October 24, 2011

Life Lessons From a Plane

At 930 am I started my journey flying
over the water to the mainland (Vancouver).
It was cool that this pic captured the propeller.
So I'm travelling once again. I am posting today from Ottawa but will be driving to an undisclosed location for a couple of days (if I told you I would have to ....well...you know).  At any rate, I get a few hours of rest and relaxation at the Holiday Inn until I hit the road again. I slept late, had a pretty good workout in their gym (have you notice how hotel gyms are getting better?), went for breakfast at a greasy spoon (of oatmeal and a side of scrambled eggs), and am looking forward to slowly getting ready for the day.

I'm also reflecting on my travels yesterday.  What is it about air travel that makes one go crazy? Is it that we are expected to sit still in a very tight space for hours at a time? Is it because we can't choose our seat mates? Is it the constant fear of plummeting to our death in the middle of the ocean (or in this case...cornfield)? For me, it is always a learning experience. Air travel is the best way for me to apply everything I teach at work (all the stress and anger management stuff). Instead of yelling at the person behind me constantly kicking my seat...I take a deep breath and remind myself that they aren't doing it on purpose. Instead of me giving the lady next to me the stink eye because she doesn't cover up when she coughs (seriously...do we need a sign posted to remind people of the basic social protocols??) I hold my breath, smile to myself, and tell myself a story.

From encroaching on personal space to fighting each other to get off the plane when the engine shuts off, human behaviour changes slightly when people are forced together in large groups. It's fascinating, disturbing, and irritating all at once.  The only way I can get through it without drinking large quantities of the box wine they serve on the plane is remember that we are all probably thinking the same thing (except for those hooty tooty people in first class). 

If you have already integrated stress management techniques to the stresses of daily life you will be able to apply the same techniques to air travel. However, those that are challenged with managing their stress well are usually the ones yelling at the airline staff for a cancelled plane or having to pay for a pillow (remember the good old days when blankets and pillows were free? I even remember when you could smoke on the plane).

This is the sun setting from the very same
plane flying back to Vancouver Island. Same
beautiful view...different trip.
Of course, this is the beginning of my trip. I'm rested and in a decent mood. Let's see what the end of the week brings after forced group hugs and power point overload.  Meanwhile, my challenge (should I accept it) will be to walk past the chocolate fudge brownies and towards the salad bar in the cafeteria.  It's always easy in the beginning and by Wednesday or Thursday all hell breaks loose. However, the premise behind Real Life Health is balance....I mean one or two brownies does not a health hazard make!



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