Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Flight Attendant's Thoughts on Flight 370

My heart has been heavy this past week since I first learned of the news of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 that went missing on March 8th. I can't even begin to imagine what has gone through the minds of the crew and passengers aboard. I don't know what happened, none of us do. How does a 777 just disappear? Here are a few facts on the beautiful Boeing 777:

The Boeing 777 is a family of long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airlinersdeveloped and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and has a typical seating capacity for 314 to 451 passengers, with a range of 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,372 km). Commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". (From Wikipedia)

From a Flight Attendants perspective, here are a few thoughts.

First and foremost, we are trained, trained and trained in every possible aspect of SAFETY, then we are trained, trained and trained again...it never ends. We are constantly receiving procedural updates and tested on our knowledge of the most important aspect of our job.

Safety procedures are DRILLED into our heads from day 1 of training. Each time I step foot on a plane, I think "Safety". It doesn't stop. As passengers board the flight, I greet each one face-to-face, looking each one in the eye. On the Jumpseat, I'm doing a silent review of emergency procedures and commands. I assess my "able-bodied passengers"; who could assist if needed and I know who might need some special assistance. I always say a little prayer, that whatever happens, I will remain calm and know what to do. We are constantly training throughout the year and have a yearly re qualification. It is THE REASON flight attendants are on the plane.

Pilots are trained very much the same, with completely different details. Their #1 concern is the safety of the plane. They know that plane inside and out. Their training is incredibly extensive in the "what ifs". I count on my pilots to be on top of their game. They have checklists that they take VERY seriously and keep us apprised on the goings-on so that together we can do our best to assure a seamless operation.

I respect and appreciate my pilots. I know they receive intensive, on-going trainings. My brother is a 777 captain. He knows his plane, procedures and protocol like the back of his hand. I've watched him my entire life "breathe" airplanes. His extensive (unbelievable, actually) flight hours, trainings and, most importantly, experience have ensured a safe and successful career as a major airline Captain. I respect him and appreciate his attention to every detail.

I also SO appreciate my passengers who listen to my safety announcements and are compliant even when the "rules" seem dumb or unnecessary. I promise you, there are valid reasons for every request. We are trained to CARE for our passengers. I can't speak for all Flight Attendants, but when you step aboard one of MY flights, know that your welfare is my #1 concern...I love my passengers and feel a real responsibility to assure the safest flight possible.

The airline industry is a tight industry. We feel for each other and when something terrible happens to one airline, we all feel like it has happened to a family member/s.

I pray that answers come quickly about the disappearance of Malaysia 370. I pray that peace and comfort come to the family and friends of those aboard. There is still a glimmer of hope that some, maybe many or all, are alive. God bless them.
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Life Lessons From a 90 Year Old

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short enjoy it.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the future.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.
16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19.. It's never too late to be happy. But it is all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33.  Believe in miracles .
34.  God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. 
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45.  Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift." 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Say What You Need To Say

Just a little over 2 years and 6 months ago I attended Initial New Hire Training for the airline I currently work for. During the training, a pilot came to speak to us and asked for a commitment from each of us to email him and "Say what you need to say". I rose my hand that day and made that commitment to him....But I never emailed him and this has haunted me these 2 years and 6 months! I am a woman of my word and I have struggled with what to "say", But at last, I have decided on what I want to say. Let me first explain...

Without going into too much detail, I experienced a really painful, unfair and truthfully, horrid situation with someone who I have to deal with for the rest of my life. This person has made it their mission to destroy my life, marriage and anything else that they can when it comes to myself or my husband. In August, I was put through the ringer with this person. I was treated VERY unfairly and very hatefully. After all the years of staying silent and taking their abuse, I went home and I fell apart. I sobbed for 2 days, wanted to crawl into a hole and just fade away. Shortly after this event a dear friend stopped by knowing the history with this person. He sat with my husband and me and listened to my sobbings. I unloaded. Then he made a statement that was simple, pure and PERFECT! He said, "Mary, you need to go out and find someone to serve." My first response was "REALLY?!? how is this even possible? I fly all the time and am never home..."He simply and lovingly replied, "You'll find a way."

