How to Discover Your Next Steps When You’re Re-routed.

 

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If I had a dollar whenever someone asked me where Jeff was flying to, I’d be one wealthy woman!  The majority of the time I tell people, “I have no idea. His route changes all the time because of weather, late arrivals or they need him to fly a different trip then was scheduled. There’s no set route.” ( Go here to read more PW questions I get asked.)

As much as we like predictability in life, we know that life is anything but predictable. There are always constant changes and re-routes thrown our way.

So, my PW girlfriend let me ask you… Do you fly the same route? Do you have a specific itinerary for your day, your week, or even the next five years?

I know, I know. You must be thinking – Wait, you’re kidding, right?

I feel as if I always have to shift my routing from one place to another. Whether, it’s five minutes, a week or the next five years, I’m always thinking and praying about what’s next.

What’s the best route for me?

This morning I listened to a podcast, “Girls Night Out,” with Stephanie Wilson.  The guest speaker was Emily P. Freeman, who was sharing how she discovered what the “Next Right Thing” was for her. In other words, what is the next best route for me at this time in my life,  and for the season I’m in?

Listening to Emily, I started to question what my next step was. What do I need to be doing or changing in my life right now? It can be making goals you want to accomplish, losing weight, perusing a career or opening a business. It’s your journey.

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  What’s my direction?

We all find ourselves planning, preparing, and making a check-list for our day-to-day operations. But when life throws us off course and we are to figure out how to bring back focus that’s when Emily said, “Ask yourself what makes sense to me today?”

Thinking about that, I asked myself what makes the most sense for me right now and remembered I needed to take the clothes out of the dryer. ( literally, I was thinking that)

But yet, I still have more significant questions about the bigger things in my life. What makes sense for me to focus not only today but a month from now, six months or even a year from now.

Recently I’ve struggled to figure out what’s next in certain aspects of my life. To be honest, some of them cause my anxiety levels to rise, but at the same time I find myself more courageous as I pursue the things that really matter to me :

1. What to do about my writing journey? I’ve been writing continuously for a year now, and I’ve seen myself evolving and changing the way I think and write. I’ve been more willing to share my struggles and vulnerability that wasn’t there before. Don’t get me wrong I still struggle with opening up my heart. But as I sit down at my computer and search for the words that will bring hope and love to other women I’m compelled to keep moving forward.

2. What can I do to bring hospitality back into my life?  A Book Club, Supper Club, something that allows me to open my heart and doors to a community of women who enjoy reading, eating and sharing the love of God. But being hospitable requires courage to step out, invite others to join me, and let go my control. (which is a whole another  story!).

3. What is the next step in my season of parenting a teenage boy? I often find myself on my knees praying for wisdom and direction. At the moment I’m fearful of where God’s path may be in leading us concerning our son’s next season of life. Letting go and trusting that God knows what is my son’s best thing is hard.

When is all said and done, the heart question I need to be asking is: Am I willing to change my route or am I going to stay grounded in fear?  Sometimes that is a difficult question to ask.

These are the things that have me questioning my current flight path and the possibility of re-routing. I’m having to approach things differently as a woman, a mom, and a wife. For you, it might be something else.

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There are days when turbulent moments/events will happen.  When they do, I remind myself  of one of my favorite go-to verses: “Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.” Proverbs 3:6 CEV 

When it comes to offering advice on the best possible route or step someone should take, I’ll admit, I’m no expert. When I question my path, I rely on God to show me. He always makes it clear to me what my next route is.

What will you choose when things change, and you’re to consider when life is re-routed? What will be your next step be?

fullsizeoutput_4b1   Take-off and Landings always, Tiffany

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How I Found my Window Seat of Confidence

How I Found my Window Seat of Confidence

I’m usually not the one who does the travel planning for a trip. I leave that to the experienced travel companion of mine. I just layout where I want to go, the dates we are available and the sights and restaurants I would like to visit. Once I communicate the desired plans to my husband, I can focus on the more important things. Like what to pack! Hey, I have my priorities in check.

A few months ago I took the left seat in planning a trip that was just my daughters and me. It was my youngest daughter’s, Jillian, 21st birthday. She had asked if we could plan a trip to Carmel and Monterey area of California and visit a winery. Once I said yes, I received a detailed list of what my daughter wanted to do and see. With wishlist in hand, it was time for me to get my wheels turning and planning.

My doubtfulness made its arrival

Have you planned something where you have it all mapped from start to finish? Well, I had the arrival of her best friend, Rebecca, to come hours before Jillian was going to get to the house. I envisioned the look of shock as Jillian witnessed her big surprise as she walked into the house.

Unfortunately, that ideal surprise did not play out the way I had hoped. At midnight Rebecca arrived, twelve hours later than expected. I had to adjust a few things to make Rebecca’s arrival a secret and make up an excuse to have Jillian go with me to pick up “a friend” at the airport. Let me just say, Jillian was super surprised! “Mom our family doesn’t do surprises, cause no one can hold a secret” she kept telling me. Little did she know!

IMG_1170With just three hours of sleep that night we woke up excited and ready to enjoy our girls trip. When we finally arrived at our destination, got our rental car and googled mapped our way to our little Air B&B, Jillian said, “Mom, you’re the airport travel queen, you’ve got this down!” What? What they didn’t know was that I was sweating, and my stomach was in knots. The fear of having to do this all by myself scared me!

Why?

1. I didn’t have the security of having Jeff with me.
2. I had to google map everything. I know I can do it, but there is something about having a husband that deals with maps on a daily occurrence.
3. Jeff can navigate his way through any airport all I have to do is follow him.

For me, this trip was a life lesson that I will never forget.

