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I’m grateful to have had three overnights in my home town this past week. It’s one thing to leave the day before a trip, fly for four days, then commute home the next day. It’s another when three of the nights I get paid to sleep in my own bed! No hotels. Leave in the morning and come back in the afternoon. Time with friends. Time with family. Time getting household chores and errands done without having to wait a week to do them. It’s kind of like a real job. WOW!

 

I’m grateful for the beautiful weather so I could hand fly in and out of the airport I instructed at over 19 years ago. I’m grateful I was able to fly the traffic pattern, not once, but three times, reminding me what it used to be like doing touch and go’s the entire day. I’m grateful there’s still one tower controller who had first started when I was teaching, adding to the camaraderie and comfortableness of us bantering back and forth over the radio frequency.

 

I’m grateful for dinner and lunch with good friends. I’m grateful for vulnerable phone conversations. I’m grateful my peers in program and my friends take the time and effort to be there for me when needed. I’m grateful for their insight, their support, and their love.

 

I’m grateful for a short two-day trip flown with the flight attendant who I’ve been crashing at her place for the past six years. I’m grateful for her friendship, her love, and her support. I’m grateful for the second home she provided when I was away from mine, the crews that have stayed there, the incredible meals she has both cooked and the popular martini parties she is know for.

 

I’m grateful I was able to meet a former first officer’s baby girl. She’s adorable. What a beautiful family they have!

 

I’m grateful for the time I’ve had the past couple of months to maintain my exercise routine, eat mindfully and healthily, and the time I’ve had to prepare for training coming up soon. Life has definitely been busy, yet it’s been incredibly full and rewarding.

I’m grateful for the professional mental health conference I attended at the beginning of the week. I’m so glad I decided to go, even though I wasn’t supported by either my company or my union. Two years ago I attended a conference, which led me to ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics); where I learned that it was normal for my emotional pain to be felt in my physical body. For the first time, I realized I was not crazy. This was what led me to step outside of myself, my blog, and helped me heal.

 

The conference I just attended will allow me to reach out to others who are suffering in my career; to give them courage, strength, and hope as they battle the demons that plague them. I can be their beacon of light when all they see is darkness. I’ve been down that road and I know the importance of having someone to cling onto, to keep from drowning in the abyss. I too, want to give back what was given to me so selflessly.

 

I’m grateful for morning coffee and breakfast with my wife, having my daughter finish the chores she had agreed to do, followed by an hour conversation with her on an elliptical at the gym and then teaching her how to lift weights. I’m grateful my daughter showed me the ab routine she does in dance class (that pretty much kicked my ass). And I’m grateful we didn’t get caught as I pressed her weight on the leg press machine (she was much lighter than I expected and I almost threw her off).

 

I’m grateful both my girls and I helped out with Challenge Air, a Fly Day event that was “created to change the perception of children with special needs through the gift flight. By eliminating the belief that they are limited, the children can grow to their full potential. They are given the opportunity to find courage within themselves and build in areas where they lack self-esteem. Challenge Air provides an unforgettable growing experience that opens the door to possibilities while allowing the children to see if they can fly a plane they can do anything.”

 

I’m grateful the rain held out for the event, that we were able to make it on our flights to and from the event with no issues, and that the three of us had the opportunity to fly a small twin-engine plane. I believe it’s time to start teaching my oldest how to fly.

 

I’m extremely grateful my blog has led to continual healing, new adventures, and the opportunity to change and help the lives of others. I’m looking forward to next year where I hope I can have the time to continue to expand my vision to help others Rise up from the Ashes and to F.L.Y. with the Eagles!

 

The sky is the limit!