Tag Archives: decisions

Decisions, decisions…

Last evening I received a phone call from my Uncle Harold in Illinois. He called to congratulate my on earning my private pilot’s certificate. He’s an old railroad man but he is also a pilot.

He called to chat for a bit about flying. He is in his 80’s. He quizzed me a bit on my flying, asking me about VFR minimums and weather. It was sort of a mini flight review. He used to be a CFI and was anxious to impart his wisdom for which I was happy to receive.

I asked him how he heard of me earning my PPL and he said he thought Aunt Dorothy told him.  Now Aunt Dorothy lives in Forsyth, MT about 500 nautical miles west of where I live in Central Minnesota. My mom’s family is spread out from Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arizona, and a few other states but this summer there is a family reunion in June at my Aunt Dorothy’s. He ended his conversation with “We’re looking forward to seeing you at the reunion!”

The reunion in on a Saturday and I have been contemplating renting a plane and flying out for the reunion. There is an airport in Forsyth, MT. I checked and there are several other airports along the way. It would be a little over five hours of flying from home to Forsyth. It would be a true “cross-country” flight in my book.

While in flight training we had to plan a long-cross country flight. It did not take the kind of planning that would be required for a five-hour flight. I’m excited at the prospect of taking the flight if the weather permits.

One thing I know for sure from flying is that weather is unpredictable. So while I would love to fly to Montana if the weather isn’t good, I won’t. This means that I will have to be watching the weather for days in advance to look at the weather patterns and make a decision. If the weather is at all iffy that means hopping in the car and driving instead of flying. If I wait too long to decide then I won’t make it to the reunion.

It’s a common dilemma for pilots. Some make bad decisions and put themselves and others at risk because they have their heart set on flying and not driving or they don’t allow enough driving time to attend an event if the weather seems to turn.

Even if the weather looks good for my departure time and I decide to fly there is always the possibility of not making the reunion because of the weather changing in some part of my route. If the weather doesn’t look good all the way through to the destination and back at the time of my departure, I will have to cancel and miss the reunion.

Between now and the reunion I have to decide. What is more important, attending the reunion or flying? If it is attending the reunion then I had better plan on driving and allow enough time for it. If it is some flying time then I will choose to fly to Montana for the reunion but if the weather is not great then I will cancel my flying time and look for another flying adventure at another time.

I hope the stars align for some flying.


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If I choose this, it means I probably can’t have that.

Evening Rain Shower

Life is about choices.  With every choice we make we are in reality making two choices.  Our first choice is what we will do and our second choice is all the things we can’t do or have because of our first choice.  How we spend our time, money and energy each day is filled with choices.   

I made a choice to work towards being debt free.  Each choice I make every day will either move me toward my goal or farther away.  When I am in the store looking at an item that I am considering purchasing I need to make some decisions.  One decision is whether what I am purchasing is necessary or not.  If it is not, will it move me closer to my goal of being debt free or farther from it.  What is more important, my desire to be debt free or the item I am considering purchasing?  If it is a necessity will I be going into debt further to purchase it?  Is it possible to purchase the item for less or used to lessen the effect on my debt load?

This time of year reminds me of choices.  As I am writing this my husband, chairman of the local school board, is at the graduation ceremony handing out diplomas to this year’s graduates.  As 18 year olds, they are bombarded with many choices.  Do I go to college, technical college, enter military service or find a job after graduation?  It would be nice if as an 18-year-old you could use some of your future retirement time and dollars to investigate some of your interests to help in your decisions for your future.  I think it is a rare high school student who is 100% sure of their intended path for their life.

The past decade has allowed many choices that previous decades did not allow.  The free flow of credit, two income families, and smaller families have made it possible for young  families to have more than what their parents had and have at a much earlier age.  They generally don’t want to wait for anything.  They know what they want and they want it now. 

In the last year I have watched as these families are faced with downsizing due to the loss of a job or less hours.  They still have the same desires.  They want it all but are now forced to make choices and prioritizing.  Something they haven’t had to do in the past.  Some are almost paralyzed in the decision process.  They know that if they choose one thing they are giving up the ability to choose something else.

As far as energy goes in my life.  I am allowed the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else.  Some hours are spent sleeping, eating, and working.  Hopefully at the end of these activities there is some time left over for some outside interests.  The problem I have is which outside activity is going to get my time that is left over at the end of the day.  Reading, flying, quilting, gardening or writing to name a few of some of my choices.  Some days the choices are already made for me.  For example, if the weather is not great for flying or I have no extra funds in the bank that eliminates that choice from the list. 

I realized this year as I turned 50 that I have to make the most of the time I have left on this earth and start prioritizing what I want to accomplish.  If I am not making a conscience effort to make time for things I want to do in my life, they won’t happen.  What’s next?  I’m not sure but I want to look at my choices and make sure they are not keeping me from the things that are important and that I have chosen some path to follow not just letting life push me here and there because I don’t have a  plan.


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