You can’t change the weather (A note about everything *except* the weather)

A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache.’ Catherine the Great

Yikes! Sometimes things don’t go as we plan.

Take flying, for instance. Try as you might, you are always at the whim of the weather. As a pilot, you respect it, you anticipate it, some even learn how to read it. In a sense, you plan for the worst, but hope for the best. Seeing as though you are quite literally taking your life into your own hands, you give this force the respect that it deserves, and when you need to divert, you head to a safer space.

In Denver, we are currently in the midst of a full-fleded blizzard. No one is flying, even the big boys out at KDEN. We have all been grounded by nearly two feet of snow, ice and nasty winds. When something this drastic shuts our airports down, we just have to take it.

Last night, I was let down by a situation out of my control. Sitting on my bed, I stared out of my 40th floor balcony at the snow that was coming down hard, heavy, and with intention. After a few tears, and a pit in my stomach feeling that lasted until I finally fell asleep, I started thinking about how placing expectations of others can be as ridiculous as trying to control the weather.

Like the wind, ice, snow, sun, fog, calm and rain that can help or hinder our flight, the opinion and the actions of others is out of our control. Each person you come in contact with comes along with their own set of morals, values, goals, passions and vision. This is why best friends and loving relationships are so amazing when they finally come along… when you find a person who compliments, not necesarily matches, your set of values, you are lucky. These people should be cherished and kept close.

As pilots, we plan for the weather, because we are taking our lives into our own hands. In the past, I have viewed this as life and death. Literally. As in, “I can die if I get into a situation that is dangerous”. After a good work out and a few hours to calm my mind, I came to realize that “taking my life into my own hands” simply means never expecting others to comply with my plans, but rather enjoying and appreciating when they do. We will be let down a thousand or more times in our lives, but you can’t be let down if you don’t have an expectation of how things *should* turn out. If you plan on rockin’ it long term, it is time to forego allowing the actions of others to “let you down” and instead, be above it. I know, I know, easier said than done and I am certainly battling with my own ability to do so, but in the end, your attitude will determine your success. Don’t be let down, but rather elevate yourself.

When the weather changes and you have to divert to another airport, you don’t sit around and cry, wishing that the weather would change its mind (I am laughing while I type this sentence because it is so ridiculous). No, you change your route, you look for the blue skies, lighter winds and you land that plane, because YOUR life is in YOUR hands.

When people let you down, divert. Not necessarily away from that person, but divert from your expectation of what they are “supposed” to do for you. Do not be afraid to alter your course a bit, ask for help, get to a safer space where you can get back on your flight plan and get to your intended destination.

Here’s the best news… much of the time, your flight goes exactly as planned. You land where you wanted to land and on you go to planning your next adventure. You are not always let down, in fact, you are often times surprised by the generosity of others and inspired by the cool things that are thrown your way.

‘Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.’

— Helen Keller

The difference between this-
And this-
Is a wider angle lens (*wink wink*), a little patience, the ability to see that in life, we do really have a lot of beautiful weather.
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8 thoughts on “You can’t change the weather (A note about everything *except* the weather)

  1. Thanks Amelia. You do a great job of conveying your message to others. Like I have mentioned previously, I am not a “flyboy” so to speak. I wish that I would have, like you, gone ahead and got my pilot license, but at age (almost 83), I feel I am too old to even consider it, but still, I have these dreams of being a pilot.

    Come up to Greeley sometime and let me see your airplane. I am so fascinated with the modern techniques. While flying with an airline, the pilot took me up front and showed me modern techniques that have been incorporated into that airplane. It is unbelieveable. I know that the plane you fly is, is one of the top planes in the industry…

    Have you ever wondered what Wilbur or Orville Wright would think, if by chance they could come back and see and airplane such as the one you pilot? They would be amazed, wouldn’t they???

    Keep up the good work and please keep us posted about your future flights… Like I said, “Come up to Greeley and show me your airplane…”
    Shu

  2. Amelia,
    Love the thoughts. As a VFR pilot, I was always told that the difference between looking into a storm and clearer (and safer) skies is usually 180 degrees. I love how you are rooted in your history. I am lucky enough to fly out of SE VA and for one of my first flights as a licensed pilot I flew to KFFA in northeast NC to pay homage to the two guys who started it all. It’s amazing what can happen when you put aside all the naysayers and just shoot for your dreams. Good luck on your trip, and your IFR ;). I too am on that boat, working on my 50 hours of PIC cross country. Of course my cross country doesn’t compare to yours! :) Good luck and stay safe and smart!
    Russ

  3. Well stated. It’s all about how we handle challenges. Your perspective is well thought out and is something to keep in mind when we all face future “changes in weather”.
    Claudia & Glen

  4. I absolutely love this post. Expectations can cause unnecessary stress. Love the idea of diverting to a safe place. Thanks so much Amelia!

  5. This blog addresses alot of the difficulties that myself and my fellow veterans struggle with. In combat we have an expectation that our buddy is focused on what we are, the mission. We don’t have any other expectation but that of taking care of each other. When we get home, we have difficulties managing our expectations of others, but we need to realize that we can only influence ourselves and hope that people see things our way.

  6. Great post, great blog, and great videos, wish you all the best success in the you lives :)
    I just found out about this log now, but I really love and I am looking forward for more posts. I currently live in Egypt and I am between decisions now either to go to aviation school in Toronto, Canada or Miami, Florida, USA to start studying for a commercial pilot. I would appreciate it if anyone could give me some tips, it would be great. Btw I am 27 and I am half British half Egyptian. Cheers ;)

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