I hate to fly. Strong words, I know, but being in the air scares me more than just a little. I always get to meet people when I fly. They aren’t really looking to meet me, but my clutching of the armrests on takeoffs, landings and any rough in-betweens always attracts their interest. The interest isn’t one of wanting to get acquainted, but instead, they glare like I’m a crying 6-month-old ruining their flight.
I have to talk to get my mind off the flying. When you think about rationale things, your emotions tend to loosen their grip. I know when I feel my emotions, in the air or at home, they start to take over. When I force myself to think, I become rationale, even if it is just working a math problem or talking about where you’re from. Thinking makes us more rationale and makes us all different than other animals.
When the plane touched ground, the tension drained and exhaustion became my norm. I sat down in Chicago to wait for my next flight. It was a rainy day. As I sat watching people come and go, there were a lot of people running. There was also a big line at the gate ticket counter. Two women in separate lines were crying. Delays. The first woman walked away sobbing.
I started thinking about the demeanor of an airport as storms move across the nation. Planes are late and flights are missed; people’s lives are disrupted. Pilots, passengers, gate attendants alike. Disruption. But for these women, I couldn’t help thinking things are never as big a deal later as they seemed at the time. This day would be a blip on their radar. It would quickly and neatly be archived as soon as it ended.
I returned home on time with two things to consider improving. The first, always remember rationale thinking can trump emotions. It’s the surest way to diffuse emotionally-charged situations. The second, things are never as big of a deal later as they seem when you are dealing with them. I think I’m not only ready to fly again, but I’m also ready to tackle daily problems.