Friday, April 22, 2011

Altitudinal Attitude

My survivor tools included in the Survivor's Handbook are in alphabetical order only to keep order in my own mind.  They are all equally important tools to have at the ready for any situation or circumstance.  In my own journey as a Survivor, I have used each and every tool that will be provided for you in this handbook.  I’ve used all of them more than once; believe me, and some I use daily.  Being a Survivor takes dedication to self, and a constant desire to lead a happier and healthier life.  But, no one survives alone, and that’s why I’m here to help.  So take the first step today, and join me along this journey of being a Survivor.
My Dad was a pilot of a small aircraft. He loved to fly almost more than he liked to eat. And my Dad loved to eat.  He took any opportunity to fly, and my sisters and I were frequent passengers.  He even took my Golden Retriever, Rusty, in the plane once. Dad wanted to see how my dog-- his hunting dog-- would handle flying.  Rusty, scared to the point of shaking off his entire coat, insisted on sitting on my dad’s lap during the flight.  I would imagine that it’s somewhat difficult piloting a plane with an 80 pound dog in your lap.  So the dog stayed home after his maiden voyage, with my Mother who was equally as terrified of flying.   
Dad and I were at the local municipal airport one slightly cloudy Spring morning.  We were getting ready to fly over a “piece of land” as my father described it- a 920 Square mile ranch in Northern New Mexico.  It was up for sale, and Dad was really interested in seeing it.  “No better way to look at a piece of land than from the air” he said.  He looked like a little kid who couldn’t wait to get his hands on his new toy. 
As we began our assent, the engine was roaring.  We passed through the clouds, bumping along in the turbulence.   When we finally got to our cruising altitude, I looked out the window at the clear magnificent blue sky.  I felt like I was viewing the whole world from that small rectangular window of the plane. All was quiet, all was calm, all was glorious. My spirit soared along with the tan and white Beachcraft Bonanza single engine aircraft. “The world is a beautiful place at 15,000 feet,” Dad proclaimed.  His huge grin was spreading across his face indicating that life couldn’t be better than this.  I had to agree.
I think about that day, in the plane with my Dad, often.  I pull it out of my memory, when I need to feel the serenity, and quiet, and gloriousness of that moment. When I find myself losing altitude, when my vision clouds up and the turbulence starts bumping me around, I make the choice to rise above the clouds.  Once I get a clear view of what it is that’s clouding my vision, I am able to see it from a whole new and much clearer perspective.
So, when you’re having “one of those days,” you have to make the choice to climb into your “plane,” and rise above the clouds. And you have to look out the window to be able to see the whole picture.  When you’re stuck in the clouds, the world looks gray and bleak.  The clouds may even be causing rain to fall, drenching you in despair.  But getting out of the clouds, raising your altitude level leads to raising your attitude level as well.
  As you rise through the clouds, look at the beauty that surrounds you. And when you get to your cruising altitude allow yourself to realize that your world really is more beautiful from 15,000 feet. 


  1. Cindy,
    Thank you for your words of experience and wisdom. I will remember to use this. Bob and I have already talked about "when" I might need to use something like this--NOW I have the something. Yes, thank you! The whole picture--great imagery. Whenever I fly, I am glued to the window the entire time--don't ever want to take it for granted. A very different perspective.

    Just one more thing:) Why is it called a cursing altitude? Is this when you would say, "Damn it, Dad, not so high!"
    [4th paragraph, 2nd line: When we finally got to our cursing altitude, I looked out the window at the clear magnificent blue sky.]
    :) :) :) couldn't resist :)

  2. Cindy,
    This is awesome. You really took me with you on your plane ride. Your story made me remember one plane ride I had many years ago when I was going through a rough patch in my life. As I was looking down on the landscape with its tiny details I had a thought. "How can anything that happens down there ever hurt me up here?" I felt like I left all my troubles below me and I was at peace. Thanks for helping me remember this.