Friday, January 27, 2012

Q&A - Part III

Wow - it's been 3 months since I last did a post to answer your questions from my 950th post celebration! Shame. on. me.

In the last edition, I said next up was talking about my fears - specifically my colossal fear of flying. Here are the fear-related questions that I was asked:

Pam asked: if you could face one of your fears head on which one would it be? [ie. flying]

Well, I will be the first to admit that I have oodles of fears. Too many. I'm not entirely sure which would be the one that I would single out to face. Flying seems like the obvious one and it does fit the theme of the next couple of questions...

But just in case some of you were curious as to [some of] my other fears - here's a quick snippet: tornadoes, really loud thunderstorms, moths, grasshoppers, change, dying, the end of the world, heights, cancer or other terrible illnesses plaguing me or one of my family members, losing a child, the stomach flu, being trapped in small spaces...oh the list could go on and on.

My lovely aunt Margo asks: My question (and maybe challenge) is ~ when are you going to fly?! Since that is a shared fear (might I even call it a phobia?) I feel like it's ok to "confront" the topic. As much as I HATE to fly, it certainly does open up the world. I have flown to 3 different locations (totalling 13 ups and downs!!) in the past 10 months. If I can do it, you definitely can!

Ummm...I'm sure Les would like an answer to that question, too, of "when are you going to fly?" Of course my gut reaction is to say NEVER. I really wish that things would change where I could actually picture myself flying somewhere in the future (for Les' sake much more than my own), but if I'm being completely honest, I just don't see that happening.

I know there are lots of people who fly even though they have the same phobia, exactly like my aunt. And to them I say "Good for you - I'm impressed!"

But for myself? If I even think about it too much, I get very panicky. Sometimes when I'm outside and I'm looking high up in the sky at an airplane in flight, I try to imagine myself w-a-y up there in that plane...and I seriously have to keep myself from having a panic attack. It just doesn't seem natural; nobody should be that high up in the sky in a huge aircraft like that. I need to remind myself that I am not on that plane. My feet are, in fact, firmly planted on the ground.

I have had many dreams nightmares about being on airplanes. They never end well. Not that I always crash, but I always freak out and I wake up completely terrified. I think some of those dreams stem from the way my sibling would scare me growing up. They would threaten that they would knock me unconscious and drag me on an airplane and when I'd wake up, I'd be thousands and thousands of feet up in the air. GAH!!

Some people have made comments to me like, "Don't you feel bad for keeping your kids from going on trips?" And to that I say, Pa-shaw! When we were growing up, we never flew anywhere for vacations. We drove. And drove...and drove...and drove. Not everyone needs to fly to an exotic location to give their family a memorable vacation experience. My children are not going to be deprived of anything because of their Mother's fear of flying. Besides, not everyone can afford those kinds of trips anyway, fears or not! A lot of people end up doing more of their traveling when their kids are adults and out of the house anyway - you know, when their children are able to go on trips themselves...with their own families!

But I feel like I'm going off on a bit of a tangent here. ;) Bottom line: I really don't think that I will ever fly anywhere (and to be fair, Les was well aware of that when we first starting dating!!). Fear isn't logical and fear can't really be measured from one person to the next.

(Doesn't mean Les is going to stop trying to convince me though...)

Tammi asked: If your family were given or won a trip that included flying, how would you handle it? And if you HAD to fly for a vacation, where would you want to go to make it worth the ordeal of flying to get there?!

These are tough questions to answer, because it's really not very likely that we will ever be given (or win) a trip. And we would never really HAVE to fly for a vacation - it would be a choice.

But to refer back to my previous answers of saying that I really don't think I would ever fly anywhere, I would have to say that we would probably decline the trip. Call me crazy (it wouldn't be the first time) but that's just the way I feel.

Taking this in a slightly different direction, I have thought about other scenarios where I might be forced to fly. And really the only way I could see that I wouldn't have an option is if one of my girls would one day move overseas (again, not overly likely). If I had a child living across an ocean - where driving there wasn't an option - and especially if I had grandchildren living there...well, let's just hope that doesn't ever happen because again, just thinking about it completely terrifies me.


Now, some of you may be bothered by my answers - or certainly frustrated with them at least. But they are my own feelings on my own fears. I just want to request that I don't get any comments listing statistics (again - fear isn't logical, so statistics ain't gonna do any good for me), or telling me everything that I'm missing by not flying, or that I need to trust God more - that the airplane will be in His hands. This particular phobia of mine is absolutely paralyzing and at this point in my life, nothing's going to change that and I just ask that you respect that.

I promise my next issue of Q&A won't take another three months to get published. But I also promise that it will be on a much lighter note: broken down cars, restaurants, movie stars and $100,000.....


jen said...

Well, I respect your fear of flying. I myself love it but know that there are others that are not comfortable with the thought of it! Since we have done both with our kids, while flying gets you there faster, there definitely are so many joys of road trips! So much more to see and experience! Road trips for my girls have been great for learning about cities, climate changes, landscapes and different cultures along the way to our destinations! Road trips = awesome family fun!!! One question. Have you ever considered taking the train for a Canadian vacation? Another great learning experience for kids!!! And its relaxing!

TammyIsBlessed said...

You're definitely not depriving your kids of anything! Glad you "p-shawed" that one!

Good for you for being honest and transparent.

Sheila said...

Growing up I had experienced both flying and road trips, and I remember that the roads trips were SO FUN!! You don't need to fly somewhere in order to have a vacation!