On Flying


For many years, I refused to fly. Yes. I’m one of those people. Flying is something I dread. Fear, actually. Oh, let’s face it. Here’s the truth. Every time I get on a plane, I assume I’m going to die.

For as many years as I’ve been afraid of flying, people have laughed at me and said, “Why?” or “Oh, I LOVE flying!” or the good old standard, “More people die in car accidents than in plane crashes!”

None of these quips are a comfort to me. You might as well be talking to a liberal democrat, saying, “No, seriously. Right wing republicans have some good points!” Neither those democrats nor me, in regard to flying, are going to just stop, and say, “Oh. Okay! I hadn’t thought of that.”

Back to that deep soul wrenching thought I might die… today by the way… I’m getting on a plane to Paris this evening.

Yup. Flying across the ocean. Gulp.

The question begs answering. What if I did… you know… leave this cruel world?

Alas… adieu.

(How morbid! How draconian! Bobby McFerrin would say, “don’t bring everybody down like this.”) Well, hang in there, kids. I’m not just playing at theatrics. I’ve got a point to make.

In the idea I am about to face my demise, here are my parting thoughts. They are streamlined. There are only two things I would credit in my life. God, and my husband. Everything else in my world falls under one of those two categories. Children, family, friends, health, home, experiences, beauty, love. Essentially, God gives me everything, including my husband, and my husband is really the only relationship I need to keep healthy. Everything falls right into place after that.

I’ve got a strong faith and can’t imagine life without it. And I have a very good… the perfect one for me… husband. Really, I don’t think anything else matters. All I ever need to do in this life is to keep those two at the forefront of my mind and all else will be what it will be. That knowledge makes me smile. I’m so glad I have finally become old and wise enough to know these things. And knowing this really does put my mind at ease. That and a nice little pill for relaxing and a glass of wine.

So, fears – I’ll keep facing them.

Delta Airlines? Treat me well. S’il vous plait.

Paris France? Be kind to this American. Merci, beaucoup.

C’est la vie. Au revoir. The next I write will be all about this new land I’m about to meet and friends with whom I’m going to have adventures. Tres Bien.

16 thoughts on “On Flying

  1. Gina, I’m one of those disgusting Love-to-fly people. I had a pilot’s license as long as I could afford to fly the plane. I’m sorry you don’t share my enthusiasm, because you will miss the sheer joy I got out of my hours in the air. the only thing better would have been learning to fly a glider and I have a friend who is doing that now. I hope sometime he’ll take me up.

  2. I have not your faith, only a kind of hope. I’ve only gotten worse about flying over time. It didn’t bother me at first, and now it does. The problem is, I think too much. But here’s what’s funny: Though I don’t have a secure faith, flying is one of the times in my life when I pray. My prayer goes something like this. “To whatever power there may be, please, let all these people on this plane come safely home to those who love them.”

  3. I love the picture you posted with your commentary!

    I think a lot of people have at least a mild fear of flying, so they may be lying when they say they love to fly. I used to love to fly, but not until we were in the air. Take-off and landings still scare me for some reason.

    When I was on the medical transport team, I loved the helicopter and small planes. When we got the fancy-dancy fixed wing turbo-prop it wasn’t nearly as fun. It is ironic because I enjoy the small planes and helicopter (mostly because you can see more) but you will never, never, never get me up in a ferris wheel. Anyway, enough about me.

    Enjoy your trip! I look forward to hearing about your adventures in France!

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      I like helicopters, too. It doesn’t make any sense for me to like them but not planes. Go figure.

  4. In addition to packing your physical suitcase, you’re packing your mental suitcase too, and it appears you’ve got all you need. Lovely post. 🙂

    I know flying can be scary (for me it’s scary more from fellow passengers’ behavior than from fear of crashing, though that’s always there too), but you’ll do great, and you have one of the most amazing destinations on the other side waiting for you. I’m so happy for you. Have fun!!

    • Good insight! “Packing your mental suitcase.” Very nice.

      I always tell myself that the pilot doesn’t want to die, so I’ll be OK. (Of course, these days, who knows? But, it is still blown out of proportion because, out the thousands of successful flights, only 4 pilots since 1984 have intentionally crashed their planes.)

      What I don’t like about flying now is it isn’t as fun as it was in 1984 when passengers didn’t have to go through the security we do now, when passengers received amenities in coach, too, not just 1st class, when people were friendly and passengers were polite, when you didn’t have to get to the airport 2 hours early. Back then, the biggest thing seemed to be lost or misdirected luggage. My bags went to more airports than I did!

  5. You summed it up so simply and perfectly. God and husband. Yes, you have a good life! Have fun in France. I wish you lots of sleep on the plane ride so you don’t have to feel the fear.

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      I think I’m going to try to just embrace it, this flight. Enjoy the amazing thing that flying is. What an opportunity it provides. Thanks for your kindness, Char.

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