Life reminds me of sitting on the bullet train in Japan with your face pressed up against the window peering out as it flies past the buildings in a sickeningly fast speed. Life seems to move at such a fast pace it is a wonder how any parent can find the time to sit and talk to their kids, let alone find excellent time.
I am always looking for ways to lower the rate of life, to close out the unnecessary distractions which separate me from my children. We’ve become a bit of an unplugged family today. Our TV is out the equation as I had cancelled the cable and removed the antenna over five decades ago so that we can watch are scheduled family pictures of our choosing. We actually spend plenty of time together now, getting to know one another, and learning about one another. Our family has learned to make family time a daily ritual.
Another night we were all sitting round the table as I shared with my children about some exciting plane landings I had experienced in my previous travels. Certain airports were definitely the highlights, and one in particular was Kai Tak (heart attack) airport in Hong Kong.
I have had the excellent opportunity to go to Hong Kong on several occasions, and I remember on one of my first trips as we approached Kai Tak, the pilot came over the intercom in a calm voice and said, “Hang on to your trousers everybody, we’re just about to land at Kai Tak Heart Attack international Airport.” Everyone laughed as the huge passenger plane started to tilt sideways. I suddenly found myself looking down in Hong Kong. Sky Rise buildings whizzed past the plane window, and my heart immediately got stuck in my throat. I wasn’t positive when we were landing, or crashing.
My kids sat listening to my story and then my husband chimed in, “Have you ever seen a plane land at the airport in St. Martin?” I wasn’t acquainted with St. Martin Island in the Caribbean so that he decided to show us a You Tube video of a passenger airplane landing at Princess Juliana Airport – St. Martin.
As the movie opened up, I found myself gazing longingly in the crystal blue water, with gentle waves rolling onto the white sandy beach and many audiences looking out over the water. This is the visual I always think of when I want to go to my happy place during the harder times of life. Then my eyes fell upon a little dot in the sky that the bystanders were looking at, which was growing bigger and bigger.
I understood that this was off a plane in the distance coming toward the shore where the bystanders where all assembled. As the airplane approached, I could see that it was a huge passenger plane. The plane seemed to increase in size at an awesome rate. When it came, so did the deafening sound of screaming jet engines. It flew thick and low, just barely making it on the tops of the bystanders heads, almost split their hair, and just removed the chain link fence apparently by a foot since it then landed hard on the runway only feet from the fence.
The entire scene was so extraordinary to me that I found myself replaying the movie repeatedly. I was mesmerized from the peacefulness of the start of the video, along with the sudden turbulence that disrupted everything, just to maneuver quickly and be calm, beautiful and serene again.
I came to the realization that this movie absolutely depicts my life. I’ve learned to achieve a gorgeous peace and serenity in all that I do, raising 3 young children, one with special needs, running a company, traveling, managing a house, keeping a happy marriage, raising animals, homeschooling, assisting others in need, and now writing.
Every so often, life throws me a curve ball, however, very much like a 747 flying directly towards me, almost splitting the hairs on the top of my head, rattling my entire world for a minute. As quickly as it arrives, it moves, and I am left standing in my lovely tranquil beach with white sand, clear blue water and the noise of my children sweet laughter… knowing within my heart that another plane will be coming soon.
Because life is like an airport – Finding Peace Amongst All The Chaos – Here are some steps to take to find a calm place during these moments where the 747 is coming in for a landing over your mind:
1. Find a quiet location at your home or office, and attempt to make routine pit stops there to recharge your batteries or find some hearing back into your ears.
2. Breathe deep and love all that life deals you, the good and the bad. Because even good comes out of suffering.
3. Live one day at a time, and when times are really tough – one minute at a time.
4. Keep a detailed picture of your visual happy place in your thoughts, and see it through quiet moments, so that you can rely on it during tumultuous times.
5. Mark personal time on your calendar a couple of times per month on your own, and schedule some excellent date period for you and your partner. Also set up to spend some time with each of your kids too.
6. Try to learn to not take life so seriously.
7. Try to laugh.
8. When it all seems too much, hand everything over to the big man in the sky, and then try to relax.
9. Breathe into a brown paper bag.
10. Sit down, and begin planning a beautiful vacation somewhere sunny and hot, with crystal blue water and white sandy shores.
Remember, parenting is the hardest job we’ll ever do. And raising young kidds, although hard, is just temporary. Kids grow up quickly and proceed (most of them anyways). Try to enjoy and maximize the good times, and learn how to deal quickly with the difficult moments. Then come sit beside my loved ones on that white sandy beach where we could share our war stories together!