Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happiness Is Being Committed

Commitment, rooted in belief both in oneself and in some intangible entity such as love or God, is a very odd phenomenon. Commitment to another person requires an undying belief in that person, as well as a deep belief in oneself. Commitment to a hobby, pastime or career path also requires a strong belief in oneself, combined with a guiding belief: If I achieve X, I will get/feel Y. Commitment to a psych ward requires such an extreme belief in oneself that even in the face of logic, sanity and all that is good in the world, that belief is unshaken. But I digress. Thank you all for your comments on last week's post. I'm still flying, I still have questions, but I feel like I have options. That's a great step.

I took my cousin's sons up to Petaluma for lunch today, and it was the kind of magical flight that causes one's perhaps shaky beliefs to be propped up, stabilized, held aloft proudly like Excalibur, allowing one to be the ruler of the fickle kingdom of his emotions for a fleeting moment. Pardon me while I wax poetic -- basically, I had a great time, and found that upon landing, I was in a completely different state of mind than I was when I'd started. What had happened?

I'd done something relatively difficult really well. I'd been able to relay a totally different view of the world to two people I love very much. I also flew very well, and handled the radio much better than I would've expected after a 10-day layoff. We took off from San Carlos in 610SP, a plane that I'd remembered as being very solid but hadn't flown in a long while. Luckily, my memory served correctly. We got our code for SFO's Bravo transition, took off on 12 for a left downwind, and went north. Talking to SFO, I was smooth and professional, and got my clearance. I maintained 1500' pretty much exactly through the transition, then flew out over the city and gave my passengers a nice view of the Golden Gate. We continued up to Petaluma, entered the busy pattern perfectly, and glided to a nice landing on runway 29.

Lunch was good; the weekday staff at the 29er Diner seemed a bit overwhelmed by the pre-Thanksgiving crowd, but the food was good. We took off on a right downwind, and as we neared Sausalito, I'd still been unable to get a word in edgewise to Norcal. Finally there was a gap and I fired my request through. I got my clearance, and followed the freeway back to San Carlos. I crossed overhead at 1200', made right traffic for 30 and landed smoothly. Totally uneventful flight EXCEPT when departing Petaluma I had my comm on the wrong radio. Luckily I discovered this before ending up in a disruptive situation.

And now I'm happy. I flew, I flew well with passengers, I handled my responsibilities with aplomb. I think much of my consternation from before is that I've spent WAY more time than usual lately looking at balance sheets, and if that won't get one committed, I don't know what will.

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