Unpacking the courage I’d been looking for

I’m sure at some point in your life you have heard someone say that they had to travel the world to discover themselves. We all have that desire to find out what it is that makes you, you.

Before this trip was in the planning stages, I found myself praying of what would bring me joy, and renew confidence that I’d lost somewhere between raising kids to having adult children — now. What dreams or goals do I want to accomplish for myself?

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Ever had those thoughts?

I know that I’m not the only PW that struggles with longings of joy and looking for that once lost desire to reach a goal. I know that many of us can’t exactly runaway to California in wishes to discover a new found confidence or yearning we have.

I will say this: I learned a few things about myself, including ~

1. I know that I’m capable of planning a trip from point A to point B. Setting some personal goals that I want to do.
2. Navigating is not as hard as I make it out to be. Just gotta write it out.
3. Don’t be fearful of taking the lead when things are not going as planned.
4. Be flexible in the plan. If what you’re hoping for doesn’t happen as expected, try another way.

With all that being said, doing something that was entirely out of my comfort zone made me discover courage that I didn’t think I had.

We all have that within us, what about you?

Whatever it might be my hope and prayer is that we never stop traveling to find those little discoveries that are deep in our hearts and continue to grow in what God has for us.

I challenge you to find something that will make you get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you need to…

Call a friend that you would like to get to know more.
Start that exercise program that you keep telling yourself that you’re going to do.
Plan a little getaway with your husband.

 

If you are thinking about something, do it! Tell me what it is. I’d love to hear about it.

fullsizeoutput_4b1 Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

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Fear of Arrival…

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t-shirt add ons

Have you ever walked into a room feeling apprehensive about what you were wearing?

As I headed into a party the other night where pilots, flight attendants, and other friends, were in attendance, I wasn’t sure I had chosen the right shirt. In fact, I was so nervous I carried my tote bag over my chest to cover it because I didn’t want anyone to see what it said.

What was I wearing that caused me this much panic and anxiety? 

Yes, He’s working

No, I don’t know when he’ll be home.

Yes, we are still married.

No, He’s not imaginary.

While I love the shirt and think it’s highly appropriate for a PW like me, I was uncertain about how people would react to those phases. Thankfully after one cold beer, my t-shirt insecurity flew away.  As I talked with different people throughout the night, people stopped me to ask about my shirt:

  • A group of pilots laughed at the phrase, “He’s not imaginary, and No, I don’t know when he will be home.”
  • When another pilot read my shirt said, “No, he is not imaginary and lets’ keep that way. My schedule can change at a moments notice and heck; I don’t even know where I’m going half the time.” ( actually, our pilots do know where they’re going).
  • Even my PW wedge of friends couldn’t help but laugh cause they personally know the truth each of those phrases conveys.

Despite my earlier unease, I’m glad I wore the shirt to the party – not only because it added some fun to the evening, but it also reminded me of how I always respond to those phrases with others.

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Yes, he is working. I’m not just making it up. His job is to fly those big jets in the sky, which requires him to be away from home a lot. He will wake up at 0 -dark early or finish his day at the wee hours of the morning.  His day is making sure hundreds of passengers arrive at their destinations without any technical difficulty.  He loves the work he does, and I’m proud of him for it!

 

No, I don’t know when he will be home. I’m not the PW who tracks his location all the time. Instead, I  put on my Superpower PW cape and take on my day!  I run errands, manage everyday household tasks and fill my day doing what I love to do such as writing (my job) and work on staying calm and picking my battles with a teenage boy. 

Jeff’s schedule can change in the blink of an eye. As I’m writing this, Jeff got called out on a three-day trip. He’s scheduled to come back tomorrow. However, that could change like the wind, and he could be home three days later.  So, no, I don’t know when he will be back.   But when he does return, I’ll be happy to see him fly into my arms. As long as he’s been a pilot, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been happy to see him.

Yes, we are still married.  That’s why Jeff leaves for three or four days. Hahaha! I won’t lie to you, we’ve had turbulence, malfunctions, and miscommunications in our marriage. (you can read about those here).  But over the course of our marriage, we have learned to carry the bag of grace, patience, respect, and more importantly, the oversized bag of love.  I have heard from a few PW’s and their spouses that being a pilot requires some adjustments that are different from flying.

In the book Highest Duty by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger he says, “I can control an airplane and make it do what I want it to do. I can learn all of its component systems and understand how they work in every circumstance. Piloting is well defined, with a process that is predictable and understandable to me. Relationships, on the other hand, are more ambiguous. There’s a good deal of nuance, and it’s not always obvious what the right answer is.”

Let’s be real, girlfriend, we are far from being predictable and understandable! At least I know I’m not!

So, yes, we are still married, I love him more and more each time he lands back into my life.

He is not imaginary.  Because I attend events, parties, and church by myself a lot, there have been occasions where people question whether I really have a husband!  When someone asks me where my husband is,  my brain goes into auto-responder mode:

*He is flying. 

*He’s gone for a few days. 

*He’s on the beach and decided not to take me (just to be sassy!)

I get excited to tell others about my husband and who he flies for. I’m proud of who is, and I talk about him with respect and love.  Trust me, he’s not imaginary… he’s alive and real!

In the end, it was fun to wear my shirt. In doing so, it brought up some great conversations with other wives and even their husbands.

If I made my own PW t-shirt, here are a few statements I’d consider having on it:

Stay steady and calm upon arrival

Altitude and Attitude are essential

Flexibility needed in all areas

I make him happy when he leaves and when he comes home

If you were to make a PW t-shirt what would you have on it? Leave a comment below, love to read what yours would say.

fullsizeoutput_4b1 Take-off and Landings always, Tiffany

(**You can read more about these on a series I did A Pilot Wife and her shoes)

 

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