Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

This Nickel and Dime Time

Either you're in it comfortably, or it owns your ass. When you're in it, there's no sense of it, and your mindful presence can move freely about in all directions without worrying about direction. When it owns you, it's omnipresent and visceral and presses in on you from all directions with every direction being a painful reminder of where you've been and where you think you're going.

Or where you need to go. Like 15 miles at 30-35 miles per hour to eventually fly home from our Hawaiian vacation. Of course, first-world problems and all that, and we left in plenty of time to get to the airport on time, but it all started with the email alert.

The email alert from the airline saying to arrive at least 2.5 hours early because the security lines will be longer than usual (and you don't want to miss your flight). The parenthetical part of the previous sentence wasn't in the email alert, but they might as well have written it.

And that's when it owned my ass. "Amy, we need to leave a little earlier to make sure we get there in time."

"Don't worry, we will," she replied.

And we did leave a little early. Kind of. But the stretch of slow road with stop lights and the Hawaiian pace of "hang loose, brah" poked and prodded at my patience. The Mama, what I lovingly call my wife, doesn't have the same reactive behavior I display when it comes to time owning my sensibilities and flopping me back and forth on the ground like a baby playing with a new toy for the first time. Or the tenth time.

No, the Mama is quite the opposite, cool as as a cucumber, one of my least favorite vegetables in fact (insert tongue in cheek and head into butt). It was then the moments came like invisible poison darts from all directions and I squirmed in my seat and sighed audibly. I tried my best to be in the moment instead.

"I know I get stressed. But I know we'll get there just fine. Right?" I said to the Mama, not really all that convinced.

"Yes, Sweetie. We'll be fine."

But mile after slow mile flattened me like new gravities adding up while the Mama and the girls talked away about their favorite parts of vacation. I chimed in mechanically, but the poison from the imaginary time darts had already entered my blood stream and all I could think about was the nickel and dime time of all the little things that needed to be done that eats away at me like returning the rental car and then hauling all of us and our stuff onto the shuttle to the airport check-in and checking our bags and then slowly making our way through security where we could eat a quick bite before we boarded the plane and then me rushing the Mama and the girls to hurry up and eat and then the Mama saying don't rush me sweetie and that she wanted to take a quick look in the gift shop with the girls and then me saying they will close boarding at 10 minutes after the hour if we aren't there and her saying we'd be fine and my head swirling as if flushed down a toilet and then we all had to use the bathroom one more time and fill up our water bottles before heading to our gate and getting on the plane and sitting in our seats and the plane door actually closing 10 minutes after the hour just like I thought while I thought about the unsettled dreams I had just a few nights earlier about past do-overs that can never be done, and the waking lessons I want to leave my children with someday and the reality of vacation bills and work and saving money to do it all again next year while each year passing on more and more life lessons to the girls and their teenage angst-filled years to come and then paying for college if they go to college and then —

Breathe.

All of which would eventually happen as we turned onto the main airport drive and headed to the rental car return.

It can certainly own your ass, this nickel and dime time. I recommend cashing in on being in it when you can. Amen.


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