Papers are written. Exams are taken. Grades are being turned in. Life is good. Time to head home!
Going to school a million miles away from home has made me a frequent flier. I think in terms of flights and never put anything I can't take on an airplane in my purse for fear that it won't leave before I fly next and therefore will be confiscated. I store my 3oz liquids in quart-sized Ziploc bags. Flying is the story of my life. This year alone I've flown 15 times (not counting lay-overs). I'm pretty sure that qualifies me as being able to go through the expert traveler line at security.
Well, today I flew on autopilot (pun unintended). I went through security, took of my shoes, pulled out my bag of liquids, arranged my bags in order so that it's easiest to pick them up on the other side, and walked through the metal detector. This no longer worries me. I've been selected for extra screening in the past; I've got nothing to hide therefore don't mind the magic wand. Today, I made it through and was waiting for my bags when I heard it, "Bag check!" Crap. It's mine. "Laptop!" CRAP! How often do I fly? When is the last time I flew? Not really a big deal, they pulled my laptop out and run the bag through again, but I felt like an idiot. I should know better. I think I forgot I had it with me because last time I flew (two weeks ago) I didn't bring it.
Just wait, it gets better.
I realize I'm halfway through the concourse before I even bothered to look at the monitor to see where my gate was located. Thank goodness I was headed in the right direction. I buy my customary bottle of water and something to snack on (I can almost never eat on "airplane days"...I've come to accept it rather than fight it), take a seat at the gate, and start to read. I pondered briefly if my bag would fit in the overhead compartment. No, it won't. Sadness! Gate check. See you at baggage claim, wonderful blue bag I carry-on so as not to have to wait at baggage claim... They began boarding the flight, so I walked up with my ticket in hand and was halfway through the tunnel before I realized I didn't know what zone I was sitting in. I knew my seat assignment, but they load by zones, so I shouldn't be allowed to board the plane until my zone is called. I definitely think I boarded with the "Parents with small children, and people needing extra time or assistance." Oops. In my defense, I think they might have called, "Gold, Silver, and Preferred customers" which IS me, but I couldn't prove that. Oh, well.
Sometimes when we do something so often it becomes ritual. What once was so important it was the only thing you could focus on for days has become so mundane that it barely crosses your mind. Pay attention when you do something ritual because otherwise you miss important steps. Ask yourself why you're going to church today and be sure you know what the pastor discussed. Don't simply read your Bible because it's what you do every morning but take a look at what the words actually say. Think. Don't just do.
Oh, I did make it home safely, picked up my bag, and headed out to the car when it hit me. It hit like knives piercing through my skin. Ladies and gentlemen, it is FIVE degrees Fahrenheit here. Welcome to Alaska, Katie. Merry Christmas!