Meditation: Calm, Anxiety Release Length: 20 minutes Where: On a plane, somewhere over Texas How It Felt: Sleep-inducing
So, obviously the trip worked out. Two negative Covid tests and a completed quarantine period later, we are all on our way to meet in Florida for the rest of the week!
Something I didn’t count on- LAX was the busiest I’ve seen it since the pandemic began. Usually LA’s spring break doesn’t line up with our kids’ in Michigan, but this year, it did! Oh, joy.
I don’t know if I’m forever changed or if this is a temporary transition feeling, but people en masse completely gross me out right now. First of all, you can forget about social distancing. If it’s even possible with an airport as busy as this one was, no one seems to care anymore. I could honestly teach a workshop called “10 Ways to Strategically Use Your Luggage to Keep People at a Distance.”
Even in normal times, why does anyone have to be right up behind you in line, or inches from you in any space? Gross! Personal space has always been a thing, even before 2020, no?
More than that, I think it’s just people being people the way people are in busy spaces. Walking into other people as they stare down at their phones, obliviously standing in a busy doorway, so lost in their own world you have to shout “excuse me!” multiple times to get them to move, sneezing, coughing, loudly blowing noses- it’s all a bit much for the senses right now. And… always.
And the talking! Ok, people always talk too much for my taste (I love real talks but am not a fan of small talk with strangers, especially during a worldwide pandemic), but this is something new. I think people have been starved of contact for so long, they are desperate for it. Instead of actual human connection, though, what I keep getting is talked at. People want to talk about themselves, their lives, where they are going, how their day went.
This probably makes me sound like an asshole to say I don’t care… but I don’t care! I’m trying to read, or concentrate, or think, or daydream, and I’m listening to the life story of someone I will never see again. They don’t care about my experience, ask questions, even ask if I mind having a conversation. They just talk.
And sometimes, to add a little thrill to the conversation, they pull down their mask so they can talk without an obstacle. Oh, joy!
This is all exacerbated by the fact that I lost my upgrade in the great plane ticket shuffle. Now, if you didn’t think I was a snob before, you probably will now, but hear me out. I have certain things in life I think are worth spending my money on- quality shoes (for body health and fashion reasons), housecleaners (I absolutely loathe cleaning more than almost any activity), massages (for mental and physical health), travel (for all the reasons!), and a few other select luxuries. Flight upgrades fall into this category.
Now more than ever!
I once heard about a study that measured people’s happiness levels when they spent money on different things, items, experiences, etc. It determined that the most effective way to wring happiness from your hard-earned dollar is to spend it on outsourcing the stuff you most hate to do. Makes sense, if you think about it. Getting rid of the most tedious, frustrating tasks in life is sure to contribute to overall happiness!
Thus, the housecleaners, for example. I could clean all day, from dawn to bedtime, and I still wouldn’t be able to get my house as clean as professionals. My heart isn’t in it. I spend the whole time miserable, and they next day, when things start getting dirty again, because that’s how life works, I feel hopeless, like I wasted all this time in my life and I’ll always have to do that again and again until I just die.
I wish I could be one of those Snow White types who just loves to clean, who sings a little song and makes a game of it or whatever. But I’m simply not. So, I found an easy fix.
I don’t love flying. Does anyone? It’s uncomfortable, it’s physically pretty terrible for you, there are strangers coughing and farting all around you, there is a mental fog that comes with it, and now, with the technology allowing me to write this blog, you don’t even get a break from the real world. It’s not always terrible, but even in the best of circumstances, it’s not anyone’s favorite activity.
While I can’t outsource the actual act of sitting on a plane for several hours, I can at least pay to make it slightly less miserable. And that, to me, is worth it. Especially when you fly as much as we do.
So, here I am, in coach- true coach, not Comfort Plus, mind you- too sleepy to concentrate on my excellent book, too uncomfortable to sleep, my introvert alarms going off everywhere, my germ awareness redlining.
If I sound crabby, it’s because I am!
Luckily, I had my trusty meditation apps! Something for anxiety felt like just the thing, and I figured a longer one would help pass the time. It did help, without a doubt. It even made me sleepy enough for a sort of power nap- though now my left butt cheek is numb and shows no signs of waking until we land…. but, hey, the universe gives and the universe taketh away.
I honestly might be a little delirious, too. I slept about three hours last night. The vaccine had me so tired it took forever to pack, to clean up, to get Tigre ready for the pet sitters, to run my last minute errands- just to do everything.
Now, thanks to my meditation, I get to land a little calmer, a little less grossed out by hoards of people. I get to be a better version of myself for my family, for my sweet husband, our excited kids, our wonderful parents who are so thankful we managed to make this trip work. I don’t have to be the crabbiest of all crabs, and I’m pretty grateful for that!
(Truth- I know the minute I see everyone I’m going to be so happy it’ll all melt away…. even the guy who was behind me in the extremely long regular line to check our bags… the one who almost fell over my suitcase at least three times trying to stand right behind me…. yeah, I’ll just forget about him, too!)
I shouldn’t complain. I’m literally flying through the air across the country to the arms of my loved ones in a matter of hours. It’s incredible.
If only there were a way to do it without all the, you know…. people.
Oh, Sabrina. Equanimity! Patience! Inner peace!
But…. but… people!
It’s a lifelong journey, I tell you….