I am on United 2407 from Raleigh-Durham to Houston. It’s a pleasant flight. The air is relatively smooth, the passengers are calm and my flight status with United automatically upgraded me to Economy Plus at no cost. My connection from Houston to Tucson has been upgraded to first class and I will enjoy that every much. I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne.

I’m sitting here in my seat looking down on the U.S. landscape and I can easily discern that we are somewhere over Alabama. Not only because it makes sense, but because my husband and I have been fortunate enough to have driven in all 50 states and we have experienced each of them. I sometimes forget that the average American had been in only a handful of states and then I realize how lucky I am to be where I am in life at this stage of my life.

Even though we’ve done a lot of traveling over the years, I’m still wanting to do more. The big cities are alright, but I want to see more small cities, more villages, more small towns. One of my favorite traveling experiences ever was driving across Minnesota and coming across the village of Litchfield. It was Autumn 2013 and the main street was closed off to traffic. I parked the car and cheered on a football team and band for a school I’d never seen with people I’d never met. When the band went by and did a small routine I was high-fived by proud parents who didn’t care who I was. I was just there, being me, smiling, and enjoying the experience.

We all need to do things like that more often.

As I’m well into what I assume to be the latter half of my life, I want to seek out more of that. I don’t want to put up lawn signs declaring who to vote for. I don’t want to get incensed by the news. I don’t care who loves who or what does what or why they do it where. There’s so much more to the big picture and I just want to enjoy the big picture.

The big picture is so awesome. Why do people forget that?