Escape.

I took Earl on his first ride in the Cherokee 180 yesterday. It was a beautiful day here in Central New York, the temperature was thinking about reaching 40ºF and there was lots of sunshine. The winds kept me on my toes during take-off and landing, but all in all we had a great flight together. We flew to Elmira-Corning Regional Airport and back; it’s a little over an hour’s flight in each direction. This made it qualify as a cross-country flight in my logbook. This is good, I need cross-country time for my Instrument rating, which I just started studying for. 

Flying with Earl is just like riding in the Jeep with him. We talk, we enjoy the scenery around us and most importantly, we enjoy the time we are spending together.

  

Flying is also an escape for me. As a pilot, my focus all comes to one place: flying the airplane safely. In my life it’s rare that I can focus on one thing. At work I am part of several disconnected software projects. I can be intently working on Project A when I’ll get hammered with instant messages on Projects B, C or D at any given moment. This pulls me away from my focus on Project A and my thoughts scatter. I used to think that I was a good multitasker. I’m not. I work best when I’m focused on a task and I allow myself to become completely engrossed in that task. I do my best work by focusing intently on what I’m trying to achieve. That’s why I twitch a bit when I get instant messages or text messages on my phone. They distract me and honestly, I’m easy to distract.

I continue to find the news outlets to be distracting. “Aviation experts” showing pictures of the airplane in the Germanwings crash. According to the photos I’ve seen, the airplane could have had one or two floors in the main cabin, two, three or four engines at any given moment and it was made by either Airbus, Boeing, Bombadier or some other company. These experts have no right to call themselves an expert. So much speculation and so many wild opinions. To me it’s sad to see the 24 hour news channels barely hide their delight that they have a tragedy to go on and on and on about. I feel sad for the families left behind after the crash of the Airbus. I feel even sadder that their images are being paraded around on the tube during their time of mourning.

So I turned the news off. 

I guess getting super focused on something affords me the escape I feel my brain needs. I need to better myself at removing distractions, and finding that happy place, even when I’m on the ground.

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