Tag Archives: airplanes

Day 96 vs 113- Happiness is … a magic carpet ride with friends


In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂


Be Vicarious Day 96 – “Vicarious happiness is only slightly less impossible than vicarious breathing.” ~ me

What in life can truly be experienced vicariously? Probably nothing. However, if I had to choose, perhaps it would heartbreak & death. Traveling the world I’d rather do myself. Until I get around to it though, I will greedily fill my happiness bucket with hand me down travel tales.

I once had the totally sane idea to sell everything and backpack around the world, writing about our adventures and selling the articles to travel magazines, homeschooling the kids along the way, maybe finding a nice place to hide out for a few years. As that was at the beginning of the end of my marriage, I’m sure there is pseudo psychology galore to delve into there, but it turns out I’m not the only one with crazy travel ambitions.

A woman I know personally and would describe as having a fabulous, yet perfectly sane family, did recently backpack around Europe. They blogged their travels. They home schooled the kids. They lived my dream. And even more recently, I un-enviously sipped and savoured my way through her stories, broadened my view of the world through her eyes, and felt somehow more sophisticated just for knowing her.

And then we talked about relationships and work and the weather. We gossiped, we shared, we hugged, we commiserated and congratulated, we laughed and enjoyed, and we could have been any two women anywhere in the world.

What in life should never be attempted vicariously? Probably everything. Definitely not friendship. That’s one experience I’d travel the world for.

carbon footprint reality. And yet...

the sun is always shining above the clouds

Flying Day 113 –

“Happiness is a myth we seek,
If manifested surely irks;
Like river speeding to the plain,
On its arrival slows and murks.
For man is happy only in
His aspiration to the heights;
When he attains his goal, he cools
And longs for other distant flights.” ~
Kahlil Gibran
Cars must seem magical to babies. Climb in a machine at place A, fall asleep and when you climb out…tada… new place. Like peek-a-boo. Cover your face and baby is truly in awe of your disappearance. Remove the hands and… tada… magic. Planes are the grown up version of peek-a-boo for me. The new place you arrive at when you climb out of the magic metal machine was always in existence, but somehow it’s like it has just revealed itself from behind hands of invisibility, a perfect world with living people, water flowing in creeks, trees and wind and rain.
I woke up in my bed in my room in my rented house with snow for a view and four hours later I am stepping out into a green world where I truly wonder if my bed still exists. Later on I will climb into a bed far from my room and my rented house and my life. Planes are an escape hatch for life.
The list of things I love about airports:
  • the panic of overweight baggage
  • the adrenaline rush of patting yourself down for tickets and documentation every 5 minutes
  • the vicarious emotion from witnessing long hug holds between those about to step onto the Hogwarts platform and those being left behind
  • the insanity of chugging a bottle of water just to pass the security check point and then refill it from a fountain 5 feet away…
  • the realization that I have not paid for parking and need to exit the secured area in order to do so and then re-chug the water to pass through security again…
  • the prayer that the plane has a working bathroom because the secured waiting area in small airports does not
  • the sound of suppressed excitement between strangers pretending to preoccupy their time with books and music, seating themselves as far from each other as possible, glancing furtively to determine who they are about to be shoulder rubbing on the plane and wondering if they should have taken more Cold FX and if that baby is going to cry during the whole flight
  • the way the air changes between the airport and the plane

And then I am on the plane. My hands tremble with the thrill of unwrapping the hard candy that I will pop into my mouth only once the plane starts moving. My hands are still tingling as I unwrap the second candy just minutes later. This time I wait. I wait for the feeling of being gently melded to my seat, the ear pulsing push of the magical machine hurtling down the runway. I pop the candy, touch my fingers to my neck for the security of my St. Christopher, close my eyes, and as I feel the lift, that imperceptible shift of gravity – of reality – I inhale. For a moment it feels as though my expanding lungs are lifting my body and I am flying. For a moment, there is magic.


So…it has come to this !

Friends who meet you at the airport in fancy cars with a hot travel mugs of tea are out of this world. Wonder if I’d get that same treatment from couchsurfing …

Rating:  Vicarious Day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (getting together with old friends is always exciting)
  • Twitch – I’d be ok with experiencing twitches vicariously
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (getting together with friends that know the right things to say is better than exciting)

Rating:  Flying Day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (ok positively trembling with glee, but one point docked for a 4 am start)
  • Twitch – even at 30, 000 feet
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (when the plane lands successfully, it can’t be anything but a 5 out of 5)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Dance and Dance in the Rain.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.


Day 17-Happiness is … 30,000 feet up


“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”  ~Mark Twain

Airplanes are a great place for learning life lessons. Possibly, the most important is the oxygen mask rule. Always attach your own oh-so-stylish apparatus before trying to help anyone else because no-one can appreciate you when you’ve passed out, (or you look better than they do in a crisis). So, no matter how smurf-like the child next to you becomes, look after yourself first.

Other ‘everything I ever needed to know I learned on an airplane‘ rules are:

1) Your son’s school backpack may explode like a parachute when you open it, but you will THUD if you try to use it as a parachute.

  • Jump (into life or for joy) but double check you can land safely – risk assessment people!
  • Things and people aren’t always what they seem.
  • No-one should open a child’s backpack without first attaching an oxygen mask.

2) It’s not that life is short, it’s just that death is so long. – Scottish proverb

  • We are all in this boat together – do unto others and all that.
  • The pilot doesn’t want to die anymore than you do (a gem from mum). Trust those around you, (especially the experienced ones), to help you when you need it.
  • An unwashed, loud seat mate on a trans atlantic flight will make time feel longer than death, but there’s no assigned seating in life; if you don’t like where you are or who you’re next to…move.
3) The best use for airplane intercoms is to train people to hear patterns in the white noise and to inform them that turbulence will be testing their bladder control for the next bit of eternity…not only are you not allowed out of your seat to join the queue for the toilet, we are going to bounce you up and down a bit. Have a nice flight.
  • You can always learn from others, even if you don’t speak the same language
  • Just because you don’t understand someone, doesn’t mean they are wrong and you are right
  • Be like the Queen…when it comes to bathroom breaks, never miss an opportunity (another mum-ism)
Let’s take it from the top. Lifting other’s up is grand, but first things first. What would you do to cheer up a friend? Does anyone do those things for you? If not, do them yourself. After all, the only person you can ever truly count on in life, is you. (once again, thanks mum)

Daffodils, the official happiness flower, smiling at me when I wake up.

Today I bought myself flowers. I love waking up to the sight of fresh flowers on my nightstand. I did not go as far as having them delivered to myself (though I thought of that) or writing myself a nice card, but why not?? I also refrained from using them as a game piece & told the truth when asked by an ex, “So, who bought you flowers…”.
I feel magnanimous. I feel happy. I feel like a daffodil.*
* In an episode of Chuck, a rock star gets hits with a tranquilizer dart and as he passes out he says, “I feel like a daffodil.” I’ve always wondered how it would feel to be a daffodil; maybe this is it.

So…it has come to this !

Backpacks on – check. Bathroom break – check. Being flowerish – check.  3,2,1…lift off!

Rating: Buy flowers day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (I have a small aversion to spending $ on things I know will die in about a week-death is so long after all. It is better to get them on someone else’s dime.)
  • Twitch – yep
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (Opening my eyes to flowers really is one of the best ways to start the day)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Create a comfort station. Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.