Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fear of flying and other things

What is it with these middle-age fears? Situations that we didn't think twice about suddenly loom as things we anticipate with dread.

Quite a few years ago I became afraid of flying in airplanes.  Not because of an incident, just the whole idea of hurtling through space in this big hunk of metal, beautiful as it may be.

I reasoned with myself, berated myself, tried to joke myself out of it. My family was sick of watching me grip the armpads of my seat as if I could control the flight.

I told myself it was a reasonable fear.  True, but didn't help.

I remembered I used to like flying and began to watch the take-offs and landings as if it were fun and exciting.  Worked a little.

I started breathing, slowing down my heartbeat.  All that fear can't be good for your body.

Then I hit upon an idea.  I watched the calmness between the bumps and shivers.  Reminding myself that going through a rough patch is just that- and the smoothness will come again.

Kind of like life.

One flight we were on recently was actually really bad- thunderstorms over Texas. I was tense, but then something happened- I just let go- I didn't care anymore.

The pilot knew what he was doing ( or maybe it was a combination of skill and luck! Again, like life).  We landed safely.

It was a great feeling- to just give up the fear. I hope I am like that from now on-  but I probably  will experience times of holding my breath.

So, for now I will continue to fly as I have all my life.  Sometimes you just have to keep doing it and the fear works its way out of you.

Now, to tackle that fear of going to the dentist.  Another one I never had until recently-  Oh, Joy, something else to work on!

Get outta here, Fear- I don't have time for you!