Flying used to terrify me. As I spoke with a therapist about this, I came to the conclusion it is because I am not in control of my fate while sitting in an airplane. I have literally turned my life over to two strangers who I hope have as strong a desire to live as I do. It is a control thing, I know.
Control has had an active role in my life. I don’t view myself as a controlling person in a mean way, but I want to be able to control things in my world. I am wired in a way that when I am making plans, I think of all possible outcomes and contingencies for each of the outcomes. Yeah, it is pretty tiring. I want everything to be safe and snuggy in my world. You know the romantic comedies you have seen where the star breaks up with the “boring” boy/girlfriend and goes off with the “hero”? Well, let’s just say I could have been cast as the one who was dumped. But Don’s death changed all that.
My husband was the “I don’t know, let’s find out!” member of the family. It was all an adventure! I clearly remember sitting by his hospital bed while he was unconscious, tears streaming down my cheeks, promising him I would try to be more like him in my life’s outlook and activities. I wanted to be spontaneous! I would just have to plan it. . . I have tried and I don’t regret it for a minute. I travelled internationally for the first time, have increased courage, rappelled, repaired cars, sprinkler systems and appliances, driven big vehicles in the snow, and killed big, bad bugs. I have even eaten fish. Don’s death, something so horrible and uncontrollable, has given me the confidence to relinquish control and enjoy life.
“To play it safe is not to play.” -Robert Altman