First, I’ve heard the research about all those nasty recycled germs floating around airplanes. If the cabin air is contaminated, I can only imagine what’s lurking inside those lavatories.
Second, we’re talking teeny-tiny elbowroom. I’m not normally claustrophobic, but airplane restrooms make port-a-potties feel roomy.
The third reason has less to do with the actual restroom, and more to do with the awkward task of shuffling down that narrow aisle on the way to the restroom. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this particularly challenging. MS often makes me feel dizzy or off-balance. Add a bumpy plane ride into the equation and it becomes nearly impossible to make it down the aisle without touching or bothering someone.
So, there I sat in the first row of a small, commuter puddle-jumper airplane, headed to Chicago. And let’s just say, “nature” called. Which, by the way, is often an URGENT call for people with MS.
I glanced around the front of the plane. No bathroom. Just me and the pilots. I looked toward the back. Ugh. Better go before I get trapped behind a beverage cart.
I unbuckled my seatbelt, stood up, and – WHAM! – smacked my head against the ceiling. Dang! I always forget about low ceilings on small airplanes. I rubbed my head and smiled awkwardly at the lady who stared at me from row two.
I took a deep breath and surveyed the obstacles before me.
A teenaged boy stretched out his long leg and blocked my path with his (I’m guessing) size 14 shoe. An old man leaned into the aisle, reading a Wall Street Journal. A young mom passed her screaming baby across the aisle to her husband.
All the while, I kept moving forward. Baby steps to the bathroom. The plane bounced and swayed. Baby steps to the bathroom. I tried not to touch anyone. Baby steps to the bathroom. Please God, don’t let me end up on somebody’s lap.
Finally, I made it to the restroom and got the job done. I washed my hands and flushed the toilet (which is another thing I hate about airplane bathrooms).
As I trekked back to my seat, an amusing thought struck me. Maybe I should blog about this. I could already picture the title. “Five easy steps for turning something you hate (like nasty airplane restrooms) into something you love (like writing). The wheels in my head started turning. Let’s see. How would I begin?
We might be afraid we’re going to stumble. Or look like a fool. Baby steps past the fussy baby …
But we need to take life one step at a time. If we stumble, it’s okay. Baby steps past Big Foot Boy …
We need to step out of our comfort zones – no matter how turbulent the ride! At least we’re moving forward!
As I reached my seat, I gave the lady in row two a confident smile. That’s it, I thought. We need to celebrate our small victories along the way. I leaned over to take my seat. – WHAM! Ouch. Stupid low ceilings. And most importantly, we need to remember to stay humble.