I came across this quote while researching other quotes to include in a project I am working on…
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” ~ Henry Ford
Being married to a pilot, I felt it rather poignant since my life is steeped in aviation…
I feel the need to expand on this quote. So, here’s my take on it -
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. Sometimes the wind changes directions and comes at you from the side and the ditch on the side of the runway is waiting to swallow you up. Even if you do get in the air, the wind will try to push you off course. It takes great skill and determination to overcome the crosswind and fly.
Taking the wind analogy a little further, we can say that sometimes the wind changes directions and comes at you from behind, seeming to travel with you, but throwing you off your rhythm. This sudden change can even flip you over if you are not prepared.
A day with no wind is a joy. You can accomplish the act of flight with little effort. You don’t get knocked around in turbulence. You can sit back and enjoy the ride.
On the other hand, there is the challenge that comes from flying on a windy day. When you meet the wind head on, the airplane jumps at the opportunity to get in the air. Trusting in your abilities, you will be surprised at how fast you climb! It may not be entirely comfortable, but you can take heart in knowing you accomplished something that most cannot or will not do. You flew!
As pilot wives, we handle our fair share of adversity. We learn to live independent lives when our pilots are away. We learn to incorporate our pilots back into our lives when they return. We raise our children mostly alone. We sometimes go through life’s events (births/deaths) alone. We cope with the loneliness and the feeling of being overwhelmed. It is not an easy life. But we take a page from the flight training guide that was shared with us by our pilots - point the nose into the wind and fly!
My husband, like so many pilots, is a double pilot. Double pilot? What’s that you ask - you’ve never heard of that?!? Well, that’s because I’m making up my own pilot’s wife lingo.
We kindly interrupt this blog post for a Pilot’s Wife Lingo lesson . . . (que chessey gameshow music)
Double Pilot is a pilot who works two jobs. Example, My husband teaches flight instruction for the military and also flies commercially.
Ok, now that we’re on the same page . . . where was I? Oh yes, double pilot. My husband is a double pilot. What’s my point? I guess my point is that we NEVER have a day off. He’s my relief - so if he never has a day off, well, then neither do I. When he’s not flying commercially, he’s flying for the military. His days off from his commercial job are spent serving our country teaching flight students how to fly helicopters. Which, I could say, is admirable. However, I am the wife behind the pilot who desperately needs a DAY off. While I am super blessed to have the opportunity to stay home and parent our three children, I also wear many, many, many hats. And my job . . . well, it almost NEVER involves sitting in a restuarant ALONE enjoying a nice quiet dinner. Heck, I’m lucky most days to get to have a sit down dinner. Three children under the age of five years old — now that’s a handful and half. And if I’m being honest, I rarely complain. I usually suck it up and go about my business, swirling in the mass chaos that IS my life, trying to get an unimaginable, impossible amount of tasks completed. But today, ladies . . . TODAY is my day when I just about snapped. Today is the day when I realized my human constraints. Today is the day that I realized I CAN’T do it all. And I’m mad. I’m “spit fire” mad. Because I don’t want help. I don’t want to ask anyone for help. I want to be able to “do it all”. I mean, isn’t that what were expected to do? I guess going from a working environment to being at home, I’ve just never adjusted to that scenario very well. And I do so much here, that the pilot, well . . . he’s come to expect a lot. Everytime I push myself and I do more, more becomes expected. Not only from him, but from others.
What’s the solution, you ask? Well, I’m doing some soul searching. I’m going to do some list building. And I’m going to start setting realistic goals for myself. Some things are going to fall by the way side and that’s just going to have to be the way it is for now. Unless someone has some sort of secret about cloning.
Tell me ladies, anyone else ever had this feeling? And if so, how did you organize the chaos?
Stay tuned for more of my infinite wisdom . . . I’m sure there is more to come. Lucky you!
Want to hear what an actual Pilot’s Wife thinks about the highly leaked, totally expected ending to this seasons “The Bachelor”? Head over here and Cute Culture Chick will give you the “low” down!
Sound off ladies . . . do you agree with her? If not, what are your predictions for their future?
As we have shared many times before, being a pilot’s wife can be challenging, to say the least. However, our pilot wives have compiled the ABC’s of being a Pilot’s Wife. Remember, this is all in good fun and at the end of the day, we love and support each and every one of our pilots.
A - Adapatable - a pilot’s wife’s life is never stable. Pilot schedules are given on a monthly basis, furloughs happen and situations/issues are always coming up. A good pilot wife must always be able to adapt to these situations all while exhibiting the utmost grace and style.
