Because I am working on my fear of flying, we take care to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. No sense adding the stress of being late to an already, potentially nerve-racking, situation. Since my son was at work and his wife was herself on a plane to Boston on Monday, we needed to take a short cab ride to the train station to get on the red line that goes directly to the St. Louis airport.
Sounds straight forward enough.
When the cab pulled up to the curb, a very gruff man got out and put our suitcases into the trunk. We plopped into the back seat and told him we needed to get to the metro. I knew we were in for a unique experience when he asked us in a heavy Russian accent “What is dat matro?”
Within 2 minutes we were parked on the side of a road with the frustrated cabbie entering information into his Russian/English Garmin. (yes, they make them) My husband was clearly getting impatient as we watched the meter tick tick ticking away.. He whipped out his phone to assist with directions, but even we didn’t know the name of the local Metro stop. Long story short, we ended up stuck in a construction zone; literally deep inside a dead end construction area at the base of a hospital being built. I stared out my window at the man I could barely see sitting in a windowed cabin atop one of two huge cranes spinning slowly above our taxi. “At least I’m not stuck up there” I thought, and “at least we aren’t late.”
We eventually made it to the airport where I breezed through security with the paper ticket I insisted my husband print out for me. Last time we flew, his phone malfunctioned at the gate and he couldn’t pull up his ticket. This time, the TSA scanner couldn’t read his ticket off his phone so he had to go to the airline’s desk on another floor and yes, have a ticket printed out before he could stand in line at security again.
At least we weren’t late.
We waited for about an hour at the gate listening and watching as a couple engaged in a very loud, very long argument. There were bouts where the woman was yelling at the top of her voice interspersed with at least three episodes when she got up, announced she’d had enough, and marched away down the concourse with the man running after her. I kept waiting for the agents at the desk to “do something,’ but unfortunately this aggressive woman and her wimpy companion boarded right before we did. At this point, my husband was not paying them any attention. He was on the phone arguing with our real estate agent over last minute issues that he feared would prevent us from closing on the townhouse this Thursday. He didn’t hang up until we got to our seats. (yes, he got plenty of dirty looks as we made our way down the aisle.)
As I sat down in 19-A and fastened my seat belt, I suddenly started feeling hot. My mind was swirling with concerns; Would we close on time? Would there be turbulence from the remnants of Patricia? Was the pilot well rested? And by the way, where was “crazy chick?”
I started to get that old familiar feeling of wanting to get the heck outta there! Frankly, I couldn’t tell if I was suffering from an ill timed hot flash or revving my engines for a major panic attack. All I knew was that I’d better get a grip.
I immediately filled my head with images of everyone and everything I am thankful for. A long list of family and friends came to mind as I thanked God for each one of them and prayed for their health and happiness. It sounds so hokey, but when I practice active gratitude it immediately chases away any negativity or anxiety I have going on. Actively flooding my brain with reasons to be thankful is like turning on a firehose that blasts away every other thought. It is quite literally impossible for me to be actively giving thanks and worrying at the same time.
The plane rumbled down the runway, the flight was smooth, crazy girl stayed quiet and we close tomorrow.
Thank-you Lord. ❤️