Thursday, July 31, 2008

Airplanes don't always bring out the best in me...

I can't really say I HATE flying. Being in the air is cool. Amazing, even. It's just that I am terrified of all of the worst-case scenarios. The horror stories that we've all heard. The firey crashes. The falling into the ocean. The crashes that result in cannibalism. The hijackings...
Every time I get on a plane (and that was 6 times in the past 2 weeks), I have these conversations with myself. Luckily not out loud, but I bet my seatmates could read it in my face.

They go something like this:
"What's that sound? That can't be good!!" or "We have been waiting on the tarmac for 45 minutes. This CANNOT be good!!" or "Are we supposed to be descending so quickly?!?" and then I will rationalize with myself. "It's the safest way to travel. If you die, at least it will be with a bang (I chuckle at myself a little here). Millions of people do this everyday and they are FINE." and then I say, "but there are always exceptions. It has happened in the past. What makes you so special that it won't happen this time?" and back to me "The pilot doesn't want to die, either. He or she knows how to fly this thing (even though it seems physically impossible) and they want to get where you are going just as badly as you do" and on and on it goes. Sometimes the argument can last for the whole flight. Luckily I don't make myself physically ill over it (at least not badly enough to use the "special" bags!), but it bothers me that I feel this way.

I think my dad would call me a realist. Thinking through all the possibilities. To be honest, I think about crashing in a car most of the times I'm in one, too. Always wondering if today is the day. Some might call me cautious. These thoughts help me to be a better driver, and a more alert passenger (yes, I'm the idiot next to you actually paying attention to the safety demo/video and reading the "safety card located in your seat pocket"), but they also give me ulcers. I just call me afraid.

So last week, when I flew to a training course on "Customer Care", I really related when the speaker (JoAnna Brandi, see website link on the right of this page) talked about catastrophizers. That's what I am. I don't feel like a pessimist for most things. But I always do see the worst possible outcome in situations. I don't necessarily feel like that outcome would be personal and BECAUSE OF me, but I always think about the what-ifs. Forgive me, JoAnna, if this isn't exactly in the correct context, but here's something she said that changed my travel immediately, effectively, and really, just amazingly. She said to stop thinking about the worst case. Who knew it could be that easy, right? haha! But she also talked about visualizing the end. Seeing yourself off the ground and in the air smoothly, or landing perfectly. She wasn't talking about travel, but I immediately thought "fooey. It won't work for flying. I can't CONTROL the outcome, so how will visualizing make me handle the situation better?". See yourself SUCCESSFUL and you will have a better chance of success. I'd heard it before, but how could it work if you weren't the one taking the action to create success?
You know what? I decided to try it. Instead of visualizing me being in control of the flight, though, I visualized me being in control of my EMOTIONS. I thought about enjoying the flight, the pilot truly caring about my safety, and about the things I do like about flying. I want to be profound, but the truth is, it just worked. My stomach was not in knots at all, I was able to talk to the very interesting person beside me, but most of all, I was able to stop dwelling on me and the fear and the what-ifs, and just look out the window. For almost the entire flight from South Bend to Atlanta. And it was amazing. The first time I was able to contemplate how brave the Wright Brothers were. How brave every pilot is. How wonderful it is to be able to see so much of the earth out one tiny window. How amazing the road system in Indiana is. I mean, really. How did they make such perfectly square road systems without the benefit of overhead views? And then I went on tangents thinking about pioneers and how they knew where they were going without roads and only crude maps, and their bravery...and how each of those tiny houses had a story, and each person in them could be hurting (you know the statistics - 1 in 3 have this disease, 1 in 4 have this...). It just totally took the focus off of me.
And I was at peace. And awe. In an airplane. For the first time ever.
I think there's a lesson here about my life on the ground, too. Did you catch it? I hope so! Pass it on...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Epcot: Spaceship Earth

I thought it would be nice to ride inside the Geosphere just because I was hot and needed a break, but it turned out to be interesting, and a lot of fun. It was Sean's favorite of all three Disney parks we've been to by FAR, and we had fun with the last part. You get to answer some questions and "create your own future", and then when you get off the ride, you can email postcards of it. Here are just a few of the ones we created this weekend:

Friday, July 25, 2008

My First YouTube

SO...if this works, I think I'll do this more often!!!

Oh, and for the curious, yes, that WAS Sean pummeling her in the face with the ball. But she did look sufficiently disgusted with him, didn't she?!? Luckily, it wasn't a medicine ball!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What do Amy Grant, Doritos, and and Tide have in common?

Do you know the answer?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!? Keep reading...