I pondered his counsel for the next 2 days (my off days). You see, I live in a small town (Midway,UT) and LOVE to serve having served on many committees including the Midway Boosters, serve as the Secretary of our local caucus, chair for the Swiss Miss Pageant, had various church callings and currently serve as Chair for Advertising/PR for our annual Swiss Days event held each Labor Day weekend (there's my plug!) My heart knew that he was exactly right but my conundrum was how to go about this "service" with my crazy flight attendant schedule? Then I had a crazy thought...I had a 4 day trip coming up (that I wasn't terribly excited about, to be honest) but maybe I could commit to myself that I would "SERVE" every passenger who stepped onboard my flights. And I mean REALLY serve them. 

I checked in for my first flight, not feeling so great, but the commitment that I had made to myself resonated in my ears..."Serve them, Mary...just serve them." It started very simply. I looked at the first passenger in the eye, smiled and said "Welcome aboard." Then looked at the next and did essentially the same thing, then the next passenger and the next and on and on...Yes, I looked every passenger in the eye and greeted them with sincerity, a smile and even appropriate compliments. It wasn't long before I began to feel real, sincere concern for them and, dare I say, even a sense of love for them. Since that day, I have changed my entire perspective of my "job"...in fact, it's no longer a job, I view it as a "Calling"! I know that sounds lame, but for me, it works! I look at it as a calling to touch the lives of others for the better...to leave my passengers feeling even a little bit better than when they stepped on the plane. I can offer sincere understanding and genuinely touch the lives of others by simply listening, understanding and caring about the worth of each and every soul that I come in contact with. I try to be aware. As an example, a lady came onboard (a short non-service flight) and it was obvious that she had been crying. As soon as I could get out of my jump seat, I quickly wrote her a note simply saying, "I'm sorry that you're having a hard day. I hope I can make your day a little brighter" and dropped it off with some peanuts, pretzels and a cookie. She came to me later and told me that she had just lost a best friend to cancer, having just left her funeral then proceeded to give me a big hug and thanked me for my concern.

Like me, everyone has been treated unfairly and been betrayed by people in their lives. Like me, not everyone flies for pleasure and like me, everyone hurts.

I can't even begin to tell you how much better my life is both personally and professionally. I feel very liberated! When I fly with a negative or critical flight attendant (or Pilot), that's OK because I just work to serve them, knowing that they are hurting too...

As I attempt to bless the lives of others, my life has been more richly blessed. As a result, my passenger compliments have increased dramatically, both written and verbally (which is just a bonus). Please know that I am not tooting my own horn. I'm not perfect, but I love what I do and I do what I love. I am healing from the injustices that I experienced in August. I have learned to forgive, forgive and then forgive again. And I'm sure this will be a perpetual exercise for me throughout my life. And that's OK. I never would have believed that exhausted, sometimes ornery, cranky, even downright nasty passengers could help to heal me! But they have because I have learned to love them and understand that they hurt too and sometimes just a sincere smile can help lift their load I can even feel compassion (just a teeeeeeny bit) for the person who has hurt me...but it's a step! What a difference a paradigm shift can make!

In closing, let me quote the words of the great Paul McCartney, "...And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blah...

Here I am...sitting in a hotel for 30 hours in Nashville, TN. It's a beautiful city, lots to do, and I'm getting paid but it's cold and rainy and we're not within walking distance from much...blah...

That's it!! I have a case of the "Blahs"!!

I recently applied for a position within my company which I KNOW I was qualified for. I still know it. When I first found out that I wasn't selected, I was, well quite frankly, shocked. I had a similar, almost identical position at Delta and did a great job at it. I felt my interview was good and left confident that I just might nail this...I was wrong.

As I stepped onto my plane yesterday to start a 4 day trip, I was...Blah. I didn't know the other crew members but had heard about the other flight attendant and had only heard good things. He didn't let me down! He is one of the sweetest guys I have flown with. We have laughed, giggled and chatted like two 12 year olds on a sleepover! I ADORE him and felt an instant connection. Shortly after we boarded, another flight attendant boarded our flight only to announce that he was doing a Safety Audit. I've never had one before, but it was great. I just did my job and he complimented me and said that he noticed that I was attentive to my job and that I really, genuinely cared about my passengers.

And I DO care about my passengers...every last one of them (I'll post about a major epiphany later).

I mentioned to him that I was not chosen for the recent position. He acted completely shocked saying how I was so perfect for this position and then proceeded to tell me that he too had been "rejected" for the very same position in the past. Now I was REALLY shocked. He was very sharp, professional, kind, caring, mature and seemed very capable.

It was amazing to me how people were placed in my life yesterday who lifted me and felt my worth. I am at peace with NOT being selected and, although I still know my abilities, for whatever reason it wasn't meant to be, I'm sorry that I was unable to portray accurately my skills and abilities...that's my responsibility, but life goes on. I will still continue to dazzle my passengers and give them the best me.

I doubt that I will ever again apply for any position that comes available...but, never say never! I'm happy where I am. So the Blahs will pass but in the meantime I am so thankful for new, lifelong friends and for peers who make my job easier and who bless my life just by being in it.
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One Word

It's that time of year...the NEW year.

Like most people, I used to make a pretty hefty list of lofty goals that seemed honorable and needed for the upcoming year and like most people, I fell terribly short of the majority of my resolutions. So, I spent a few years where my rebellious nature refused to allow me to move forward with bright hope. Then I discovered the "One Word"

About 5 years ago I awoke early one January morning. It was dark and the stillness of the morning was calming and peaceful. I turned on my phone and saw my new calendar for the year. It was 365 blank days illuminated in the blackness of the early dawn. As I looked at each blank month, I was struck by the power of having a blank canvas staring me in the face and I changed.

I decided that since I was unsuccessful in making traditional resolutions, I had to do something different. So I came up with One Word. I printed it up, put it on my refrigerator and looked at it everyday. It served as the word that would dictate to me how each and every decision would be made.

In the past, I've chosen words such as Focus, Balance and Patience.

I have selected my word for 2014. It wasn't even on my radar until a few weeks ago, but I know it's MY word. It's the word I will think of when I'm faced with every decision, every interaction and most importantly, every frustration and challenge.

My word is: GRACIOUS

We live in a very ungracious world in many ways. I feel it's appropriate and necessary at this time of my life.

So to all of you, I commit to working on this. I look forward to becoming a more gracious person in a fast-paced, self-centered society where many are more concerned about themselves than anyone else.

May God bless you all...
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quick Update

I went to the doc for my third and (hopefully) final medical test and the results are in!!

Let me start by saying that since Aug 30th,  I have been undergoing testing for Lupus, MS and the big, ugly, Cancer. It has been a trying time for me...not understanding what has been going on with my body, trying to maintain my composure without panicking, and facing the "C" word. It's been rough, but also a great period of growth for me.


Today I received the long-awaited news...Benign polyps, no CANCER!!


I felt tremendous relief, joy and elation. As I drove home in moderate pain (from more poking & prodding), I could hardly contain my excitement. Then it hit me that  millions of people have experienced the mix of emotions that I have experienced since this journey began, only to receive dreaded news.


And my heart broke.


Why me? Why am I OK and others aren't? Why do I have a new lease on life when someone else is facing a possible death sentence? I guess it's called "Life".


So today I get to walk a lovely new path but will pray for those who must walk a frightening path and hope and pray that I will always remember and be grateful for another chance...Thank you for all of your prayers and concern.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Inspiration


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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Writers Block No More

Talk about WRITERS BLOCK!! I have been wanting to write in my blog, but have been so uninspired...yet, a lot of things have transpired since I last wrote...I wondered if anyone even read this thing and then realized that it really doesn't matter and I should just write for myself. I'm not even sure where I left off so let me just begin.

 My daughter, A, had her 3rd and hopefully FINAL heart surgery. It was super rough on her this time and her poor little body really struggled, but, she came through it and seems to be doing better each day. Both of her follow-up appointments have had positive outcomes with NO FLUID to be found...This is HUGE!! So we are incredibly thankful and hopeful that she can start to heal and regain her strength that has been lacking for so many years.

 All of the "Littles" are doing great. Each is growing so up so fast. Here's a quick rundown:


A
is 7 and now in 2nd grade. She is an exceptional student. She's quite the perfectionist, which worried me a bit because she is very hard on herself. She loves dance, singing and has just started taking Ballroom Dancing lessons. She has tons of friends and is still my sweet girl.

A is 6 and now in 1st grade. He is not so keen on school (kind of typical boy) but is very bright and that may just be the reason. If he's anything like his mother, he's bored to tears. He excels in sports. He loves soccer (and constantly scores goals) and now is beginning football where he has already scored a touchdown!  

S is 5 and now in Kindergarten. She also loves school and has been waiting (im)patiently to begin "real" school. She loves to dance, has started taking clogging and has been selected to train with the BYU gymnastic coaches. By the way, she's the youngest one on the team so this is quite an honor for her. Her health has been pretty good but we are gearing up for the cold winter months that usually put her in the hospital.

B is 4 and is in Preschool. She gives her mother fits and is one stubborn, strong-willed girl! Hmmmm...reminds me of her mother! She is also very smart, loves preschool, loves to dance and is sassy to the max! Good luck, Britt!! and finally,

T is 3 and is also in preschool. He is enrolled in the dual-immersion program so is learning Spanish. He is feisty and the smiliest kid I know! He is full of life, anxious to experience anything and so sweet. 

My hubs and I are doing great. I have been having some unusual health issues with no definitive answers yet. I am currently undergoing a lot of testing and hoping to get some answers next week. of course there are concerns about what this could be but I am hopeful and VERY grateful for modern medicines and procedures that help a myriad of issues that, in days past, were deemed death sentences. I know this sounds very dramatic, but it's just reality. As I have been forced to face my imminent mortality (as we all do at times) I have come to realize how incredibly blessed my life has been. I have enjoyed comforts that the majority of the world will never know. I have people who love me, an amazingly loving and faithful husband, a family who supports me and children & grandchildren that give me EVERYTHING I ever need. And really, what more do we need?

I had an experience this summer where I was mistreated by someone who is very shallow and bitter. It was painful and unfair on so many levels, but this person made me realize that the people I need to have in my life are the people who are kind-hearted, unselfish and positive to be around. The whole experience forced me to look deep inside of myself and really evaluate where I am in life. Without going into any detail, I owe this person a great debt of gratitude for helping me to clarify my blessings. They tried to hurt me but, in fact, helped me beyond belief! I am going through the forgiveness process (although they haven't asked for my forgiveness) and I have grown as a result. It is so liberating to "let go" of hurt and angry feelings and rely on what I know to be true and just. I feel sorry for them and pray for them daily. I hope it helps them, but it really has helped me the most.

Our Natalie got married on August 15th to an wonderful man named Brad. I wish them every happiness and success in the world. They are a great couple and have the entire world at their fingertips!

My job is going great. I"m based in Salt Lake City which GREATLY increases my quality of life and although I don't always get the schedule I want or the days off I need, it is a huge blessing to be able to drive to/from work without the stress of commuting to another city. The airline industry is a fickle industry with changes constantly. Maybe that's why I like it so much...its never boring!

