Just flew across the Country from Oregon to New Jersey. I have made this several times throughout the years both from when we lived in New Jersey and now in Oregon. Flying has always caused me a certain level of anxiety, but as I am getting older I have noticed that it is getting a lot worse.
This how it starts… We booked a flight for Friday, September 13th a while back. About a week prior to the flight I am preparing my thoughts of getting all of the things together I will need for the trip, which is actually not much. As we rented a house on the Jersey Shore which has a washer and dryer I know I need to only pack enough for half of the week and have the option of washing everything halfway through. The weather is still warm and I need only pack a few items for the cooler nights, but most is just shorts and shirts. I put my backpack in place to carry all of the other non-clothing items I will need for the trip. I contact my credit card companies and let them know about the trip and where I will be to prevent fraud alerts. These steps are taken over and over again all week to make sure I have everything I need.
Thursday comes along and I have to tie all loose ends at work. I add my time to my E-time bank to make sure I will get paid. I set the vacation alerts on my email, my desk phone and my work cell phone. I finish the day early and race home to get other needed things prepared for the next morning. (We are flying out at 6:25 AM and must be at the airport at leash 2 hours prior to the flight.) I go online and print out the airline tickets. I get the cat setup with everything our neighbor will need to care for the cat over the week. I pace back and forth and try to go over every single item I am taking along with thoughts of what we will be doing each day of the week and who will be visiting. I think about the meals we will be preparing at the beach house and sit down and make a shopping list of all of the items we will need to prepare them. I have been working on a daily schedule with all of the information we will need each step of the way. Flight information, rental car information, 2 hotel accommodations and information for the beach house. Everything seems to be in place. I print the list. I then continue to pace the house and go over everything in my head. The washing machine stops and I through my clothing in the dryer. It’s close to 5:00 PM now and Sharon has come home from work. We settle down to some beer and wine which I hoped would calm my nerves. The dryer stops, I fold my clothing and finish packing my carry-on suite case. Dinner, a little news then off to bed to toss and turn all night.
The alarm wakes me up at 2:30 AM. I make coffee and check finances and email on the computer. I pace the house and think about whether everything is packed. I worry that we will not make it to the airport on time. What if there is a car accident that blocks off the highway. I start pacing quicker. Sharon gets up and prepares for our trip to the airport complaining that it’s not fair that she has to get up at this ungodly hour. I check all of the doors throughout the house to make sure bathroom door are closed as our cat loves to sit on the toiler and flush it over and over again. I have to check the bedroom doors to make sure they are propped open and our cat loves to close door behind him and lock himself inside a room. With everything checked I load up the car with our bags and suitcases.
Off we go to the airport, driving down the highway my heart is racing and it feels like it could explode. I break out in sweats with the thoughts of so many people in the airport racing around to get in front of other people to try to make their flights. We make it to the airport and find a parking spot in long term parking. I mark our location on my phone so we remember where we parked when we get back. Elevator up to terminal, long walkway to terminal, two escalators up to terminal. Off to TSA checkpoint to get scanned. This morning they brought in a drug sniffing dog. Great, this will be a slight delay. My heart is still pounding and sweat is dripping down my face. We still have 40 minutes to boarding time. We get through the checkpoint, have a little time to pickup a little breakfast and finally make it to the boarding area. Finally safe.
The flight was actually quite pleasant and we arrived at Newark International Airport in less than 5 hours. The problem now is I have to get out of the plane and again into another airport. Here we go again, heart racing, head spinning we find a bathroom and our rental car. I setup navigation and off we go. Vacation started. We drive to New Hope, PA and check into our hotel. Our daughter brings Pizza with her husband and our Grandsons. We sit by the pool, eat pizza and drink beer and wine. I settle down and Sharon’s anxiety begins. The kids go home and we will meet them tomorrow at the Beachhouse. We thought we were ready for bed but Sharon gets up several times as the time change from going from one side of the country to the other causes confusion in the daily biological clock.
We sleep well, I wake up and write this post. That is all I have to say about that.