess what I’d really like to know is what you have learned. About yourself, about others, about how the world really works.

Here’s one of the Captain’s random thoughts as he sauntered through la Sainte Terre this morning: I don’t think I have fared as badly as many others on account of being separated from my friends. It’s true that everyone involved in travel has had to wear masks and avoid physical contact. But what seems to have been a powerful side-effect of being in the cockpit has been the necessity to remove our masks once the flight deck door is closed. It’s simply hard to communicate effectively on the radio through a boom mic when there’s a physical barrier. So the majority of us take them off as a matter of course.

Which means that from take-off through cruise, landing, and block-in, there has been an oasis of normalcy throughout the pandemic. It’s been good for me.

On the other hand, once-in-a-while, it’s good to be away from other people. And while I can, when I want to, escape from pretty much anyone else for periods of time, I can never escape from myself. So mask or no mask, there’s always someone with me who insists on talking! That person is Me!

So here’s a question… Do you realize that you talk to yourself – all the time? Have you come to the place in your life where you’re aware of those in-your-head conversations? Before we can enjoy those “visits”, we have to become aware that they’re happening. That self-awareness came to me some time ago. Of course it did. I’ve been on the planet for more than 62 years!

Still, I know some folks, aware though they may be, for whom those conversations are not pleasant. In fact, I would hazard to say that’s the case for most people. We tend to be hard on ourselves – much harder than we would on anyone else in our sphere. Why is that? (That’s a rhetorical question – we’ll cover it in another essay on another day – maybe!)

I’m grateful that at some point in my past I became aware of those two realities. I was constantly talking to myself, and I wasn’t being very kind. Then one day a mentor suggested that we need to be kind to ourselves, and the light bulb came on.

And I think that’s one reason I may have done better than some others during the pandemic. I have learned over the years to enjoy my own company. When I finally learned to be kind to Myself, shocker, Myself started being kind to Me! And we’ve sojourned happily together ever since.

It took me decades to get to this point. I hope you’ve arrived as well. If not, maybe you can talk it over with yourself during one of your next conversations. Truth: we can’t escape from ourselves. Another truth seems to be that we can be pretty good company when we’re kind to ourselves. Why wouldn’t we be? Don’t you like to be around folks who treat you nicely?

The pandemic is starting to lose its steam. Being around others is becoming possible. Still, I’m grateful for the reality that we can always be in good company regardless of the state of the world.

I hope you enjoy yourself today!

Thanks for reading!

Captain Mark


Link to Mark’s book, The Symphony of Your Life

The Symphony of Your Life    

The Symphony of Your Life on YouTube

Mark graduated from the USAF Academy in 1982. After nine years as a pilot on active duty, he left the military to join a commercial airline. In addition to flying B-737s around the country, Hardcastle spends time in the Rocky Mountains and serves on the artistic staff of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. He lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife and four children. Need some help figuring out why you’re on this planet? Want to talk about discovering your mission and purpose? Contact Mark today at 720.840.8361 to schedule a free personal consultation. He can also deliver an inspirational keynote or workshop for your organization! email: for information.

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