When I first received the news that I would be undergoing extensive testing for the big "C", I felt helpless, devastated, scared and blah blah blah. A dear friend happened to stop by the house one morning. He said that as he was driving by, he felt "inspired" to stop in. My husband and I sat with him in the living room and just chatted. I was down...I felt as though I have never really done anything significant in my life. Then my sweet hubs quietly said, "can you believe that? She has no idea how much significance she has in my life..." And that made me cry... Eventually, the subject of my health came up and Brad shared with him our concerns. He listened intently and then very wisely said, "the best way for you to get through this is to go out and serve others". My first response was, "I'm never home and have to fly tomorrow for 4 days"...then it hit me...I can serve those I work with. And that's what I did. I really focused on my fellow crew members and my passengers. I gave the BEST customer service I could possibly give and made sure that I smiled at EVERYONE who boarded and thanked everyone who deplaned by looking them straight in the eye. I have to say, that was probably the BEST 4 day trip I ever had! I "forgot", even if for a few hours at a time, my problems and my fears were allayed. My joy increased and my heart was lightened. My passengers were great and when we did have an "issue" I was better equipped to handle the situation.

It really is true that when you lose yourself in others, you gain so much. My outlook is bright. I don't know what lies ahead and I may not know for a few more weeks. But I do know that I am alive and happy.

I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams and I am hopeful that things will work out as they're supposed to. I only pray that I learn the lessons that need to be learned so that I can grow into someone who can help others. If any of my loyal readers are still out there, thank you for staying around. If not, that's OK too.

 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Angels on Earth

It's another beautiful Sabbath day. I have really grown to love Sunday and appreciate the "Day of Rest" aspect of the 7th day of the week. Having said that, I have to work most Sundays and am even away from home so on these rare days when I am in town, I really soak up the serenity of the day,

For the past few weeks, I have been struggling with an issue requiring unconditional love and tolerance. An issue where a lot of dycotomies lie. I am happy and I am sad. I am hopeful and I am fearful. My heart is full, but broken at the same time...I know this sounds confusing, but out of respect for this person, I want to keep details out of this post. Suffice it to say that I have struggled.

As I have pondered this particular situation, I have felt prompted to seek out the "counsel" or maybe even just a listening ear from a sweet friend whom I have known for several years from my church. I have never had a very deep conversation with this sweet lady, but I have admired her endlessly since the day I met her. She's AMAZINGLY compassionate, wise and unconditional...I saw her at church and told her I wanted to talk with her...we met at a public place, shared chips and salsa and talked.

Unsure of exactly what I needed from her, we sat down and I began to tell her my situation. As I was explaining my concerns, it dawned on me that what I was really afraid of was my "Being Afraid". She sat across the table from me and listened to my heart. Her eyes displayed compassion and love for me and my heart swelled. We talked...and talked...and talked...it was beautiful. I told her that I felt "prompted" to call her...she said that maybe I was prompted to call her because she was going through an almost identical situation!

Her ability and capacity for unconditional love is unmeasurable! She is wise beyond her years and as a result of her life's experiences and undenied faith, I look up to and respect her more than she will ever know. As we sat together today, two women of faith who struggle with challenges like everyone else, I felt a connection to her that is now eternal.

So this is basically what we talked about...

She said to me, "Mary, God loves us exactly where we are..." I thought about that. As a recovering addict, she shared that in her very darkest moments, He still loved her. She wasn't in a good place, but He was there with her when she called upon Him...He never let her down.

She referred me to an LDS Conference talk...It's entitled: "The Hope of God's Light"...here's an excerpt that resonated with me.


First, start where you are. 
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father? We don’t have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God’s blessings. In fact, the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven begin to distill upon us with the very first steps we take toward the light. 
The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now. It doesn’t matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come. 

Second, turn your heart toward the Lord. 
Lift up your soul in prayer and explain to your Heavenly Father what you are feeling. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Pour out your heart and express your gratitude. Let Him know of the trials you are facing. Plead with Him in Christ’s name for strength and support. Ask that your ears may be opened, that you may hear His voice. Ask that your eyes may be opened, that you may see His light. 

