I’m sorry this took so long, but I had to gather my thoughts before opening my mouth because we all know the reverse never seems to work out so well. So after much prayer and consideration, here is a message from your [mostly] fearless leader…
Honestly, I don’t think any of us understand exactly what’s going on anymore. The line between what is true, what is media driven, what is fear driven, and what is politically driven with regard to the COVID19 outbreak is so blurred that differentiating the truth from the lie has become pretty much a guessing game of epic proportions. The world movers and shakers are molding and redefining their stories almost by the minute, the ‘experts’ all have conflicting opinions, the media is lining their pockets with fear, and who can even begin to follow the event and school cancellations anymore?
The general population is afraid, confused, and extremely volatile. Understandably. While I cannot help to chuckle at some of the extreme hoarding of strange items (mostly because the humor is my fallback survival instinct and not from any real sense of situational comedy), I empathize and understand why they are afraid. Honestly, it’s really frightening out there right now. But it is the irrational actions of the fearful and their long-term economic implications that terrify me far more than the virus, itself. I have officially-unofficially dubbed it a panic-demic.
I don’t know much, but what I do know is that all of the above is damaging the aviation industry in a tangible way, the full extent of which isn’t exactly clear at this point. When people no longer fly for whatever reason, we know don’t fly either. I know many members of our FLY family are already on voluntary leave and have had interviews and classes at their dream jobs cancelled or postponed (for now!). It’s hard, right? I mean, we have ALL sunk our hearts and souls, not to mention our finances and years, into these aviation careers, and to watch helplessly in uncertainty as the senseless chaos unfolds around us is both scary and painful.
But I encourage you to remember this: it’s not just us. We are not in this boat alone. Unless you are lucky enough to be the CEO of Charmin or Purell (who must be ‘rubbing his hands together‘ right now in glee…), we are all feeling the negative impact of the panic-demic and wondering if and when it’s ever going to end (it will!). Every person I know in every industry all around the world is currently feeling affected by this…well, whatever it is! My family included.
Truth: I’ve had to think long and hard about what I wanted to say, if anything, about all of this because, like you, I am trying to process (not always with success) the almost hourly changes to life as we have comfortably come to know it. I’m sad about what is happening, frustrated about what has happened, and anxious about what might happen next. I’ve written and deleted no less than three blogs already because none of it feels right. I’m laying it all out there on the line when I admit to you that sometimes I want to ignore it (this chaos), sometimes I want to let it drag me under, and sometimes I want to fight it. I wear my heart and opinions on my sleeve, and all of you who know me know that.
I have a large following of aviation families that I love deeply, and I walk a fine line of helping keep you all encouraged, being allowed to feel what I feel, and demonstrating my faith while at the same time acknowledging the reality of what is going on around us and walking with you through it – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Heaven knows I’m trying to do the right thing here – we all are. I also admit openly that I don’t always get it right. I am thankful for those who encourage me and (gently) reboot my navigational system when I let it get off track. We all need that sometimes!
After much deliberation, here’s my current stance as we navigate this stretch of unknown skies together, at least as best as I can currently process it:
1. This unprecedented epidemic of groupthink absolutely has to cease. Fear is, by far, the most dangerous virus that is spreading in our world right now. I REFUSE TO LIVE IN FEAR! Who’s with me? Instead of hoarding more than we could ever possibly use in a an entire lifetime, take care of one another. Take what you need and leave some for the next person. If your neighbor is out of diapers and you have 10 packs, for goodness sakes, share with them. There is a vast difference between being prepared (which I totally support) and panic hoarding (which is economically and socially destructive behavior). The way we drive out darkest is with light! Let’s have one another’s backs. The Bible says, “Anyone who has two
shirts hand sanitizers should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food toilet paper should do the same.” This simple rule would alleviate 90% of the fear that is taking over our world. In short, be kind.
