This morning I was up flying with my CFI trying to polish up a few maneuvers before we schedule my check ride. As I was taking off I started thinking about the extended centerline of the runway. When I was learning how to fly, I learned to look down the centerline of the runway, look beyond, find something straight ahead for a reference point. The purpose is so that when I can no longer see the runway line ahead of me as I lift off the runway there would be a point ahead that will help me keep aligned to the runway and on course.
I probably should have been more focused on my flying instead of my thoughts because my manuevers weren’t great. Some days are thinking days for me and I just have to go with them. In life, I think to get where we want to go we have to have an extended centerline. We have to have a place ahead of us in time that when we are on a path somewhere and we can’t see exactly where we are, we can look ahead and say, “There is where I want to be and adjust my course to get back on track.”
Extended center lines can take many forms in life. For some it is making a to do list each day and strictly adhering to it moving neither to the left or the right and crossing off item after item as the day progresses. Others set longer term goals without much thinking about time, money or a path to their goals. It doesn’t matter how or how long it takes to get to their goal or who they have to step over or on as long as they eventually get there. I like to share my goals, life dreams and plans with others so that I am held accountable if it is truly something I want to carry out.
Flying for me has been a life dream since I graduated from high school. I started pursuing it almost 30 years later but it is still something I want to do. I’m near the end and close to my check ride. At first I didn’t tell anyone except for my husband that I was learning to fly. A couple months went by before I told my four kids. Its been a year and half since I started and now the hard part is being so close to the end and having the friends and family that I shared my dream of flying with asking me, “Are you done yet?”
They are my extended centerline, the ones who keep me on course, when I have days of flying like today where nothing seemed to go right and I find myself asking “Why am I doing this?” It would be easier to not push myself to finish up and complete what I started but the certificate in hand will be worth all the hard work, late nights studying, and sleepless nights wondering if I would ever be able to land the plane correctly.
Do you have someone to encourage you, someone to be your extended centerline. Life is hard, but having someone to help keep you on course and on the path you intended makes the journey so much sweeter. I’ve looked around me and starting thinking about others that I could mentor or be their extended centerline. That someone could be younger or older. There are always ways to encourage others, you just have to start the flight.