Just a Sunday. It’s the beginning of a new week. There’s a consensus that the days fly by at a jet’s speed. It’s difficult to understand the phenomenon. Why are the days passing at a quicker rate than ever before? To my understanding, it had to be the other way around – when I was engaged with children, students, studies, continuing education programs and meetings, parents, family, and friends the pace should have been much faster. And yet, that is not the case today, when I am retired, free to do whatever I want (at long last, Darling). The days are speeding now, maybe like the people who started flying at an astonishing frequency.
Drinking coffee, in front of the computer, reading some advertising in the mail, glancing at Facebook and reflecting on the day before. A Shabbat routine, some cooking, some laundry and a lot of “family.” I saw my three children, even though at varying levels of means and time. My eldest came for lunch. The younger one, stopped on his way from a trip to the north to a flight to the Far East, to take the laundry and grab some kisses. The one in-between made contact via the computer, to show my granddaughter and to tell the week’s happenings. It’s been a while since I sat and stared into thin air and thought, just thoughts floating in the air.
Suddenly I remembered one of the things that I accomplished yesterday – I bought airline tickets for my granddaughter’s birthday celebration. The one that I see mainly via the computer. Cannot hug, kiss, feel the incredible tenderness of babies. Then I scolded myself and ordered myself to stop being so Polish. How can I behave differently, as I have some Polish origin? Before the First World War Poland’s borders were almost completely wiped out and Poland almost ceased to exist. Between the two World Wars, the Polish borders moved back and forth so that even if my parents originally came from Lithuania and Ukraine, at some stage, it may be that they were under Polish rule. The Polish borders were finally settled only after the Second World War.
If we think it over, about what exactly am I complaining? My health is excellent, and my children are happy in their occupations and their lives. So what if one child is 24 hours away? There are far worse things. But human-beings always want more. There is no doubt that this is a great feature. That’s how we achieve progress, by striving for higher, for better, for faster and so on. I, however, merely want all my kids around me, like a hen. I comfort myself that even the chicks get older, become adult roosters and leave.
Most of my friends and family have at least one representative abroad, which means that we’re traveling a lot. Some are lucky and fly only one flight, 4-5 hours, yet there are those who need to circle the globe to get to see their children. I’m somewhere in the middle (Midwest, Darling). Only one of my children is abroad. “My overseas” is not very far, yet not near enough, somewhere in between. Thus, to visit the kids, airline tickets are needed. Usually, I buy tickets six months and more in advance. I always check on many sites what are the most convenient flights available. At my age, I am looking less about the price and more at conveniences. I still remember traveling with the cheapest airline, flights that go in the middle of the night, meaning a sleepless night, in the most crowded tourist cabin, which landed at the farthest airport, yet they were the cheapest!
When flights become a way of life, and you have a penny in your pocket, you also start looking at waiting times at the airports, space between the seats, and flights hours. Yesterday, I bought the tickets in a few minutes. I got flights with the least waiting times and the most convenient take-off hours as they were the first option I found. A real surprise. I was thrilled and glad that I don’t have to waste my time in searching. The hours of sitting in front of the computer for the hunt of convenient flights have already become a burden. And how did this miracle happen? I think it’s the low-cost effect. People are looking for cheap flights so that more expensive ones are sold more slowly.
The last word: That’s the meaning of a “win-win” situation.