Waiting at the Airport

Posted in #AgeWell

Written by Annie Laskey, Events Director, Pasadena Senior Center

Breath of Fresh Air 02When the southland went into lockdown back in March 2020, I offered to write a blog for the Senior Center’s website, to give us some content during the few weeks we’d be closed. Remember when we thought it would be a few weeks?

As the weeks, and months, of isolation were extended and extended, I dutifully and joyfully continued writing a 500-word weekly blog as my small way of staying connected and staying cheerful through all of this. What a lark! I got to try my hand at being a columnist! I wrote a total of thirty-four blogs in 2020, about 17,000 words.

Then came 2021. It wasn’t exactly that I’d run out of ideas; I had run out of the will to write. Frankly, I’d run out of the will to do just about anything. Tired of cooking, tired of talking, tired of walking around the neighborhood. Very tired of Zoom. What was my problem? I’d managed ten months fairly well, why hit a wall now?

The other day, I was emailing my new friend Tim Albert in England (the author who guested on one of our Zoom programs in December), and I realized that this all reminded me of waiting at the airport.

Ever been alone at the airport when your flight was delayed or cancelled, and you couldn’t just go back home? You can’t wander very far because 1) you’re already through security, and 2) you’ve probably got at least one carry-on bag you have to haul around with you. You can’t go sound asleep, because you have to keep one ear and eye open for an announcement that might not come for hours. Being on the semi-alert, it’s hard to concentrate. You flip open your laptop, tablet, or phone but get bored and close it up again. You (and all your luggage) take a stroll around the airport shops, looking at things you don’t want and buying things you don’t need. You sit back down and read a few chapters of an “airplane novel” you brought with you, something familiar that won’t take too much of your brain. Then you get up again and pull all that luggage behind you as you go get a coffee or a breakfast burrito or a donut or nachos or a sandwich or fries. And so it goes.

We’re all in that airport purgatory right now. So, as we all wait for the fog to lift and the world to take off again, it isn’t surprising that enthusiasm is at a low ebb, and distraction is in full flow. Accept it. I’m trying to. So, in between wandering around my own personal waiting room (at least I’m not pulling luggage behind me) with frequent trips to the food court (i.e., kitchen) and occasional trips to (virtual) shops, I’m enjoying my airplane reading and trying not to stress out too much. If my attention span is shorter than it was, so be it. I can always just take another nap before returning to my laptop to continue with work and Zoom. And my blog.