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Changes In Attitude


Learning about the foiled terrorist plot last week was a sharp reminder of how scary flying can be. Since then flying has been even more of a hideous mess than before.
That’s two reasons why one word keeps going through my mind: boat. Ship, I mean. Six days to cross the ocean, then another three by train across the continent. Nine days total from Europe to go over the river and through the woods to see the folks on the West Coast. Doesn’t sound so bad to me.
Of course, Wikipedia reminds me that flying is a safer means of transportation than other methods, like cars. I heard someone from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or some such agency, on the radio a couple of years ago, noting that the numbers killed on U.S. highways are the equivalent of an airplane falling out of the sky every day. I’m not wild about driving either.
The only fear of flying I used to be concerned with is the Erica Jong title – and yes, she does have a new book out (and the reviews are tending toward recommending a reread of “Fear of Flying” instead). But now with children – they do make one a bit more fearful of accidents and such. Or, let’s flip that around to the positive side – more life embracing. So what’s wrong with a little embracing of life for a week sailing across the Atlantic? Because I’d like to still be in the stage of denial where I pretend I won’t be flying again. But living away from my native country, just like anyone with people spread out or with a job that keeps you moving, I know I’ll be getting on a plane sometime.
Which brings me back to the mess of flying. One doesn’t like to be cranky while someone claims to be trying to save one’s life. But one has to wonder if the TSA and other agencies really know what they’re doing. One wonders, and one knows what one would answer.
But of course, how does ocean liner safety stack up? And flying wasn’t such a picnic before, and you do manage to schlep through. After plugging a son or two into the portable DVD player.
Without electronic help, I’d have to turn to the best advice I’ve heard this summer (pre-current alarms) on flying with kids. It’s from an Australian mother of two. Australians are apparently required by law to take five years of vacation and circle the globe at least three times before they’re allowed back home. They have to hop on a plane just to get breakfast. If you ever meet Australians outside their home country, you know they’ve got a few miles on the old frequent flyer card.
So her simple advice is – change your attitude. Do not expect to eat a meal, have a glass of wine, read a magazine, relax or do anything you might hope to do when alone to while away the time on a plane. Instead, think of flying as a chance for quality time with your kids. Long, enforced quality time in places with bad air and seats designed for a different species, but, hey, the little buggers do grow up fast.

Share  Posted by Deborah Klosky at 2:20 AM | Permalink

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