Flying to NYC tonight for E’s bachelorette and unnaturally anxious about entering the air, and so, from one lady scout to another, and also, from Myself to Myself,  here is some of my chapter on flying Preparedness.

Look at you! You’re ready to fly! You’re like a Dixie Chicks song. Beautiful! Determined! Optimistic! You’re ready to go. …..Technically. But, you’re freaking out. I tend to start freaking out a few days before I fly. The anxiety just weaves its way into my every day thought process, into the fabric of my routine: this could be the last time you pay $4 for this coffee. Not because I’m going to reach any financial or moral high ground and start making my coffee at home, no sir – because in one week – I’m potentially dead.

These thoughts are destructive, exhausting and ridiculous, but we have them.

When I’m having these thoughts, I tend to talk about them to anyone who will listen. It’s as if I’m stricken, or afflicted, which is insane, because people who are stricken and / or afflicted with actual issues don’t go around talking about them, because they are busy actually dealing with them. My point: our anxiety is a luxury. We need to keep our hands and bodies and brains busy so that there’s less and less room for paranoia and dark thoughts. Even if the thoughts are lurking in the back of our brain, there’s less of a chance of us having them over for dinner (entertaining them! I’m funny!) if we’ve occupied ourselves, focus on the tasks at hand.

I refuse to tell you to ‘go for a walk’ or ‘do something with your hands’ or ‘take deep breaths’ because you’ve probably tried those things and they probably haven’t worked for you. I say do normal things. That you love. I say: make a complicated soup that requires much mincing! Go try on 700 dresses! Start a book! Call your Grandma! Go through your clothes for Salvation Army give aways! Organize your receipts for tax season! Go running! Watch every episode ever of My So Called Life and / or Twin Peaks! What I mean is, keep yourself in the real world. On the ground. Keep your hands deep in your life. Proceed as Normal. Don’t obsess. Make dinner plans for when you’re back from your trip. I find this really helps keep your head on your shoulders when it’s already skipped ahead of you, thousands of feet in the air.

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