People fear many things. Some fear spiders. Others can’t stand to look at needles. Well, for me, I fear flying. I know. I know. I have read all the statistics. I usually re-read them in the days leading up to my flight. I realize, statistically, you are supposed to be much safer flying than you are driving. That doesn’t make it any easier for me to fly
Maybe it’s my need to feel as though I am in control, something that you have to give up when you are in the air and two strangers, literally, have your life in their hands. In a car, we can avoid any accident, right? What’s the worst that can happen? We get in a crash, we can roll out of the car the six inches between the bottom of the vehicle to the road. Try that at 50,000 feet. No thanks.
I have all kind of weird quirks even before I get on the plane. It starts in the waiting area before you board the plane. Yes, I keep an eye on those that will be sharing my flight. Anyone look suspicious? If so, can I take them down if I need to? Here come the pilots. What do they look like? Healthy? Experienced? Do I trust these guys to get me from point A to point B in one piece? If everything looks good, I am clear to board. I have chickened out, leaving the pre-board area more than once, cancelling my flight due to fear and doubt.
I get excited when I book my trip, but the closer it gets to my flight date, the less and less attractive the trips looks. For me, I start thinking this could be the last time I hug my wife, pet my dogs, or talk to my parents, etc. My mind quickly takes a turn down worst-case-scenario lane.
Once on the plane, I have tried many things to get through the flight. I cannot sleep on a plane. I have even taken sleeping pills before I boarded and still wide awake. I have also taken Xanax, which does help take the edge off, but my wife tells me that if I take too many I become an embarrassment when we get off the plane at our destination, usually rambling some type of incoherent gibberish. I am supposed to fly soon. Southwest sent me two free drink coupons. Even though I am not much of a drinker, I may have to take them up on their offer.
I am supposed to fly to visit a buddy to watch some baseball this Spring. I just talked to him. He asked me how certain I was that I would actually make the flight. I told him about 85 percent, but reminded him that it was still early. That would surely drop the closer we get to flight date.
Time to Loosen Up
I am quickly approaching 50. I realize my life is now more than half over. I should start loosening up and this type of stuff shouldn’t bother me anymore, right? This is when I should be more happy-go-lucky and start taking more risks. I will try to remember that in a few weeks when I am sitting in the corral waiting to board my flight.
Hey, doesn’t that pilot look a little bit old to you?