July 27, 2014

5 Things to Be Grateful for the next Time You Fly.

airport traveller woman walking luggage

Can we take a moment to be grateful for the art of flight? Flying is frigging incredible.

I have never understood the anxiety of the security line up, and why do people act like frenzied cattle waiting to be slaughtered as they try and get off the airplane first when it lands? We get so wound up in our lives that we invalidate that we are partaking in something phenomenal.

“Flying is the worst one because people come back from flights and they tell you their story and it’s like a horror story. It’s, they act like their flight was like a cattle car in the 40’s in Germany. That’s how bad they make it sound. They’re like it was the worst day of my life. First of all we didn’t board for 20 minutes and then we get on the plane and they made us sit there on the runway for 40 minutes. We had to sit there. Oh really, what happened next? Did you fly through the air incredibly like a bird? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight, you non-contributing zero? Wow, you’re flying! It’s amazing! Everybody on every plane should just constantly be going, oh my God! You’re flying, you’re, you’re sitting in a chair in the sky! ” ~ Louis C.K

Here are five things to look forward to next time you hold a boarding pass and are on the way to being airborne:

1. Free Snacks

No matter how many times I see the snack caddy making it’s way down the isle, I always feel like I am at a soccer game and the cool mom brought popsicles instead of oranges. And if you are really nice to your flighty—sometimes you get TWO snacks.

2. Naps

I have a theory that if we all took naps everyday, the world would be a happier place.

I have recently enrolled a friend of mine in “Greek school.” He is a wildly ambitious chef, and overall human being, he wakes up running and goes to sleep running. He comes over in between his work days that sometimes stretch to fifteen hours and I give him a five minute head massage, send him to nap and then throw him out the door with coffee in his hand an hour later.

Our world and life can be so damn busy that we can forget we need quiet time, time to rest and reboot. 15 minute power naps are super food for our souls. And on airplanes, you can take as many naps as you want. Take advantage of your immobility and get your nap on—you’ll be better because of it.

3. Getting to be a wide eyed-child for a little while

Grown ups forget magic. We breeze through our days failing to stop and wonder like children do. We forget about simplicity, we trade in our imaginations for agendas, schedules and routines.

I remember being little and naming my own constellation on a three hour drive from Edmonton to Calgary. I named each little star, drew a map and then traced different creatures in them. There are days now when even though I live in a cabin that escapes the city lights that I forget to look up, and wonder at the full moon and stars falling around me.

Look out the window next time you fly. Look for shapes in the big fluffy marshmallow clouds and let your imagination run wild with glee.

4. The arrivals gate

On the days that I am down I sometimes have an urge to drive in my car to the airport, grab popcorn and coffee and park it at the Arrivals gate.


The woman waiting in tears pacing back and forth, the good tears—the I miss you tears. Who wails in open hearted joy as her daughter walks through the gates.

The man in his eighties, dressed in his Sunday best, with a soft wrinkled smile secretly holding flowers behind his back.

The three kids waiting for their grandparents with welcome home signs drawn with markers that leaked onto their shirts and faces. Who pull at their parents hands with eyes as wide as Christmas morning every few minutes asking if they’re there yet.

The man who tries to hide eyes brimming with tears and is welcomed moments later with soft kisses and hellos from his boyfriend.

There is an undeniable contagious love bouncing off the walls, bodies and floors.

At the arrivals gate I feel like people are forced to hesitate while they wait, and it creates a moment for them to realize how grateful they are for the ones they love.

We need to tell the people we love them all the time. Not just on Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, or Thanksgiving. We need to so thank you, I am grateful, I love you every single day.

I hear, see, and feel this gratitude at the arrivals gate.

5. This Louis CK video (Adult language!)



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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Nick Harris at Flickr 

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