Taxi­ing through life

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

My wife is ter­ri­fied of flying. Al­ways has been. Back when we were de­cid­ing on a hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tion, I con­vinced her we should try Hawaii — and she spent the flight so on edge that it must have taken years off her life. I felt ter­ri­ble. It was the last time she went on a plane. That was 15 years ago.

Her pho­bia hasn’t in­ter­fered too much with our lives up un­til now. We live within driv­ing dis­tance of all her ex­tended fam­ily mem­bers.

The is­sue has to do with my par­ents, who live out of state. They used to come visit us once a year, and I’d usu­ally fly out to see them once a year on my own or with one of our kids. But they’re get­ting older, and trav­el­ing is be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult for them. I would re­ally like my wife to visit them with me at least once a year. She loves my par­ents, but she’s so pet­ri­fied of flying that she doesn’t even con­sider it an op­tion.

Do you have any tips to help calm the nerves of an anx­ious flier? Or should I give up try­ing to con­vince her?

— Grounded

It’s time to ground your wife’s nerves. Try to talk to her about what it is she is so afraid of. Is it the ac­tual flying or that she might have a panic at­tack on the plane? In­quir­ing about her fears will help her feel sup­ported and more con­nected to you.

After she opens up, she might con­sider try­ing hyp­nother­apy, which some for­merly anx­ious fliers swear by. Cog­ni­tive be­hav­ioral ther­apy, which asks peo­ple to ex­am­ine their thoughts and the ev­i­dence (or lack thereof) that they have for their thoughts, is an­other op­tion. If you still can’t get her to agree to planes, there are al­ways trains and au­to­mo­biles. Although a road trip re­quires more time off work, who knows? Maybe the trav­el­ing time would be a great bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for you and your wife.

I get so many re­turn ad­dress la­bels in the mail that I could wall­pa­per my whole house with them! I did not ask for them, and I don’t need them. They are such a waste. Could you please print the con­tact info for the of­fice that peo­ple can call to get their names off these lists? You will be do­ing a lot of us a great ser­vice.

— Spammed

The Di­rect Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion is a trade or­ga­ni­za­tion com­pris­ing thou­sands of busi­nesses that send di­rect mail. In the in­ter­est of pla­cat­ing the pub­lic, DMA built a web­site, DMA­choice.org, that lets you ad­just set­tings to re­ceive less or dif­fer­ent pro­mo­tional mail.

In ad­di­tion, reg­is­ter with Cat­a­logChoice (https://www.cat­a­logchoice.org), whose stated mis­sion is “to stop junk mail for good.” An­other such non­profit is 41pounds.org, named for the amount of junk mail the av­er­age Amer­i­can re­ceives each year. There is no cen­tral data­base with which you can reg­is­ter to stop re­ceiv­ing all junk mail for­ever, but by dove­tail­ing these free services, you can can­cel a good amount of un­wanted mail, re­claim­ing your in­box and san­ity.

Try to talk to her about what it is she is so afraid of. Is it the ac­tual flying or that she might have a panic at­tack on the plane? In­quir­ing about her fears will help her feel sup­ported and more con­nected to you.

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