Trusting the airplane peanuts

Julie Dillon

A recent trip provided me the opportunity to experience not trusting the process. The trip included getting on an plane and then connecting on another. Prior to even packing my bag, the airline called to tell me weather promoted my flight to be cancelled. Although travel companions on other airlines were diverted to another company still with flights, our airline refused such options. We had to wait 24 extra hours to board the plan.

During the early morning hours prior to this next departure time, the airline called to let me know this flight was cancelled too: the pilot needed sleep. So did I and that is why I was going on a vacation! This new change would get us to our destination a few hours later.

I finally boarded and took off on the first leg of my flight. The flight attendant got us prepared and the pilots kept us posted.  Everything seemed routine while we prepared for landing. As our plane was feet from touching down in the runway, I felt the plane surge back upward. Without warning or explanation, we were back in the air and circling the airport. I felt my mind race with panic as to what kept the plane from going through the normal motions.

Once this plane landed I found my connecting flight to be delayed another 4 hours. I had to hold my ears  to keep the smoke and fire from hitting those around me.

A few hours later, I was standing by the baggage claim in my final destination. I stood with other nameless travel companions all with our fingers crossed. The baggage claim belt went around and around and my now awfulizing brain messages dwelled on the expected outcome: no luggage.

In this moment, I started to feel something familiar: plans being made only to have outside forces change the timeline, feeling dread and fear for the unknown and unexpected, having to make do with the options at hand. Hmmm, I never knew getting on an airplane was like a feeding relationship. Sometimes it can be so easy to trust my body and its messages whereas other times, the pilot does a trick landing and throws me for a loop.

Considering the similarities, I calmed my brain by giving it similar food-like messages: trust the process. Trust that it will work out ok. Trust those that guide us. You cannot control the timeline just the reaction to it and the choices you make from those at hand.

While my heart went from the pace of a rabbit to a human, I saw my familiar luggage pop onto the baggage claim. I grabbed my bag and slowly strolled to a late dinner.

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