Week 29 – Dude, you’re in my space!

I guess I know I have it.  I never really think about it. My friends sometimes comment on it. It rarely becomes an issue…until this week.  What is “it”?  It is my HUGE Personal Space.  Here’s my story:
     Last Monday morning I flew up to Sacramento on Southwest airlines.  I was in one of the first groups to board and chose an exit row window seat.  I usually prefer an aisle seat but thought I would enjoy the extra leg room.  Although the flight attendants announced that the flight would be full,  I still felt I was in a good situation. 
     The man that chose the middle seat was a tall man with fairly broad shoulders.  As soon as he sat down, he overtook my arm rest.  I took a deep breath, and thought “It’s ok, I have one arm rest, let it go.”  I returned to my reading then noticed that the middle seat man was asleep.  Here’s when the problem started.  His legs were out in front of him in a bent position about three feet apart from each other.   His right leg was directly in front of him, but his left leg, the one on MY side, was IN MY SPACE.  The deeper he fell into sleep, the farther left his leg would fall.  Perhaps it wouldn’t have bothered my so much if I could have moved my legs more to the left.  However, my back was hurting and all I could do was sit completely upright with my feet directly in front of me.  That meant my leg would touch his!  I couldn’t stand it AND I didn’t know what to do.  I knew he wasn’t doing it on purpose.  I knew he wasn’t trying to make me uncomfortable, but it was really annoying me.  
       I tried taking a couple of deep breaths, visualization, meditation, all to no avail.  Finally, I decided to gently push his leg using the files that were sitting on my lap. It worked for a couple of seconds, but then his leg would fall back next to mine.  Soon, the flight attendant arrived to take our drink order.  Somehow, he awakened in time to place his order so I held my files firmly on my lap and slightly jerked my legs to make his leg move.  Finally, he straightened his legs so they were now under his seat, and out of my space.  Alas, my space was my own again.  But, gosh, there just had to be a better way. Although my silent approach eventually worked, I bet I could have nicely asked him to move his feet and accomplished the same thing in half the amount of time.  Now that would have demonstrated ZAMitude!

Z-Tip:  If someone is doing something to you that you don’t like, SAY SOMETHING, nicely, of course!

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