Leaving on a Jet-Blue Plane

9 Jan

Murphy’s law states that the week before going on vacation = NUTS. In addition to the minor things one has to attend to such as arranging pet sitting and canceling the newspaper, it’s quite typical to be slammed at work or hit with other unexpected demands on one’s time and energy. In my case, I think God contrives it this way so that by the time I’m in my window seat on a red-eye, I can actually sleep. 

Despite air travel becoming increasingly a hassle, I still love it. My parents put me on a plane when I was five years old to travel alone from California to Wisconsin so that I could visit both sets of my grandparents. I did this every year until I went to college. From the time the stewardess gave me a set of wings, pack of cards and took me into the cockpit to meet the pilots, I was hooked. When changing planes in Chicago, I was always accompanied by a flight attendant but otherwise I was happy as a clam to read my book, look out the window and study the passengers pretending I was Nancy Drew. “The tall, dark hair man carrying a suspicious package moved towards the aisle…” I’d take note.

Now I typically crash as soon as my seat belt is buckled or feel compelled to turn on my lap top and finish some project I really don’t want to work on, but when I move past this, the sense of duty, fatigue and responsibility begin to evaporate like morning mist revealing streams of light breaking into my consciousness. And this is why we travel. To break through to other vistas. To see the world fresh and new. And to get back in touch with our souls. 

I believe whole heartedly in retreats and solitude as a means of spiritual and creative renewal; getting out of dodge is another wonderful discipline (sometimes the two over-lap). Regardless, change of environment is essential for helping to shift perspectives. Even when time and means are limited, if living in San Diego, you can take the Coaster to Carlsbad for four bucks, disembark and walk down to the ocean. Heaven. Or walk through a museum and for an hour or two fantasize you’re in Paris. House sitting can put one in a whole new neighborhood. And if work demands are insane and income allows, you can check into a hotel for a night or two like my father used to when he had an important trial to prepare for. He found this helped prevent distractions. Kindly, he always let me bring a friend along so I’d have something to do while he worked. 

So this is my annual East Coast vacation, returning to CT, VA and NY to see beloved relatives and friends, (including Granny). The agenda is simple: sleep, eat, take yoga, watch movies, and laugh with loved ones. “And when the morning light comes streaming in, we’ll get up and do it again. Amen.” There isn’t much more variance than that – the perfect vacation. 9:44 pm can not come soon enough!!!

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