Thankfulness or the Small Stuff Ain’t important

Where am I? Somewhere above Arizona or New Mexico, I think. I’m flying east to Raleigh on board an American Airlines jet that should’ve taken off a few hours ago except there was this teensy wire that came undone and the pilot thought it might be a good idea to reattach it. I concur. And I am thankful they found it. 20140501-100639.jpg. Before boarding this flight I moved into a short line, thanks to my priority boarding status. Frequent flying has its perks, that is except when some one who doesn’t have the same “perks” calls you a “cheater”. That happened to me today, a woman directed her ire at me, because she didn’t want anyone cutting in front of her in line to board. She was pissed. And I got to be in her line of fire. Actually ahead of her, but who’s picky? It wasn’t pleasant but, given my “don’t sweat the small shit” attitude I merely smiled and put my attention elsewhere. Only I’m thinking about her now, so obviously my attention has been shifted back to the fire-spitting lady for a reason, though it has not caused me to sweat a drop. Instead I am using this little event to remind me of how thankful I am for both the exceptional and the mundane events in my life.

Today for example I am thankful I woke up and in time to have a shower, get dressed, hug and kiss my dogs, remember all the stuff I intended on packing and getting it all out onto the street in time for the shuttle to take me to the airport. I am also immensely thankful for the fellow travelers in the bus, for their being pleasant, the driver capable, the traffic ultra light, security a breeze, except I had to remove my shoes because they have boingy springs in the heels (the bounce in my step is accelerated ever so lightly), and that the pilot found the problem before we were up in the air. More thanks to my seat mates who are snoozing or watching Stallone and De Niro in the Grudge Match. I am thankful the expletive spewing woman is seated rows back and not in my line of sight, the toilet facilities are available when I’ve got the urge and that the ride is smooth and easy, thus eliminating any need for the barf bag. Even though I could go on, ad nauseum.

That is enough of my list of thanks, one might think I’m on stage at the Oscars (hey it might happen someday) and we all may require those little bags I just mentioned. Or a shovel? My inner cynic often jumps in to quell my hyper-gratitude, but she is easily convinced that the alternative she suggests is much worse in the long run.

Getting irritated at my outer world is a downward slope on which to hitch a ride and lacks the fun. The powerlessness of grief can make the most sane person a nutter, quickly. I know, I’ve been there. Which is why I’ve daily been doing the laundry list of things for which I am thankful.

Funny enough, my thanks (and meditation) have lowered my blood pressure , slowed the incessant crying and woe is me-ing I managed to do for a year and a half while processing the departure of my beloved Max and my renewed independence and heightened creativity. One might not think the latter two could cause inner turmoil yet there is no question about the former…grief sucks.

There is a method to My Thank You Madness. My gratitude has made me live more gracefully, embrace the changes as if they were my friends rather than enemies and know that wanting things to be as they were ain’t never gonna happen, to say nothing about f’g frustrating and a miserable way to live.

I realize now that every time I get cut off by someone on the freeway or in a line at the store that they may have their own sort of “priority pass” of which I am unaware. I’ll just remind myself how thankful I am and keep on with my sense of abundance and gratitude so I won’t sweat the small stuff and get on with my life.

The pampered ass of Lounging lizard

Hello web of readers, your correspondent Janet, here, to give you play by questionable play of my journey to enlightenment, or texas, whichever comes first…then again I might just contemplate the banal. We shall see.

I’m lounging here in the JAL/oneworld/American airlines “home away from flying capsule”. I’ve got some hours to burn before I board. Fortunately the chairs are cushy, the food and drink, though not organic by any sense of the word, plentiful, free and varied. Did I mention the toilets? OMG! I took a picture. I hope it comes out. No, not that way, silly. Oops no, I just checked ’em, guess I better go shoot it all before I leave, just so you can see, rather than take my word for it. Anyway, here goes.

The first thing one does after getting the “go ahead” beyond the sealed doors of the sacred lounge of the weary biz and First class traveler, is deposit hand luggage and gummy bears (for my daughter Julia who has just born my first grandchild – whatever she wants) into lockers, which i did. The next to appear are the toilets and showers.

