I am traveling for Christmas. I’ve discovered that traveling on the actual holiday removes some of the stress of traveling during the holidays, and so I will arise at the crack of way-before-dawn and head to the airport Christmas morning.
What I’ll find when I get there is anyone’s guess. I’m a proactive worrier, so I’ve spent a good part of my week scrutinizing the weather forecasts in the cities on my flight path. Things were looking iffy there for a while, but the possibility of snowdrifts has been declining steadily, so I can turn my concerns elsewhere – such as whether I can fit everything into a bag that I can carry on the plane.
I might look for the worst when I fly, but I always hope for the best.
I have a layover in Detroit, in a terminal that is one of my favorites. I have two hours there, so I’ll get in some walking, grab a cup of coffee and a New York Times and watch little kids watching the computer-programmed fountain. It’s all good.
These days I’m trying to stress less. I can feel my mindset shifting, slowly, as I try to spend more of my time living my life and less time thinking about it. Here at the end of another 12-month roller-coaster ride, a flight through the air with unanticipated adventures along the way feels like a metaphor as I head into the new year. What awaits me as I take flight into 2011? More important, how can I move forward to embrace it instead of holding back, uncertain?
New Year’s Eve is my least-favorite holiday: the societal expectations are so high, and so rarely achieved. But it has one advantage: it marks a divide, gives us permission to put the old behind us, wipe the slate clean and try again to be the people we know we can be. This year, we vow, we’ll finally get it right. This will be my favorite year.
And so as I soar through the clouds, I will embrace this season of possibility.