Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hi-ho, hi-ho….

It’s back to work I go!

As I begin to write this post, I am sitting in row 19, seat A on a Southwest Airplane heading to Oakland, California. Obviously, I will be *posting* this from the ground, but for now I am enjoying the view out the window of the airplane at about 15,000ft above ground. Before my quick trip to Oakland on Monday with Cooper I had not been on a LUV jet since March of 08’, but I know this trip well- I have taken off and landed in Portland more times than I can count. Tonight, we took off to the east and out my window I could follow Airport Way/181st all the way to our neighborhood. I could see all of the Gresham/Troutdale area, including Gresham Station, which is very recognizable from the air at night (if you know what you’re looking for). I love this view!!

Pretty much all of the past year that I have been blogging, I have been on maternity leave- I have been all mommy and not so much a flight attendant. Rick and the kids dropped me off at the airport tonight and saying goodbye was harder than I imagined for a couple of reasons. I am still nursing Cooper (sorry to any of the men who read the blog, for bringing up breasts and stuff), so emotionally I am really attached to the little guy. He and I have never been apart for more than 7 or 8 hours and I am going to try and continue to nurse and pump on the road for a bit while I am working- we’ll see how this little trial run goes. Also, Riley and Tyson are a year older than before, much more aware of mommy being gone, and have been used to having me around all the time. I know they are resilient and will be great with daddy, but it is still hard. This is where I have to mention that I have the most amazing husband in the world, because when I’m out of town, he is at it alone. I know he has everything under control and can totally handle it, but getting up early, getting himself ready, feeding Cooper, getting the other two up and ready by 7am when the babysitter comes, then getting to the school just in time for students to arrive, teach all day, get home by 4pm, and do the dinner and bedtime routine with all three kids will not be easy. But, like I said, he’s amazing and he can handle it! The fact that he is such an incredible dad is just one of the many reasons I love him so much!

So, I am heading to Oakland for a little refresher course in how to be a flight attendant! ☺ We have an annual recurrent training and since I have been out so long, I missed my regular month of training and I am not legal to fly until I complete the course. I certainly need a refresher! After 9 ½ years, most of the information is ingrained in my memory, but I am still a little nervous to actually work a trip and while much is the same, so many things have changed since I've been away. This will be the perfect way to ease me back into things. After I complete the course, I will be able to start picking up trips and work again.

Top priority for my first trip is to get an overnight in a city with an In N’ Out Burger near the hotel- Reno, LA, Burbank, San Jose… any one of these will do. I just can’t wait to sit down and enjoy a cheeseburger and fries from one of my all-time favorite places to eat. I’m also looking forward to visiting some friends of mine on overnights, so Spokane and Jackson, Mississippi are tops on my list of overnights too! I am looking forward to running in cities with warmer weather, sleeping in beds with comfy pillows (and nobody to steal the covers from me- Rick!), and enjoying a little more adult interaction!

I have always said that being a flight attendant was the perfect job when I was single. It got harder to leave when I met Rick and we got married and has gotten progressively harder as we have added children to our family. But, I am starting to realize that being a flight attendant can be a pretty great job as a wife and mom too. I have been with Southwest long enough that the seniority (HUGE in this business) and the money are both really good for me right now. When I first started flying, I lived in Phoenix and worked A LOT just to pay the bills and truthfully, I didn’t have anything better to do. I loved to work and go on great overnights to fun cities, catch a Mariners game in a different city when I could (Baltimore, New York, Oakland, Chicago), and I would typically travel to visit family and friends on my days off. Now, I can enjoy the fruits of my labor by working less and making more or the same as I did in the early days.

I am going to try out this new positive, I-love-my-job attitude and hopefully it will make leaving a little less painful. Tonight, after turning back to Rick in the van and waving one last time, I walked through the doors of the airport and lost it! I cried all the way through security and for the long walk to the Southwest gates. I pulled it together to check-in for the flight, and have managed to keep it together since then. It will never be easy to leave my husband and kids for 2-3 days at a time, but we will make it work. I’m sure it won’t take long for passengers to get to me or I miss a flight home and have to wait around Oakland for hours or I work a 12+ hour day with a 10 hour overnight and I begin to dislike my job again, but in the meantime, I will enjoy the optimism! ☺


Lisa said...

You lucky duck! You get to enjoy going to In-N-Out!

I grew up in Southern California and so I grew up on In-N-Out burgers. I take my cheesburger animal style, no onions.

I'll have to tell Donald where you are eating today....he'll be especially jealous! He never even went on a plane till he met me. But since then he has gone with me to California several times a year. And oh how he has fallen in love with In-n-out! It's the first thing we do after the plane lands. And he makes sure to eat there at least every other day on our trips! And yes, he has an in-n-out t-shirt that he proudly wears :)

Anyways, enjoy your refresher course. I can't imagine how hard it must be to be away from your little ones. Keep their pictures close to you :)

Lisa said...

Just remember, all those things your amazing husband is doing for 2-3 days at a time are the things you've been doing for 3 years. You are amazing and your kids know it and while I can't imagine how hard it is to be away from them, just think of the welcome you'll receive each and every time you come home!

Enjoy some uninterrupted sleep for me!

Alaskiana said...

Can't wait to hear how the first trip went...I agree with do much more than you give yourself credit for. Although no one can deny Rick IS an amazing father.

Amy Williams said...

I know it's bittersweet but just like you are an awesome mommy, you are also an awesome FA!! The best part is that you get to choose when you want to work and what works best for your family. Not like 9 1/2 years ago when we had to work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday..PM'S..YUCK!!! I hope to run into you on an overnight. How exciting to look for your name on the sign in sheet!! :)

Kathleen said...

If you fly to Baltimore for an overnight, let me know. I live 15 minutes from the airport!!