Third, walk in the light. 
Your Heavenly Father knows that you will make mistakes. He knows that you will stumble—perhaps many times. This saddens Him, but He loves you. He does not wish to break your spirit. On the contrary, He desires that you rise up and become the person you were designed to be. (May 2013 Ensign, The Hope of God’s Light, By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

I think that sometimes I feel as though I need to be "further along" in my journey of life. I am hard on myself and sometimes those I love because I want the best for them. This sweet angel told me today something to the effect: "who are we to interfere with someone else's journey?" They may be going down a path that is different from mine or different than what I THINK they should be going down, but they are God's children and I have to have trust and faith in Him that He will help them along their way.

How grateful I am for Hope...For God's pure love...For dear, sweet friends who take time out of their day to listen and love me. For words of wisdom that are shared from the heart and heard differently when I listen with my heart.
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Complacency

Again...I've been absent from my blog...Life has gotten in the way...

Here are a few updates:

First and foremost, I FINALLY GOT MY TRANSFER!! After 22 looooong months, I was awarded my transfer to Salt Lake City. No more commuting! This is HUGE!!! Can I just say that being able to DRIVE to work vs. FLY to work is unbelievably wonderful.

My family is doing well. Little Stella is healthy and strong. Her whole experience in ICU changed her. She was always a very loving little girl, but she is now more demonstrative and open with her affections. She and I have an even stronger bond. The Lord was incredibly merciful and spared that precious life. Not a day goes by where I don't thank Him and express my sincerest love and gratitude for His tender mercies.

Aja needs one more (at least) heart procedure. She is planning on June for the surgery and we're hopeful that this will alleviate the problem, or at least get her in the right direction for healing.

We went to Disneyland with 3 of our grandchildren. We had a BLAST, but...it was exhausting!! The kids were perfect! They were like little energizer bunnies who didn't stop until we got back to the hotel...then they dropped...Brad and I were totally exhausted, but it was totally worth every smile from those sweet kids.









I've been flying like crazy. That's a good thing, but again, exhausting at times.

My last 4 day trip was very eventful, to say the least...

It started out on kind of a bad foot. We were delayed from the start about 2 hours. I was working our smallest plane in the fleet which is our little Turbo Prop which holds 30 passengers total. I LOVE this plane! It's loud, bumpy and small but for some reason, so much fun. With 30 passengers, I am usually able to visit with some of my passengers and I try to make their experience a positive one.

We finally boarded and I ended up with only 16 passengers. As we were literally lifting off the runway, about 3 min. into the flight,  my cabin started to fill up with smoke. I immediately began running the procedures through my head for a smoke-filled cabin. My heart rate jumped and all I could do was tell myself to stay calm and remember the training I have received. I'll spare the details, but, my passengers were AMAZING!! They followed my commands and helped me try to locate the source of any fire (there were no flames or fire). They remained calm and, even though there were a few tears and I could see the fear on their faces, they did not panic and they listened to me. Ultimately, we returned to the airport (it was a 13 min. flight in total) and we evacuated normally.

I learned a lot in those 13 minutes. I realized that it is VERY easy to become complacent and comfortable because an experience like I had, is not the norm. In 25 years in this industry, I have NEVER had anything like this happen. I realized that NOT paying attention to details can kill you and by PAYING attention to details, your chances of survival are greatly increased.

It made me ponder my life...how often do we wake up in the morning and "assume" that we will make it to another day?... That when I get in the car, I will get to my destination and then back home with no incident...and, how often have I gotten on a flight and rushed through my pre-flights? It is so easy to become complacent with the everyday details of life, but it's the details that make a difference.

I am SO thankful that I had the experience I did on my flight. I'm especially thankful that nobody was hurt or injured and that we landed safely. I am truly grateful for the intense training that we have as flight attendants and that my company never lets up on us! As difficult as it can be, our training really kicks in and in that crisis I knew exactly what to do...I can always do better, but my training definitely worked. So kudos to SkyWest Airlines!! What an amazing training department!

I'm thankful for the lesson of complacency that I learned that day. I can only hope and pray that I will always pay attention to the details and never take things for granted. I prayed a lot on that flight and asked for Heavenly Father's help...He, of course, pulled me through.

May The Lord bless us all and may we never take anything for granted.
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