What got me started -> my wife's answer...
Back in February of this year, armed with the material I'd gathered since before Christmas and some preplanned answers, I approached my wife and threw a picture of a chopper on our bed...an inquisitive yes? was received. I started with, well you know my passion for choppers blah blah...it's time I learnt to fly one! This was met with an "okay you've obviously thought about this but what about cost, time, family, work etc?". We spoke about our individual goals as well as our common goals, she is a trained teacher but plans to head back to uni in the future to study midwifery, so she could understand my desire to turn this into a reality (even if it was an expensive and unusual goal to set out to achieve at 35). It was good I didn't get responses like are you leaving me, don't you like your job or are you having an early mid life crisis (although realistically I'm not entirely sure at what age those start at these days!).
No, it was simply a case of I have something to love (my wife and kids), something to do (I have work to sustain the family) but this was something to live for, a goal long ago set, not always on the priority list but never forgotten. Don't get me wrong we have set no long term goals about where this will head, the aim at the outset is to get to the end of the licence learning to be a good pilot. As time goes on with experience, hard work and a lot of luck, who knows... (aspirations I think I will delve into at a later stage).
My wife knows as an accountant I would have thought about the financial effects of a decision like this (ok that's a generalisation) although the opportunity cost of doing or not doing something like this is not the only approach I took, it was more about I didn't want to get to 50 (apologies to you older folk out there ) and think, I should have learnt to fly a chopper!!! It's not a case of I hate my job either (although everyone has their bad days at work - even chopper pilots from what I've read in different forums) so I'm not going to chuck it in any day. I talk to many people at work (I seem to be a magnet for this) about goals, financial security, work / life balance, applying oneself to achieve what ever they set out to do and it's time to practice what I preach. My wife and I have discussed the timetable for training and issues around minimising the effects on our relationship and the kids - all achievable if compromise is employed (I'm a realist and am sure there will be times when this will be tested). Hey, even in general life for friends we have, people seem to be juggling calendars and appointments to satisfy different family / friends all the time, our lives are not overcomplicated at the moment so we'll probably move up to their level of chaos.
I've a seen a thread or two discussing the relationship side of flying and can see why it is difficult to find a happy medium for the different situations posed there. Some guys took the hard line like the chopper or the girl (fine for those) and some take the more balanced approach to either having both (everyone's idea of a prefect world) or only accepting decisions based on family first then work second (equally fine). Each to there own, we're all individuals with values, ideas, motivations and directions we wish to travel in or are presented with, and at any point in time we have to make our own minds up on the information available (or our own assumptions). I told my wife, family will come first, it always has and always will.
So with a yes from the boss, how do I choose where to go...
Until next time...
Follow choppernut on his journey to CPL(H).
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