B - Budget-conscious - He probably is paying back student loans, which will put a damper on the family budget. He won’t be home to pay the bills, so you’ll have to make sure that everything is paid on time. He’ll live on pretzels and peanuts, but somehow find it necessary to splurge on the latest and greatest cellphone.
C - Calm- Situations will arise that you have no control over. Plans may change at a moment’s notice. Things may happen at home you have to deal with and make do by yourself. It is important to remain calm, cool and collected (look there’s three C’s!). Don’t freak out over the small stuff.
D - Devoted - Crazy schedules, terrible pay, long hours, nights alone — only a wife that is truly devoted to her husband could put up with these conditions.
E - Envy - sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean in Hawaii is something ANYONE would be envious of. That is a perk of flying!
F - Flexible - What? You won’t be home for Christmas? You got JA’d an hour before my surgery? You have to go for a week of training when? Where? Your crew base is moving to WHERE? When are we moving? When are we moving again? Can you call in sick for my due date? What if I am a week overdue? Honey, my water just broke, where are you?
G - Grateful - Grateful he finally came home and sometimes grateful he finally leaving again.
H - Humbled - As incredibly difficult it can be to be a pilots wife for all the reasons you all have stated - I always try to remember, my children and I have always had a roof over our head (although sometimes barely); we have food everyday (although there were times that barely happened too); and every night we have always had a bed and warm place to sleep at night and my husband is doing the job he loves. Okay….when we get to “S” sign me up for stressed!
I - Independent - You mean, I live half of my life alone? I got married but you are gone 50% of the time?!!! Guess I’ll have to entertain myself while you are away.
J - Jealous - He gets to actually take a shower and eat dinner by himself!!!
K - Kissable - Always be the one he wants to come home to… The one he can’t wait to kiss when he gets home…
L - Long Distance - You’re going to be gone how long? Having no idea when you’ll be able to work a rendezvous between your schedules, missing him the whole time.
M - Money - or the lack of - Ladies let’s tell the world the REAL truth - contrary to popular belief, pilots are not “rolling in the dough”.
N - Numbers - The amount of numbers these guys retain is amazing! From runways, heading and altitudes, to tail number and go times. How about converting temperatures from C to F? Or remembering the seat number of a famous celebrity on their flight. These guys can sure hold their numbers.
O - Online - Communication is the key word in any relationship, but even more when you are married to a pilot! When he is away communicating with him by email, phone, fax or pigeon - it is a must!
P - Patience - We need an endless supply to deal with the flight delays/cancellations/schedule problems/vacation issues/etc… Not to mention his “extra-curricular activities” that sometimes take him even further away from family time (like RC planes/helicopters, personal aircraft, computers, etc)… I know I am constantly praying for more patience…
Q - Quick - Flight delays, weather delays, it seems like pilots are always hurrying and scurrying. Schedules are so unpredictable, that you may or may not get a sizable amount of time with your man. Only 36 hours till he leaves again? Better get in all the fix-it stuff at home, visit all the extended family, and try to fit in some alone time.
R - Reserve - Being a new First Officer or even a new Captain, being on reserve or “On call” is totally normal. Getting a line is really something to celebrate!
S - Strong - enough said right? We deal with a lot of up and downs, happiness and craziness. However, it’s not just about us; it’s also about our husbands. We must be strong for them and make sure they’re aware that we are with them on this wild airplane ride through life. Being there and being strong for each other is a must.
T - Trust - There is no way a pilot’s wife can survive without trust — seriously, you’d run yourself crazy. The job of a pilot keeps him away from his wife and in questionable situations quite often. However, the best pilot wife must trust her pilot — there is no other choice. Trust him and the vows that you both made to each other - those will hold you together while you are apart.
U - Uniform - They do look sexy, don’t they?
V - Valuable - So many things in this industry is valuable. The limited valuable time spent together as a family. The valuable training. The valuable lessons learned from each mishap.
W - Worry - All the time! Every time there’s news on tv of a crash, bankruptcy, change in the business, etc. Worrying about whether he’ll make it home on time for something important. Worrying about how to parent all by yourself. Worrying about everything!
X - Xeric - If you get transferred to PHX (I hope)?? Hey, don’t judge! You try to find a word that relates and starts with an X . . .
Y - Yo-yo - Like a yo-yo our pilots are always going out and back from hub to outstation to hub.
Z - Zulu - As pilot wives we MUST know what this refers to… Sometimes, my husband and I refer to zulu time more than local time. Maybe that’s why pilot watches have so many time settings… at least one of them will be zulu!
So, there you have it . . . compiled by the best pilot wives in the world! Got any new ones to add, feel free to leave them in the comments.
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