Ok. I know we moved to FL, where it's hotter and you sweat more and get clothes wetter. But I am doing at least 2 loads of laundry a day. If I let it go for a couple of days, it's a 7-load marathon.
I know I did a lot of laundry before, but what is up with this?!? Here are my hypotheses:
1) We swim, thus using more towels that take up space.
but we also hang them up and re-use them. So I don't really think that's it, entirely
2) Sophie is desiring more independence and spills all the time all over herself (and sometimes others).
This one is a bit more believable. She does like to feed herself and we are now sans bibs -nowhere to store them. So this could be part of our problem. But her clothes are smaller than everyone else's, so it shouldn't be that much more (although today, she did end up with 2 outfit changes and 1 shirt definitely credible!).
3) Our washing machine is small.
I'm going to go with this one. Listen, apartment owners. Just because it's an apartment doesn't mean you have to skimp on the washload requirements. I happen to know that a large-capacity washer would maybe possibly fit in the tiny space you call a laundry "room". Or at least don't tease me - get one of those fancy stackable types that would fit in one side of the closet, and let me use the other side as a pantry, since I have barely any food storage space once I put my dishes in your skimpy cabinets!
I know I'm a bit spoiled. We bought our washer in Cville shortly after we moved in 2004, and when we were at Best Buy pricing them, the salesguy told us it would fit all of our bedding from our king-size bed in one load. Mind you, I didn't stuff it like that (but Chip did - a time or twenty!), but it was very nice-sized.
I'm lamenting its loss.
But the good news is that just two or three weeks after moving in, we got a new dryer. The one that was here first looked to be about 20 or so years old, and it would turn off randomly, leaving our clothes wet, and we'd have to start the whole thing over again because it wouldn't pick up where it left off. That, and there were big gaping holes in the lint trap. Probably not very safe in an apartment building. The new one works perfectly, even on "energy-efficient" setting it dries things nicely. That's probably because the load size that fits in the washer is only 1/2 or 3/4 of the dryer capacity and we're wasting the energy in the wash loads. Another great side benefit...the new one had the ability to change the way the door opened, so now I don't have to be a contortionist to get the clothes from the washer into the dryer. Thank you, Chip! That was an excellent idea!
Truly, I should not complain. At least we only have to go to the laundromat (answer to the title - Baby, Baby video and Doritos commercial filmed in one, most of them smell like Tide, if you're lucky!) once in a while, when we want to wash the mattress pad that won't fit in the washer. Imagine if I had all this laundry and had to GO SOMEWHERE ELSE to do it! No thank you! I don't get enough done around here as it is!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mamma Mia!

I had a wonderful time tonight. I got to go for Girl's Night Out and got to see a movie! It was my first in a theatre since Sean's third birthday, when we saw the Incredibles. Just FYI, he will be SEVEN in October. ;-) Actually, now that I think about it, maybe we did go to another Disney movie when I was pregnant with Sophie. Can't remember. At any rate, it's been a while.

We saw Mamma Mia!
It's a musical "based on" ABBA songs that I fondly remember from my growing up years.

Ok. I know a lot of people who have no use for a musical. But I happen to love them. And even though I love musicals that have music written just for them and sing those songs all the time, I have to say, it was AMAZING how they used ABBA songs in such a fluid way. It never seemed awkward. It was truly just people "bursting" into song because life just gave them something they had to express through music. It's how life should be lived! It was funny, sweet, sappy, touching, energetic, and just really a fun time.
I think all of the cast sang their own songs, and I was amazed (why should I have been?) at how well-acted it was. I definitely felt their emotions (stop laughing at me, Angie!), and I loved that even though they sang on key, they didn't choose the people with the most glorious voices. It made it more fun and believable.
I don't know. It was just such a good time. I will be first in line once the DVD comes out, and hope to get out and see it in the theater again (yes, I'm willing to shell out the $9.50 it costs to see a movie down here!!!). Maybe I'll go by myself so I can sit in the back and laugh and cry without being embarrassed. But if you want to watch it with me, I'll be happy to invite you along. And mom, if you bring your cell phone when you go, just call me and leave it on speaker so I can listen. HAHA.
Really, it was a good time. The best I've had in quite some time. You MIGHT attribute that to the fact that I was sans family, and perhaps you are correct, but I wager that any of my musical friends will agree that Mamma Mia is the reason for my current euphoria.
Looking for the stage show to come to town so Angie and I can go again...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

When you say nothing at all...

I have been taught that it's really better, if you don't have anything good to say, to not say anything.
I just wanted to let you know why I haven't written here in a while...