Here and Now. By Owen Zupp.
The dust has settled following the farewell of the final QANTAS 747 and it would seem to be an appropriate time to take stock. When COVID first landed and grounded the bulk of our flying, there was some hope that the timeframe could potentially only cause a short term disruption to our lives. That has been proven not to be the case.
As previously shared, I set about my “Plan B” quite early in the piece and the opportunity to return to the simulator and then crew the flight to Los Angeles and Mojave was a wonderful distraction. Consequently, there has not been a lull in proceedings. Our scheduled life as airline pilots would project our movements months in advance and it was an existence that suited both Kirrily and I. But those days are gone.
We have all had to make adjustments to our lives under the pall of the pandemic, for some the change has been greater than others. I have found that I have needed to draw to get her a range of strands and weave them into a state of affairs that can co-exist. I have been given a range of tasks in my role with the Air Force Reserve in addition to joining the team at ADBR. Much of the work can be achieved from home, although some cannot. My first 747 book has met with a wonderful response, seeing me sign, pack and ship a good many books as I seemingly transitioned from pilot to publisher. And now new titles are underway.
“Time Management” has moved from a catchphrase to a way of life. An old school diary has time allocated and tasks assigned in advance of the day that lies ahead. Additionally, fresh air and exercise are essential to keep sharp, so they have their own time slots rostered.
On the upside, not flying away for days at a time, both Kirrily and I are very present in our kids’ lives and that is a huge bonus. For many, these are grim times but we are fortunate and prefer to see these as “different” times. Neither of us is flying and that is an incredible shift for us but we are both acquiring new skills, developing new working relationships and viewing life from a different vantage point.
We didn’t wish for this disruption but it’s here now and it as has a distinctly long-term feel to it for aviation. In the meantime, life keeps ticking along and kids keep growing up. Look down for too long, or too far ahead, and we stand the chance of missing the cherished moments of the present.
Pilot or publisher? Labourer or writer? It really doesn’t matter to me. I will focus on what I can control and the rest can slide on by. We would both love to take to the skies again and sooner rather than later, however, that’s not for us to decide. For now, we will cherish what we have for we are still so lucky to live in this country. As I’ve said before, nowhere on my Birth Certificate did it say “easy”. However, “Australia” was written a number of times and that’s a hell of a head start.
Stay safe everyone.