I was driving into work this morning through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Many things on my mind as I tried to make it into the office early enough to get ahead of my day. I was listening to a mix I put together shortly before I got my PPL. It has some of my favorite music and always reminds me of the struggles and joys of flight. I turned a corner and saw this sunrise. The photo does not do it justice.
|Sunrise from Santa Cruz Mountains|
I was in awe and carefully divided my attention between watching the winding two lane road in front of me and this sunrise. I smiled as I saw the contrails of a jet as it made its way through the brilliant colors.
Just then I became aware of the lyrics I was listening to...
Don't think about all those things you fear.
Just be glad to be here.
Good advice. I've had much fear on my mind recently. Fear that I won't do as well on my IFR checkride orals as my CFI thinks I will. Fear that switching planes two weeks before my checkride will cause me to fail. Fear that the stress at work will make me ill. Fear, fear, fear. That reminded me of a quote from a great man. "The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself."
Once again, I have a decision. Be afraid, or set aside the fear and do what it takes to ensure my fears will not come true. Study and run through the orals with my CFI one more time. Get extra practice in the plane I will be flying. Relax and trust the fact that I already know. I have already demonstrated the ability to pass an IFR checkride, from start to finish, in my last practice run. All I have to do is do it. My CFI has confidence in me. He's taken literally hundreds of pilots through the instrument checkride process. He should know.
So, my decision is, I'll just be glad to be here. And who knows, maybe, someday, I'll be the one flying that jet leaving contrails in the sky as another pilot watches from the ground and smiles.