This year, I will not be consuming a hamburger and fries at at Leann’s Cafe on Christmas Day. I will also not be purchasing a holiday meal from a vending machine in an abandoned hotel. Nor will I try convincing my children that Santa will be coming down the chimney on December 27th. Those are all things I’ve done in previous years.
At least for this snapshot in time, I’m in a really good position. I’ve finished my last trip of the year and don’t return until January 8, 2013. Bidding in the top 25% of first officers has its advantages. Nineteen days off in a row was the result of carefully thought-out December and January schedule bidding.
I am very fortunate. Many pilots will work both Christmas and New Year’s. Others will be off for the holidays but work the week in between. I’ve done both, but not this year.
If you are traveling this holiday season, please take a moment to thank your crew. While they are safely transporting you to see your loved ones, I guarantee they are missing someone at home. Being professionals, they would never share that with you. But, they would appreciate you acknowledging their sacrifice.
In retrospect, 2012 was a busy and productive year for me:
- Added 844 flying hours to my logbook.
- Commuted six months from Denver to San Francisco.
- Moved. (Here’s that post.)
- Commuted the last six months from Nashville to San Francisco.
- Only de-iced twice.
- Met some famous people I really respect.
- Boarded every commute flight I intended except one. (Here’s the story.)
- Only missed one trip in 2012 due to illness. (For those of you convinced that the air on planes makes people sick, think about how much time I spend on aircraft.)
- Saw some sights I’d flown over for years. (See that post.)
- Fell off the healthy eating and exercise routine and gained weight.
- Had one “that’s why they call it experience” moment in the cockpit.
- Enjoyed every moment with my family.
For those of you who celebrate the season the same as my household, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! For others, I wish you just as much happiness during your celebrations.
Thanks for reading. See you in 2013.*
*Unless the world ends tomorrow. Then, this will be the last post.