Planes, Trains and Automobiles! That’s all I could think about yesterday when my family arrived in England for our family holiday. Bringing to mind the movie that made me laugh so hard I cried. We were the epitome of the tourists with too much luggage trying to act like locals by taking trains to get trains to get to our ultimate destination.
Only to find my greatest challenge and fear becoming the giant elephant in the room – giant escalators everywhere we turned. Each time we encountered one, my heart would race. My mouth would go dry and my body would start to shake almost to the point of hyperventilating. I could not conquer my fear. In fact it kept getting worse with each escalator. I had to find an elevator even if it meant us having to go outside to get to the next part of the train station. My fear of riding escalators escalating to the point that everyone was frazzled. My husband yelling at me because he thought I was being ridiculous. Me yelling at him because I felt he was dismissing my phobia. Our children looking at us then at each other and shrugging their shoulders. The tension building to the point where we were barely speaking to each other. What we looked like to our fellow travelers I don’t know. But I was not going to get on any of those escalators particularly since I felt unbalanced with the large pieces of luggage!
Just when I felt like taking my bags and catching the next plane back home, the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles popped into my head and I started to laugh. Shifting my energy instantly. Making me realize just how important it is to laugh at ourselves when the going gets tough. When we feel like everything is going against us and completely the opposite to the way we planned.
Laughter is a cure for it all because it genuinely soothes the soul. Replaces displeasure with pleasure. Anger with joy. And also makes us realize just how much time we waste when we allow anger to consume us. How irrational we become. How uncompassionate and inflexible. Totally against our natural state of being. It also made me realize just how much energy it takes to be angry and how light I feel when I laugh.
Then I looked around at everyone hustling through the airport. At all the people on journeys anxious to get to their destinations and I laughed again. Thinking how much time we spend being angry, anxious and frustrated about reaching our destinations rather than going with the flow and enjoying the journey along the way.
Then I looked at my family looking like the typical tourists with all of our bags piled up high on the trolley and laughed again until all anger dissipated. Accepting I have a true phobia of heights and it is something I have to deal with but for that moment I would just do what I had to do to make our journey that much smoother. And off we went together. No more bickering. No more shouting matches. Just getting on with the rest of our journey.
Planes, trains and automobiles. It is always good to bring humor into the most unpleasant situations. Allowing us to shift our energy to go with the flow and see where we end up. Too much luggage, car booked for the wrong day, one mishap after the other and all. Letting all that go. Instead laughing it off allowing space for gratitude to creep back in and seeing the adventure of starting our vacation together for what it was – a time for us to be together without worrying about work or anything else. Spending time together. Enjoying new experiences and just being together. Here’s to the start of a family adventure and journey together with humor and gratitude.
***About Catherine Duffy – A woman in search of truth. A wife trying to love unconditionally. A mother trying to raise good citizens. A writer bursting through. Enjoying life’s journey. Catherine can be found @duffy_catherine and on her blog from Bermuda · http://bermudacat.blogspot.com.