Every traveler needs a good potty, this one goes beyond that, way, way way, beyond, I might add. And so into the w.c. I ventured, walked into the stall, the door shut behind me. All of a sudden as if I had waved my wand (I have one, you know) and quite magically, the toilet lid opened, blue lights flashing inside. This toilet is no KMart special, ladies and gents. 20130911-123054.jpg I waited for a moment to see if anyone was looking. Really, I thought only briefly before pulling my pants down, sitting, then discovering, my cold tush instantly warm. A heated toilet seat! “Wowsers,” I proclaimed, “I’m on the hot seat, and I feel great!” From there, the sky was the limit, as soon I regarded to my right, a series of buttons with instructions in several languages on just what this Toto Toilet could do. Wash front, back, blow front, back, spray scent (ewe, I don’t think so), massage the glutes and elsewhere…is this root chakra heaven for the jet lagged or what?!?! I pushed buttons like a kid with a new toy…if you know me, this ain’t a stretch…and I did this for awhile. I confess to a few audible oohs and aahs, but I think I was alone in the room and wondered, if only briefly, if someone from the lounge was going to come in to tell me to stop, though honestly, I WAS using my inside voice, thus my fears were short lived. 20130911-123125.jpgFinally, I knew it was time to go, to seek out the treasures which lead beyond the bathroom door. I pulled up my pants after the magic toilet washed and blew, (and more but I’m not admitting to anything further) my soon to be tired (my trip has only just begun today), ass dry, and proceeded to the area where i discovered dozens of travelers lounging (what else does one do in a lounge, anyway?). I admit to thinking, only briefly, if they too had discovered the treasure behind the bathroom door? No one looked at me askance as I departed, so I believe it’s fair to say, no one knows what happened behind those doors. Luckily, I can’t hear anything from out here – all of us have our little secrets.

Excuse me I’ll be right back, gotta go take some pix for you, but I think I’ll place them further up; this sentence is probably unnecessary but what the hell. What did ya think? Snazzy, eh?

Okay, gotta go through security. See y’all on the other side (of the pond, I hope). Oh, one more thing, about the lounge lizard moniker? It just sounded good to me….my ass IS comfortably warm (and clean. TMI)

Business Class between worlds.

Today I continue on my Good Grief Journey. Thanks to my buying everything, including toilet paper, on my AA Mastercard, I am sitting in the Admirals Club waiting for my flight to Dallas where I will then catch a business class flight to Frankfurt. Waiting in a cushy armchair next to a bunch of businessmen throwing back Bloody Mary’s is not exactly my idea of a first class experience, but I’ve got my ipad, green juice and organic snacks to tide me over, and after all, I am flying business.

My past year has been a real trip, especially with the passing of my divinely wonderful partner into the Great Beyond, i have been given the chance to explore both my outer and inner world. Actually I count myself blessed and very thankful…for so many things. My year of grief is not exactly over …the year, maybe, and still the tear-filled hits keep coming, though not as frequently, nor as strong.

I am thankful for the time I’ve had to process and embrace this immense change in my life. Too, I have had a revelation “I don’t miss Max anymore, because he is with me everyday, just not exactly in the flesh.” Therein lies the rub…his physical presence. You see he has visited me in a sort of “in-between world” where we have touched and even kissed. Weird, eh? Only having this sort of experience is kind of like dating a guy who is most of the time away on business, or worse leading a double life. The pluses include: I am always surprised when we meet, my experiences are very intense, though brief, I know I’m not dreaming, I’m becoming more in touch with my intuitive abilities… And our travel expenses are minimal since I’m the only one requiring an airline ticket, clothing, meals, etc.

Oops gotta pack up my stuff and get to the gate…Dallas here I come.
***
It’s hours later, midnight in Austin, yet where I sit – 35,000 feet in the sky, it is 6am and the next day. We land in an hour. Yawn. I’ve noshed, snoozed, visited the lav several times and watched a couple movies, and now it’s breakfast of fruit, a gluten free cookie and tea. My seat mate is the daughter of one of the flight attendants so I’ve had excellent service…since her mom has been attentive to a fault. Awe moms. Guess I’ve had the opportunity to see the mirror – I can be that way with my kids…and definitely with grandbaby Levi. Oy vey. And now we have landed in Frankfurt.
***
It’s now 4:30pm. I checked into the Steigenberger hotel near the airport and dreamily made my way to the restaurant for breakfast consisting of lox, sourdough pretzel bread (yes I have a temporary moratorium in gluten free to see if the bread here is tolerable to my system- or at least that’s my excuse), boiled egg, tea and jam. This is the most expensive breakfast I have ever consumed, 20+euros! Sheesh! Good though. Check in wasn’t for another hour so my eating dream got me through til I could get to my room.

Once in my room I immediately removed my shoes, futzed around with my luggage, got online, checked email, inspected the minibar – $6 for a mineral water the size of a baby bottle- can you believe it?!, turned on the tv, pretended to read a magazine, made a call, sent two texts and put my head on the pillow, and did the number one unadvised jet-lag no-no, promptly fell asleep for 4 hours. Did Max and I meet in my sleep? No we were too tired. Perhaps tonite, after dinner and my massage. Gotta get up early for my flight in the morning to Greece … Economy class.

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