I get asked a lot, ‘How do you handle things when you are gone?’ or ‘What about your kids? Who looks after them?’ I use to feel like I had to give a justified explanation to others for why I was gone and maybe somewhere deep inside of me, that was my own guilt for being away from home. Here I am almost three years later and I am still doing the same thing…flying that is.
It’s day two of a three day trip. Not so bad actually…other than I am feeling pretty sick. For a flight attendant, that is the worst thing….to be sick when you are working like we do and being away from home. It is important to be 100% when we are up there. Everything we do is tied to a rule of safety…even our health. So for me, today is a bit of a rough day. A few months after I become a flight attendant, I developed an issue with my ears. The short part of that story is this… my eustachian tubes are really tiny so the pressure was not able to equalize through the ascend and descend of flying. I now have tubes in my ears and I can not fly without them in my ears. Yes, I know…I do love my job. Like I have written in the past, there are many factors of what you like and don’t like with this job. You have to pick your battles and look at the bigger picture.
So here I am, in my hotel room in Ohio and soon the snow will start to fall. I was in my pajamas by 3:30pm and I have to be up at 3:30am for a 4:30am van time to the airport. So you see…there is nothing about this job that is normal but to us, it is normal. It is our normal. So when people ask me how do I handle things when I am away or what about my kids…to you, I say this….I JUST DO. I have my own coping mechanisms that come into play. I am always in touch with my kids and they are adults except for one and she is close to being one as well so I am proud at how well they handle me being gone. They are probably some of the most self sufficient, well mannered and awesome kids around. We have had three years of practice to get it right and some days we do get it wrong but we pick it up really quick. We are a team….even when I am away. It is our lifestyle, it is our’s alone and we adapt.
The flight attendant life is not easily understood. Do you know that statistics show that most flight attendants will quit the first six months to a year on the job? So if you make it past that, more than likely it is in your blood and you will never get rid of it. After that point, you have days you want to quit, call it a day, go home and stay home. I can not tell you how many times all of us who are flight crews say that. We can bounce that off of each other every trip we do. We laugh about it, cry about it, make jokes about it but its whatever gets us through. Again, none of us do this for the pay because if you had a basic knowledge of how we are paid, you would call me crazy but the pay raise each year is really nice. Our benefits are really good as well. For someone like me who is a single parent, my benefits are important to me. I need them to survive, to build my future for retirement so when I finally do retire, I can have time to actually travel like I want to.
Today happens to be one of those days where I want to go home and just stay there. I have so much that needs to be done, that needs my attention. It happens. It’s life and just because I am gone on a work trip, life back home does not stop. Why am I feeling this way? Maybe because I don’t feel good at all today. Maybe because I miss my kids. Maybe because I am in love with my new house and I hated to leave it. Maybe because I moved back to my hometown and I love it there. Maybe because I hate the way this job makes me eat too much (yet I have free access to a gym, three times a day per work trip I am on, yet I don’t use it lately…laaaazzzy). Maybe because I want to be getting my hair salon finished and touching up my own hair…it sure needs it! I found a grey hair ***gaaaasp*** then I almost fainted but Maybe..maybe…maybe. I wear my own self out talking about it. They say we all have a twin….I think I met mine recently. Watching them go 100 mph is like watching myself outside of my own mind…lol.
When I feel like this, I have to lean on my friends whom I trust the most. The one’s I feel the most comfortable with. That is important. I don’t need to be told it will all be okay (we all know it will always be okay). I need to be told the truth…the cold, hard truth even if that means ‘suck it up cupcake..this is life’. For those of you who want to know how I ‘handle things’….I JUST DO. There is no rhyme or reason, no method in place yet there is a method to the madness…does that even make sense? Oh, yeah…to me it does. There is however, a mentality to just get up, get dressed, put on my lipstick, straighten up my uniform and shine. I have a job to do. I have an obligation to my family. I have an obligation to myself as well. Yes, there are times I am questioning myself but that is where I also turn to God for prayers and answers. They don’t always come so clearly but I am patient and I am obedient.
Yesterday I was in the Bahamas and I was on cloud nine. Anywhere near a body of water and a beautiful view is where I find my peace..I just wasn’t there long enough to really grasp what I wanted to find within myself. Do I really need a beach, white sand, palm trees and crystal blue waters to figure that out? No but it sure does help…lol. Today, I woke up sick and I am in cold, rainy Ohio waiting for the snow to fall….lol. From one extreme to the other…kind of fitting for the flight attendant lifestyle but make no mistake, we are like chameleons. We blend in wherever we need to, adapt to the change quickly and wait it out. As I am wrapping up this blog, I am waiting it out…waiting out the ‘maybe’s’, waiting out the answers I pray to receive from God and I am patient. This too shall pass. Just because I share my feelings about life does not mean that I am unsure of anything. I think I am like anyone else who seeks out God in prayer. You want to make things happen right then and there, you want answers but the true growth in life is when you sit back, let it flow as it should, hold your ground so that you don’t forget who is really in charge of things and keep your wits about yourself. I JUST DO…how about you?
Peace, Love & Hugs