For those of you tireless readers who have been following this health journey, you know very well about my struggles with waiting. I have posts dedicated to my struggle (see Day 15), and have talked ad nauseum about the need to slow down, even stop, and pay attention to the beauty going on around us (see Days 57, 80, and 107). But, as I stood waiting, I discovered the Unexpected Health…in security lines.
Ever since September 11, our airports, travel, even packing requirements have become a haven for all sorts of unhealthy behavior: people seem more tense, more on-edge, and definitely more impatient the day they are traveling. You see people rolling their eyes at the person digging through their luggage trying to find their passport; you’ll notice the “stink eye” you get if you sound off the alarm when walking through security. You can just feel people saying to themselves, “How hard is it to remember to take off your METAL belt!?” (I set off the alarm for that very reason last time…oops!). But the Unexpected Health that resides right alongside your personal belongings on the conveyor belt of a security line is that standing in that line means you are going somewhere…and being able to travel outside of your comfort zone is healthy.
Security lines–and traveling–can be frustrating. But for every minute waiting in line, every security checkpoint, bag check, and ID requirement, you are one step, one minute, closer to being on a plane, traveling to a destination other than your home address. If you are standing in the security line awaiting your vacation to start, then you have the health benefit of journeying toward relaxation, rejuvenation, and exploration. If you are going away on business, then you are blessedly healthy because you have a job. You may hate your job or hate that you have to travel for your job, but in an economy that is experiencing unemployment rates like no other, you are lucky.
It is easy to see the glass half-empty; to stress out over check in lines, security lines, and bathroom lines. But when we step back and gain some perspective, I think we may take it easy on the person rifling through their belongings, stripping away their belt, shoes and laptops in front of us, and the slow-poke dragging their oversized carry-ons in the middle of a crowded walkway. We are at the airport to travel…and traveling is a healthy thing. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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