So I’ve been making a point of doing some mindfulness meditation daily. If nothing more than 10-15 mins before I go to sleep. I thought I was doing well……
On Sunday I had to fly to Broken Hill and back to pick up my daughter from school camp, as she had become quite ill. Now, I hate flying. Hate it with a passion. So I book my flights and rock up to the airport on Sunday morning. It is absolutely BUCKETING down with rain, gale force winds are lashing the East Coast and the airport is down to one runway for both aircraft landing AND taking off. So we sit in a queue on the tarmac for 2 hours before take off in a 27 seater plane, dwarfed by all the huge air buses, 747’s and other “normal” planes. I am slowly starting to feel the panic rise. As we start to take off, I look out the window at the propellors spinning and thing “What the fuck am I doing???? I should have driven. LET ME OFF THIS FRIGGING PLANE NOW!” As we climb altitude, we swung around like a pendulum. I started crying because all I could think was “I am going to die, alone on this tin can and not even make it to R’s side. Holy shit this sucks!”
After what seemed to be an eternity, but likely 10 minutes, the turbulence started to subside and we started to even out. I curled up into a ball in my chair and closed my eyes. The stewardess came along offering tea and coffee, took one look at me and said “Red or white wine?” to which I replied with “BOTH!” I ended up with a small bottle of red and I promptly took two Panadol Rapid and drugged myself for the remainder of the flight. As soon as we landed in Broken Hill, I was off that plane like a rocket and looking for my daughter. I think I squeezed the life out of her at one stage.
It was then to my horror that I was told instead of leaving in 45 mins to come home, thanks to the appalling weather in Sydney, we had a layover of 4 hours and 17 minutes!! Awesome So we passed the time eating and chilling out in the lounge. Once we boarded (same crew thankfully), I settled nervously into my seat. We had 18 SES (State Emergency Services) folk on the plane with us and the atmosphere seemed pretty chill.
The flight back was uneventful till we hit Sydney airspace and the turbulence kicked in again. While I was not hysterical like earlier, I was extremely scared and ended up having both my daughter and the SES guy opposite me console me during the landing – which was on an angle and included fishtailing on the runway. Kudos to the pilot for keeping it all under control. I stumbled off the plane with legs like jelly and had the SES guys chatting to us and joking about the landing. My father picked us up at the gate and we made our way to the car and drove home.
During the drive home, I reflected on the day I’d had and how badly I’d handled it. For all my meditation and adherence to the Eightfold Noble Path, it all went out the window when the shit hit the fan. I felt really bad when I realised what had happened, but rather than beat myself up about it, I just have to increase my practise and keep it up, even when things are cruising along. The more I can master in the good times, the easier it will be to call upon in the bad times.
I still have a lot to do, but I’m willing to do it.