On Tap This Year

In case you missed it, I updated the list of things to do this year. I gave myself a bit of leeway last year and held out on being disappointed that I didn’t accomplish all 35 things before my birthday in December but then January rolled around and I realized, hey, this life is getting stale. I need some new motivation. So there it is, in black and white for all to see.

The problem is, it’s January. January sucks for motivation. I hurt myself running so I feel a bit like, eh, what’s the point of having a half-marathon as a goal for this year? And I’m nevah evah going to speak German like a Deutscher, so why bother, right? (As a side note: the diva’s teachers at Kita say she’s been correcting their pronunciation of German words so that they speak them with a more American accent. My God, what have I done? It’s English only from here on out with that babe.)

And then I started changing my mind. I think I want to add “watch a Barca game in Barcelona” to the list.  Can I do that? Just change my goals like that? I’ve never been much of a goal setter but I feel like these things are important for my sanity right now. I’m learning how to be alone and how to be a grown-up and goals, I think, are key to that. Otherwise, you just sit around in your sweatpants eating potato chips and lamenting the things you could’ve done with your life and then you realize, shit, I’m 50, where did my life go. Right?

So my goals for this year are to not just sit around. To travel a lot, both alone and with the kid. I even added another tab here, with my goal destinations this year. If I have my way, I’ll be in France, Greece, Denmark, and Switzerland before summer’s even here.

But that means I have to get over my fear of flying. I have a dream of a doctor who prescribed me something the Germans like to call Holy Shit pills to take the edge off. I no longer feel like I’m going to vomit at the thought of getting on a plane. I don’t need to knock myself out with Benadryl and stumble down the aisles of an Airbus 320 every five minutes to look in the bathroom mirror to convince myself that yes, I am 32,000 feet above the earth but everything is a-ok. Now I can actually sleep through a flight. As the Diva explained to everybody who’d listen, Mama can snore through seven different videos being played on the little video screen on the back of the seat (raised mostly tv-less, she is not excited about being an airplane but about Mama not giving a shit when she watches Minnie Mouse Clubhouse).

But I’m no Liza Minnelli; I don’t need pills to get through life. So I’m going to first work on getting over my fear of flying, which is, bizarrely enough, not an actual fear of flight but of loss. Because as anyone who’s an expat knows, getting on that airplane means leaving things behind, even things you hate. And even if for just a short amount of time. So yeah, working on that. But first, I gotta get motivated, which, in the shite white wonderland, is going to take a little while. For now it’s back to potato chips and yoga pants on the couch.

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6 thoughts on “On Tap This Year

  1. Steven January 27, 2013 / 1:13 pm

    Is your fear of flying about the heights? Or is it just something else? Have you written more about fear of flying elsewhere in your blog? (If you’d rather not talk about it, that’s ok too. I’m just curious.)

  2. Milly January 27, 2013 / 1:35 pm

    It’s a good question, and without delving into too many (more) personal details, it really is about loss. Every single time I get on a plane, I am leaving something behind and the association between loss and flight is too big for me to get over. Instead of mourning the loss, I dread the flight.

    Andy at http://www.groundedtraveler.com/ turned me onto the idea of the pills, which really do help quell the anxiety but as my very nice dr recently told me, if I’m going to travel as much as I do, I need to get “real” help for the phobia. There are fear of flying courses, but those would be lost on me. I already know the mechanics of flight very well. I understand wheels up and banking and turbulence very well (self-helped my way through that when I first recognized the fear… and it quelled the fear until my life became unstable again).

    Another friend suggested Gestalt therapy to prevent what’s known as “catastrophe thinking” — which can really get you worked up. But I have a very real but very silly disorder from my work with trauma that results in me being unable to cry or feel sadness about my own life (empathy is hundredfold, I just can’t feel sorry for myself)… so my grief over what I’m leaving behind manifests itself in a fear of flying. Add to that the bullshit stress that is flying in the 21st century, I can be a real mess by the time I get on the plane. The flight itself is nearly always fine, just the anticipation (of what I’m leaving behind and how difficult it will be without that person/thing) is unbearable. So grief therapy is in the cards, I guess.

    • Steven January 29, 2013 / 3:01 am

      That’s very interesting. It sounds like you’ve already given this a tremendous amount of thought and consideration. I hope you work it all out.

  3. Dan June 10, 2013 / 1:02 pm

    Totally with you on that fear of flying thing. To me it’s the lack of control. People use statistics to tell you that you are more likely to get seriously harmed on a regular car trip than in a plane, but at least in the car I am at the wheel. In a plane the last thing I would do is probably grin and thinking “Runter kommen’se alle!”. Funnily, my first ever flight …I actually enjoyed. The second and third ones – alright. It was just later when I grew more and more uncomfortable with it and I have succesfully avoided flying for almost a decade now. Yes, I’d rather drive my car up to Manchester although I was more likely to kill myself turning the wrong way into a roundabout.

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