I hate to fly. The entire process of going to the airport, going through security, getting on the train, waiting at the gate, and sitting immobilized in those ridiculous seats for hours on end makes me crazy. The overwhelming press of humanity unnerves me. Once you finally land, you get to anxiously wait for your bag to appear at baggage claim and hope that it didn’t inadvertently land in another city. Then you get to repeat the sequence to return home, exhausted and jet lagged.
I suppose wouldn’t mind flying so much if I got to go somewhere fun, or have a relaxing vacation. I haven’t had a vacation in over five years. I’m probably about due for one, or at least the chance to do something fun, spontaneous, and memorable. And then last weekend I did just that. After a hurried collaboration with my sister, I made the arrangements to surprise my niece for her eleventh birthday, even if it meant getting on a plane. I figured I could deal with it for the reward of seeing my niece and nephew, and the opportunity to surprise them. Who doesn’t love surprises?
I was excited to go, but dreaded the idea of flying. However, something funny happened on the way to the airport. I was in a good mood. The process of going through the airport wasn’t as unnerving as it usually is for me. I even winked at the TSA agent before I could stop myself. Thank goodness there were no repercussions for that little indiscretion. The flight was on time, the seats weren’t as uncomfortable as I remember, the bags were promptly at the carousel when I landed, and before I knew it I was sitting in my sister’s car.
I didn’t get to see my niece until the next day after my sister picked her and my nephew up from summer camp. The reaction from both my niece and nephew was immensely gratifying; we all cried. I guess they love me and miss me as much as I love and miss them. Although if I had known in advance that my sister was going to record it and post it on Facebook, I probably would have fixed my hair and make up. Oh, well.
The next day and a half was a whirlwind of fun and activities, including a big party, girl time, and serious shopping. I got to see another sister and two more nieces. I had so much fun I was still in a good mood when I went to the airport yesterday. Here I am, exhausted, jet lagged and deliriously happy. It appears that the kids weren’t the only ones who got a surprise. I’m surprised that I just can’t wait to go to the airport and get back on a plane again. I had forgotten how much fun flying could be. Isn’t it funny how things change?
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP