3 days ago
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
63 - Redefining "aviation lifestyle"
So I promised myself when I started this blog that I would try my best to be authentic. Authenticity is one of my ultimate goals - embracing everything that I am...the good, the bad, and the ugly. Well, while previous posts have embraced the good side, here is one that embraces the bad and the ugly.
In the last post, I talked about how, for the first time in 10 years, I was embracing our aviation lifestyle. I defined "aviation lifestyle" as one filled with traveling - specifically around the holidays. A lot of pilots just don't get holidays off - any of them. With Alex being so new at Delta, it will probably be a good 10 years of so before he will spend a holiday at home (Thanksgiving and Christmas). I hate this part of the holidays - HATE it. We have worked so hard at overcoming this as couple - Lord knows we have had countless "discussions" about it as we work to bring children into this family. So, as I previously stated, I thought I had made big progress by embracing the idea that I will just travel with Alex on the holidays...and as soon as our kids got old enough, we would all travel with daddy on the holidays. It has taken so much work to get to this place of acceptance.
So, it's the holidays. Christmas Eve. And I'm not traveling.
Alex is sick. Head cold. We all know it is dangerous to fly with a head cold. He decided about 9 hours before we were about to leave on our Italian extravaganza that he is too sick to fly. Of course I'm not blaming him for being sick, but when he made this decision, something inside of me truly snapped - truly. I think it was the years and years of instability around the holidays - both in our marriage and before our marriage - coming to a head. I tore down all the Christmas decorations yesterday - all of them. Both trees, all the little stuff. I sat out the one lonely 7 inch tree (undecorated) I bought last minute last year as I rushed to the airport in an attempt to meet up with him somewhere. Now does the above picture make sense? I'm not celebrating this year.
This "snap" would have happened regardless of circumstance - Alex being sick, the plane breaking, canceled flight because of the weather - it wouldn't have mattered. So let me now redefine what I mean by "aviation lifestyle"...
The beauty of traveling is a part of it...but a small part. What really defines the aviation lifestyle is instability...never knowing if what you've planned and hoped for is actually going to work out. Sounds familiar, doesn't it (to all you IFs)? And I know this is life in general...but aviation adds a thick layer of instability to the normal chaos that already exists in life. Do I mind staying at home with my husband for the holidays? Absolutely not. So many times I have hoped for this and it hasn't worked out. So I tried the other side - find hope for a happy holiday traveling...get excited about traveling. I've tried so hard to try to find a way to be happy with this lifestyle around the holidays. Now I'm at a loss. I really think the key to finding happiness around the holidays in an aviation lifestyle is to remain hopeless. I really don't mean that in a depressed way - I mean it in a very logical way.
Anyone reading this blog a pilot's spouse? I would love your comments and/or suggestions.
What's interesting is that it is now the next morning after I've torn down the decorations, and I have no regrets. I guess it had to happen - the snap, that is. Boy, it was a long time coming.
So I'm not sure what we are going to do these next couple of days. Alex is truly sick. So, we'll hang low. I'll go to the grocery store and buy some food (we, of course, hadn't shopped because we were going to be gone for so long). I think I'll do a little retail therapy today while Alex naps. My birthday is the 26th - the big 34. Is it just me or do birthdays now represent one more year down the infertile road?
Happy f'in Holidays! :-)