PS: If you are one of ‘those people’ who are selling toilet paper (etc.) online for 4, 5, 6+ bucks per roll in order to make a profit off others’ fear…you are a royal, class-A, piece of crap, jerk. JUST. STOP.Fear is, by far, the most dangerous virus that is spreading in our world right now. Click To Tweet
2. Acknowledge one another’s feelings, opinions, and fears with unprecedented compassion and grace as well as without harsh judgement, but simultaneously work to assuage fear-mongering and panic-driven behaviors with love and truth. We are all being affected differently, and every single person’s feelings are absolutely valid. Let’s love one another fiercely through this uncertain time. Let’s give the people of this community and our own neighborhoods a safe place to communicate their worries while refusing to play into the panic-demic mindset. It’s okay to not feel okay right now! You are not alone in that. We are all struggling at different levels with the uncertainty of the day. But let’s also breathe hope and life into one another. We are all going to have good and bad moments in the coming days, but it is imperative that we love one fiercely through them all.
3. Love your spouse and family well. Be intentionally kind and patient with one another because everyone is stressed. It’s not your children’s faults this is going on. They are confused too. Be gentle with them. As traveling families, many of us are not necessarily used to spending extended periods of time with our spouses either, and there’s bound to be some adjustment if we get stuck together for a few weeks! I get it. Man, do I ever! Be patient. Be flexible. Be understanding. Try to see one another’s perspectives. Give grace. Speak in love. Instead of wasting this opportunity, enjoy whatever extra time you may get with him/her because of this situation. Make a little love, do a little dance, take a long walk, plant a garden, watch a movie, play a game. Don’t squander the extra time together focusing on fear; use it as a gift to love one another a little more deeply!Don't squander the extra time together focusing on fear; use it as a gift to love one another a little more deeply! Click To Tweet
4. Turn off the media. For at least a few hours every day, you need to turn off the media if you are going to preserve your sanity through this. The media is suffocating us with its negativity and fear-mongering and injecting terror straight into the hearts of the masses. Take some time to clear your head and think for yourself. Breathe the fresh air. Listen to the birds sing. Remember that God is still in control even when we don’t see it or understand it. Let yourself reboot every now and then. You will be SO much better off for it.
5. Continue to be positive and have faith. God is good, even when people are a little unpredictable and crazy! We live in a broken world, folks. In this world we will have trouble. But He has promised never to forsake us and that He is working all things out for our good to His glory. Yes, even this chaos! Rest in those promises. I have never seen anything like this in all my blessed years on this earth and I hope I never, ever do again. But I am not going to allow my flesh to override my faith. I know who I am, I know what I believe, and I know who I serve. If anyone wants to talk more deeply about these things, feel free to message me privately and I will gladly chat with you or pray for you anytime (no matter your religious affiliation or lack thereof!).
6. Conscientious posting. With regards to The Pilot Wife Life page and media, I have made the decision to continue to practice what I will call conscientious posting. I believe that the information is out there, and I don’t need to shove it in your face for you to find it. I am going to continue to avoid posting every single article or tidbit regarding each negative change regarding our industry (i.e. flight cuts/groundings, positive tests, class cancellations, etc.). I want to continue to make you laugh and give you place to escape what is already being shoved down our throats as much as I can. That’s NOT to say that if you are struggling we won’t talk about it and love on you or that we won’t have to address anything at all. After all, this is affecting us. It’s just that I think we are more than a place to regurgitate bad news, and I want to keep us on track when it comes to a [mostly] positive perspective and our ongoing mission.I am not going to allow my flesh to override my faith. I know who I am, I know what I believe, and I know who I serve. I will not live in fear! Click To Tweet
7. It will get better. I know it doesn’t feel good right now. I know there may even be more shocking news over the next few weeks. I know many of us are rattled and in disbelief. Listen to me! You will survive. This will eventually end. It won’t last forever. Dig in those roots and don’t give up, my friend. Feel what you feel but then resolve to ride out this wave until it comes crashing back to the shore. Will life once this passes look exactly like it did before? Probably not. Will there be some hard moments and decisions to wrestle with in the interim? Undoubtedly. But there is nothing new under the sun and this too shall pass. Maybe like a large kidney stone, but it will. You are stronger than you know. Believe it and keep FLYing.
Finally, my best guess is that this particular battle is going to be ultimately fought on our knees, so that’s where you will find me in example – praying for my family, praying for all of you, praying for this world, praying for this to all go away, and praying that even if it doesn’t we will all find a way to survive the fallout with strength and perseverance…togehter.
Family, I love you. You are precious, beautiful, and cherished. Let’s stay strong together.
Angelia (your [mostly] fearless leader)