Sometimes decisions are made in increments and realizations come into focus one piece at a time. That is the case here, when a confluence of events reminded me what is important in life, where I need to be, and what I need to be doing.
Approaching the end of ground training, one of my boys asked me why I was so driven to do this, and working as hard as I was. I didn’t have a good answer, other than to say that I’ve always been that way. Driven onto the next thing. I don’t need to work, certainly, so it must be because I was enjoying myself.
The unsuccessful early bid for Captain was a difficult event – creating a considerable amount of stress. Sheer effort just wasn’t enough to compensate for seasoning and experience on the line. Getting through re-qualification was an additional necessary burden, the stress of which diminished the fun factor somewhat further.
So I pull up the bids for January and the prospect of living in hotels for another winter while my wife sits at home suddenly becomes incredibly unappealing. I would like to experience a snow storm from my home for the first time in years.
Then there is the fact that Bev and I are also getting older. I realized that flying the airlines until I am 65 would preclude us from traveling and spending time together while we are still young and healthy. We don’t want to miss that. I don’t want to miss that.
My original goals at Piedmont were to prove to myself I could fly a Dash8, and to learn about the airline industry from the inside. I’ve accomplished that now for over 13 months, and have a good feel for how things work. I could stay another 10 years and still be learning, but I’m not willing to do that. What a great experience this has been – and the people there – my friends there – are just awesome.
My book is coming along, albeit slowly. I have been writing a book about aviation experiences in fits and starts over the last several years. I plan to spend the next two months trying to move that along further. Learning how to get one published may be the next big thing I tackle.
All that said, I am making a change and leaving Piedmont for my next opportunity. This will be the first time that I will have been unemployed since the 7th grade, and it is by choice. In the mean time, I’ll be looking for a relatively local aviation or technical job that won’t keep me away from home most days. Just enough to fly the hell out of my Twin Comanche, Thank you….