A Kind Word Means So Much

It has been really frustrating not being able to fly for the last couple of months, and it may very well be a few more weeks before I get to again.  What can you do? 

I know, that is a little down for a site about gratitude, but I just needed to get that out.

Yesterday I got to watch some people brief before they flew and it made me so happy just to hear people talk about it.  Today is a state holiday in Nevada and was also the day of my base’s Halloween party.  That meant I spent the whole afternoon blowing up balloons and hanging signs and sweeping floors and whatever else we needed to do before the party.

After everything was ready I headed home to get the family where my kids forced me to put on my Star Wars footie jammies.  That has nothing to do with the story I just wanted to get it out there that I have Star Wars footie jammies.

When we got back to the base and were walking into the squadron my boss that I had been helping all afternoon told my wife and kids how grateful he was for my work in setting stuff up.  It was not a long conversation and not much more was said, but it was nice to have a little gratitude given for my work.

I don’t want this to sound like I live off of the praise of other people, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate it, and even enjoy it.  Just because we don’t do something for the credit doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate it when it is given.


Gratitude is Changing My Life

That’s right, I am grateful for gratitude today.  WordPress was kind enough to alert me that I have written 100 posts on this blog.  That means that for more than three months I have taken time everyday to be grateful for something

I think that is pretty awesome.

As someone who has often tried to go to the gym or do other things every day and never really succeeded, I am pretty pumped about this.

I am not wealthy all of a sudden, and in fact the number of people who read my posts daily has actually gone down a little, though it was never very high.  The weird thing is that I am still excited about writing this stuff.

I would be lying if I said it was always easy to come up with something everyday, and that probably shows in my writing when I am having a hard time.  But I have definitely seen some amazing benefits.

I have met a few other bloggers that I really enjoy reading and that inspire me with their words.  I have always known there are millions of blogs out there covering just about everything you can imagine and it has been fun reading more than I ever used to.

On a selfish level I have already mentioned the tremendous achievement I feel just from actually doing this successfully for so long.  More importantly, it has also given me great appreciation for how important the little joys in life are when you are struggling, and how much greater the big joys are when you are doing well.

I know my life will be filled with ups and downs of all different types over the next fifty years or so, but I hope that I will always be willing to take a little time to be grateful.

Safety When I Fly

In the modern world, flying is so darn safe that we honestly take it for granted.  I could look up specific numbers about exactly how safe it is but that is not my purpose here today.

As someone who flies for a living, I have a vested interest in ensuring that flying is safe, which it largely is.  Airlines fly millions of passengers everyday with only rare situations of dramatic safety issues.  The safety of military flying is even that much higher, despite our increased risk, because of all the extra time we put into safety.

So what does any of this have to do with being grateful?  I guess the fact that I fly all the time and arrive back home to my family safely is what I am truly grateful for.

I recently had a flight where we landed with eight different write-ups for maintenance to take care of.  As much as I hate leaving them that much work, it is a credit to their continued diligence that not a single one of those things was so vital that we weren’t able to finish our mission.

Stuff is going to break on a forty year old plane, that’s just the way it is.  However, the strict standards that we adhere to in maintenance and mission planning and preparation of everyone involved, ensure that I continue to make it home safely at night.

Earlier today I had a discussion on Twitter about what to tell your kids as they get older and start to realize how dangerous your job can be flying.  I guess I won’t know the results of my efforts until my kids get older, but I am always honest with them about how much time and preparation we put into what we do.  That it is still dangerous, but we mitigate those risks through our efforts.

That seems to be enough to placate them now, but I know my safety standards will never change so I hope they will understand all I am doing to make sure I am safe.

Safety is one of those things I think we take for granted, until an accident happens, but like many other aviators I know personally, I will always be grateful for my safety when flying, and I will forever remain diligent to ensure I remain that safe.

What are you grateful for?

A Beautiful Sunset

This is something that I think most people enjoy, at least at some point in their lives.  Watching a beautiful sunset, even if only for a minute, can go a long ways towards making it a good day.

Some of my fondest memories from high school are sitting on a park bench overlooking the Salt Lake Valley and watching the sunset with my girlfriend.  It didn’t need to be anything other than that to be a great evening.While I lived in San Diego, I spent many an evening riding my motorcycle along the coast, or pulling off the road to sit on the beach and watch the sunset.  It is just such a peaceful time to relax and rejuvenate.  
Now that I get to fly regularly I get to see some of the most beautiful sunsets ever, from the air.  Being in the front of the plane provides for some incredible views in many  of the different places I have visited.

I think one of the best things about sunsets is that everyone gets to enjoy them.  It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, what country you live in, if you are healthy or sick.  The beauty of a sunset is something that can literally be enjoyed by anyone, if they only care enough to look.I will forever enjoy the peace that can come at the end of a long day, which is why I am grateful for beautiful sunsets.
What are you grateful for?

Chicken and Waffles

In keeping with not going more than a few days without mentioning food, I present to you chicken and waffles.

At first glance, this is an unlikely pairing, but once you have had it, it just makes so much sense.  I will not insult your intelligence as it truly is as simple as it sounds.  A yummy waffle with syrup, and some delicious fried chicken.  In this case they include some buffalo chicken sauce which I find to be a delicious accent to the meal. 

I know it isn’t very healthy, but it is delicious, and it put a smile on my face this morning.  That’s why today I am grateful for chicken and waffles.

What are you grateful for?

School Starting

So this gratitude is really just an extension of my wife’s gratitude, but as it brought her great joy, I too am grateful for it.

Our two oldest kids started school today!

While it is not a total break for my wife yet, she still cut her responsibility in half on a daily basis.  I am happy to report that the kids had a great time getting settled into their new school.

I remember being a kid and always being excited to go back to school.  By the end of summer I was generally bored and just wanted something to do so school was a welcome distraction.

I am so glad that my wife will have more freedom now, and I will be even more excited when the other two start in about a month.  I meant to pull the picture from her Facebook page to show how excited she was, but the computer is off so that will have to wait for tomorrow.

Some of the greatest joy we can experience in life is celebrating the joys of others, which is why today I am grateful for school starting so my wife can get a little break.

What are you grateful for?

A Good Day

In life there are some days that just completely suck, and there are other days that are incredibly amazing.  These types of days are certainly in the minority in life.  Most days I would suggest, fall somewhere in between.

And of those majority days, I would submit that most of them are generally good days.  You know what I mean.  You have an uneventful day at work but you get some things done.  Maybe you get to leave a little early.

You get a little exercise, maybe a little entertainment and a good meal.  As I always loved to say growing up, “it’s all good”.  

As nice as it would be to have incredible days everyday where you make a ton of money and eat incredible food and everything just works perfectly, that is just not reality, and that’s okay.

Reality is that most days are just good days without any remarkable occurrence, and I think that is probably a good thing.  It is those types of days that help us be grateful for the simple pleasures in life.  

We realize that once again it is the little things that matter most, and that as we take the time to appreciate them, we will find them to be increasingly more fulfilling.

I am looking forward to a few days of adventure in the coming weeks, but tonight I am just grateful for another good day in my life.

What are you grateful for?