Tales From Beyond the Lounge

Oh hey there readers and friends (and pardon my lack of commas apostrophes and semicolons as this keyboard somehow does not have them).  I am writing you from inside one of the most beautifully designed rooms in which I have ever been…

The Turkish AIrlines Business Lounge.

Believe me, I am not brand new to the idea of an elite airline lounge…that is not to say that I frequent them but this is a whole new level.

From the completely insane exterior to the high design concept of the interior this is truly a sight to behold.  Dont believe me?  Check out some pics.

TV lounge

Upper deck observation area

What you cannot see of course is the fact that as of this minute Nick and I have been IN this lounge for 14 hours (!) – and our flight does not take off for another 16 (!!).

We slept here last night huddled on the couches – we ate dinner here – we ate breakfast here – and as I write Nick is preparing to shower here so we can free ourselves from its (admittedly lovely) confines and try to find some local Istanbul flavor before we go.

You may be wondering at this point what one could possibly do to entertain herself during a 14-plus hour stay in an airport lounge.  Well let me enlighten you…

  • first thing we did was hit the free booze.  Hard.  It is literally a self-serve of anything you want from beer to wine to hard alcohol and all free mixers to boot.
  • next thing we did was go bananas on the Mediterranean food.  After taking several scout missions we found a mezze bar full of cheeses hummus and baba ghanoush followed by Turkish pizza and kofta kebab.  Desserts like baklava and chocolate cake washed it all down so nicely.
  • we sat and conversed by the player piano for a while which made us feel classy even in the context of the aforementioned overpouring of free booze – and we moved on from wine to scotch (for him) and Baileys (for me)
  • as we sat we saw a woman walk by with Massage Therapist printed on the back of her shirt and we nearly pounced on her like cats to a rodent.  Free 10-minute massages felt like luxurious one-hour rubdowns and we were grateful.
  • next up was finding somewhere decent to sleep.  We pushed a couple cushy chairs together joined with a cocktail table and laid across it like a (crappy) bed.  Neither of us is exactly short so this was no small feat but we managed to eke out a couple hours each.
  • the key word there is a couple of hours.  I couldn’t make myself sleep more than that so I began to wander – drinking two STRONG Turkish coffees to fuel my journey – and people-watch the two-thirty am lounge crowd.  I scanned for American accents and found one although I now think she was actually Canadian.
  • my wandering lasted so long that I actually made it through the overnight food service stoppage and into the breakfast service which included Turkish pastries flatbreads eggs and panini – all of which made their way onto my plate and into our stomachs
  • finally I retreated back to our makeshift bed zone to read from my Kindle (downloading a couple new books since the free WiFi is fast and readily available) and two (short-ish) books later brings us to now.

It doesnt seem like a lot really but let me tell you – with literal blizzard conditions outside and a flight to a tropical destination (and the REAL start to our honeymoon) just dangling in front of us like a carrot on a very long and sharp stick this is as productive a use of my time as I can determine right now.

Have you ever been stuck in an airport for over 24 hours?  What are your tips and tricks to stay sane?

The Anger Problem

I have a problem.  It’s an anger problem.  I’ve had it all my life.  My temper gets vicious, my pulse races, and my mind gets stuck on whatever the thing is thaCREATIVITY.t made me angry – and I can’t let it go.  

The anger haunts my peaceful thoughts, disrupts my sleep, and makes me feel shaky, volatile, and upset all day.  I’ll try and find a way to distract myself, or I’ll go to sleep at night thinking I’ve found closure, and then BOOM – the moment my thoughts drift back to the issue, or wake up, or am reminded of what I’m angry about, the feelings are there full force.

I once went to therapy (the single therapy session of my life, which shows you how much this issue weighs on me) to deal with anger and the therapist taught me deep breathing techniques, which I had also learned to do in yoga and do find very helpful and centering.  Deep breathing can help me deal with anger in the moment, meaning it will stop me from acting, speaking, or lashing out in ways I will regret.

That said, no amount of breath can stop the anger I am talking about here.  The resentful, righteous, insidious anger.  The type that can only come from an unresolved argument, deep-seated insult, or lifelong feud.  I am involved in an ugly situation right now and it has consumed my past few days; each day worse than the next; no resolution at all on the horizon.

My wonderful father, whose temper is much like my own but whose experience and demeanor helps him control it much more effectively than I can, told me yesterday to just let it go.  He assured me that while I am fully entitled to my anger, it does not help this situation, and what we can do is fix the issue to the best of our ability – and in doing so, we will release our own stress, leaving the other party to their own nasty feelings, hateful words, and incompetence.

He’s right.  I know it.  So why do I struggle so much to do it?

As emotions go, I’m not a very showy person.  I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve.  I don’t give others the opportunity to know what I’m feeling most of the time, particularly if those feelings are negative.  I tend toward putting on a happy face even if it betrays my heart.  This strategy helps me stay optimistic and in control, both of which I need for my own sanity.

But in putting on this emotional mask, I surrender my mind to the resultant internal struggle – the fight to combat the angry feelings that still remain, regardless of how I’ve decided to proceed in action.  Even if I let it go in practice, “it” still shuffles around my brain, deep in my lonely thoughts, poison to the productive parts of my life that demand my attention.

This week my goal is to let go of my anger, both at face value and deep inside.  If I can give myself permission to forgive and forget, perhaps I will be stronger for it.  I will retrain my brain to react not with that sharp and sudden pang of fury, but with a rooted and contented understanding that in situations like these, it is what it is, and only I can put my mind at ease.

How do you deal with anger?  Do you have a temper – and how do you keep it under control?