Since the first of March, I, like millions of others have felt like we are stuck in a continuous holding pattern. If you have ever been stuck in a holding pattern, then you know the angst that overtakes you. the thoughts of, What is wrong? How long will we be up here circling the airport? what if we can’t land at this airport and have to land someplace else? No one likes unanswered questions. No one likes being out of control, and when we fly, that’s the epitome of being….. OUT OF CONTROL…
The holding pattern, that the world has been put in, is astounding. We want our options again. We want , we want, we want. we live in a culture of getting what we want when we want it, not necessarily monetarily, but we live in a world of instant gratification..
No one likes being told that they can not do something. We have taken life as we know it for granted for too long. The state of the nation in the sense of doing without has been compared to life in the forties during WW2. My mom and dad served in the navy during WW2, and both grew up with limited funds. They knew all about sacrifice. We have boo hoo hooed about the fact that we can’t do this or that, but really unless you have lost your job, or your business or your family member to covid. You really need to get over yourself.
Indeed our lives are in a holding pattern. Once I was in a holding pattern over Charlotte NC. I was returning from a trip to Eleuthera to visit my daughter and her husband whom had saved money for a year to Be able to rent a home for one month on a beautiful island for a once in a lifetime trip. My son in law’s parents also went, but we had been booked on two different flights home. Mine left earlier in the day.. I had delay after delay with all my flights, only to get to Charlotte NC and be stuck above the airport in a harrowing storm, of winds, lightening that flashed thru the tiny airplane windows with illumination the likes I’ve never experienced before. There are 2 things I’m scared to death of and that’s snakes and lightening. Upon landing, I was told that my next flight home had been canceled and everyone had been told that no flights would be leaving that night from Charlotte NC. Let’s just say….. People were not happy. this is an understatement. The airport was awash in panic and frustration…..
Why? The why was apparent.. The airways were unsafe due to huge fronts causing horrific storms. The problem was however that we as passengers were still in the holding pattern. we were grounded, but more importantly we had no plan, and no way to return to our normal plan and get back to our lives. Most hotels were full. It was 10:00 at night, I was alone except for my carry on bag. I had about 50.00 cash left in my purse and a couple credit cards. People were beginning to just stake their spots in the airport to sleep for the night.
I however remembered that my good friend Gwen, said that for her birthday, her son, that lived in Charlotte was taking her to a concert for her birthday this particular evening. I texted her to see if I could stay with them that evening in his home. She said of course, and around 10:30 I got in a long line to hail a taxi with his address in my phone, and a prayer 🙏 in my head to keep me safe I ventured out of the airport and into the storm. It is always a leap of faith tome to get into a cab alone or an Uber. But this cab driver made sure I was inside the home safely before he left me on a dark street, searching in the rain for the key that was hidden under a piece of wood. They were still at the concert but she had said make myself at home. I poured a glass of wine, took a warm shower and read my book until they returned. I was beyond grateful for my friends that saved the day but I also prayed for those parents stuck with kids in that airport and was sooo thankful I had safety and a shelter from the storm!
Everything turned out perfectly fine for me because I had options.
Now this is all true, and this life metaphor experience parallels our covid year. In March when jobs, schools, lives were put into a holding pattern, many were in the same situation, but many people had options that others do not have. Some had bigger savings to help them thru a job loss, some received stimulus money, others did not. Many are finding themselves becoming teachers at night to help their kids with their school kids work while they themselves are exhausted from a long day at work. Many people right now are struggling. We look to the 2 candidates for president to guide us out of this pandemic, but this problem is not that simple and neither candidate appeals to me if we must go there. WE want a simple fix, we want to have control back.
We just want the storm to go away, so we can stay on our course and stick to the plan. As I pulled my carryon luggage thru that crowded airport of wandering travel-weary people from all over the world, looking at the reactions. Some people were shouting at the ticket booth employees , many small kids were crying and tired, some parents were just as tired , because they were not in control of anything anymore. We are a bunch of spoiled brats in times like this, we do not like being told NO. We do not do well with change.
That evening as I walked aimlessly around the airport before I remembered that my friend was in Charlotte, I received a text from my daughter stating that her in laws that had been on a later flight that day were asked if they would be willing to fly out the following day, because their plane was overbooked and if so they would be given a two room suite in one of the best hotels on the island along with drinks and dinner. They said yes!!! They then called my daughter and her husband,to join them in the huge suite and have free drinks and food etc. they sent pictures of them all dining and pictures of the lovely accommodations and all I could do was think of the irony of our two situations. I had begun my journey at 11:00 that morning. Every plane had been delayed etc. all I could do was just think, well Damn.. I was happy for them but just a little jealous at the time. But this same thing has played out in this pandemic. Some have suffered greatly and others have been ok during these past 8 months. I’m hearing that we may be stuck on hold longer than we thought. Maybe we need to examine our situations and start looking at the positives in our lives instead of the negatives and have an altitude adjustment and get grounded to fix our ATTITUDE.
May God be with all my readers. May you look up to the heavens to give you guidance in the storm. May we all be grateful for the little things right now and do something nice for the ones that can’t get out of the storm.