I’m sitting on a plane, almost at the end of the first leg of my journey, heading for New York City. I’m on a business trip, a few meetings and a Creativity and Innovation conference that will feature a couple of my ‘business idols’ as keynote speakers.
Suffice it to say I have “mother’s guilt” happening big time even though my three children (and our dog) are in the care of their extremely capable father. I also left an extensive list of who needs to be where on what day and organised a stand-in manager for the netball team.
A few hours into the flight and I am walking around stretching my legs. I notice that with each step I take, my feet take longer than feels natural to reach the security of the floor. I look towards the front of the plane, and yes, the nose of he plane is pointing ever so slightly downward. For the rest of the trip it had a slight yet definite upward trajectory. I finish my loop and take my seat. And the seatbelt sign comes on. And I start to wonder if the pilot is ‘OK’…
The thoughts and prayers come flooding into my brain. Do my children know I love them, was the last thing I said to them and my husband “I love you”? I talk myself out of panicking, after all, if we’re going down there’s no point. There’s a four-month-old baby (and his young mother) on board, heading for LA to meet his grandmother for the first time, so I pray for his safety instead, and the safety of all the other passengers. I wonder how the passengers on those flights that never made it felt. I wonder if I’ve been a good mother/partner/daughter/sister/friend/colleague/stranger? I wonder if I’ve been useful, if I’ve contributed? And I wonder if they will find the three documents that I just completed on my laptop! All these thoughts raced through my head in a matter of seconds. Literally.
A few of hours later, I went through the whole thing again…
I realise that as much as I don’t want it to be so, my life, or rather my thought patterns, have changed. In my old world, turbulence got my adrenaline pumping, much like the big dipper at Luna Park. In this new world, fear has stepped up its hold on reason. And in this space is where ‘they’ win. And ‘that’s not on’ in my world.
So the seatbelt light comes on again and the plane starts doing a little jig. I close my eyes and I work hard to see myself on the big dipper. It’s slowly working. Only a couple of unwanted thoughts enter the bumpy ride. It’s quite a test because the turbulence goes on for a good ten minutes.
I aim to have it nailed by the time I reach New York!