What I learn from flying
By my last count, I haven't lived near home for about 13 years. In that time, I've lived in So Cal, Florida/cruise ships, New York, and now Nashville. I fly home a lot. It's the best way to travel to home since I live so far from home, and luckily, I enjoy traveling. On my last trip home for Thanksgiving, I was flying from Nashville to San Diego, then on to Sacramento. I became aware of different aspects of being in flight that I enjoy that I've always noticed and decided to put them here. Mainly, since I have so much time in the air while traveling between cities, I'm not feeling like I'm in a rush to get each activity done quickly just to move on to the next item of my "To do" list. It forces me to slow down and I really take my time with each activity. I noticed particularly well on my last flight home for Thanksgiving.
- Reading - I have a subscription to Psychology Today and when I have an up-coming flight, I will get an issue weeks before and will actively NOT read any of it because I'm waiting to get into it on my flight since I have so much time to read while on my flight. I also have been getting into the habit of picking up a book somewhere along the way that I also want to read and it will give me so much time to get into the book read something that I might otherwise not have read. I take time to read and this is an enjoyable activity that I'm always resolving to do more regularly. Since I have so much time on my flights, it allows me to give myself permission to commit more time to doing this while I'm flying.
- Freshening up - Usually on my flights, I will take time to brush my teeth and wash my hands after I have a cup of coffee, but I'm really taking my time with it on the plane. I notice that when I'm on flights, I take more time to do these activities and even look into my own eyes when I brush my teeth or study my hands as I'm sloshing the soup in and out and between my fingers. I become more present in these moments. Even doing this, I notice myself as a person and I find my mind wandering a bit to thinking about how I have a little extra time to do what I'm doing and to enjoy the process of even just brushing my teeth, rather than just doing it quickly to get it done and move onto something else.
- Journaling - I always make sure to bring my journal with me on my flights. Again, with the busy-ness of life, it's easy for me to get distracted with the other projects that I'm involved with and it's to forget to journal every day. With all the extra time on the plane, I make sure to have time to journal. Even with the active intention to write slowly so that my writing is clear. I also notice that if I write too fast, my hand starts to hurt, so writing more slowly helps me to really consider what I'm writing and to take my time with the thoughts in my head and the words that I'm writing.
My hope is that I will not forget that this time is a gift for me to enjoy these different aspects of my life and that I will get better at instituting these aspects into my daily life, regardless of whether I am at home in Nashville or in a plane traveling at hundreds of miles per hour.