I was sleepy, annoyed and grateful

This blog series, #30DaysofGratitude, hopes to share bits of gratitude and create an awareness of how gratitude can change our mindset.

Every day this month, I, along with other writers, teachers and friends, will post about all things gratitude. Come along for the ride and let me know what you are most grateful for every day - I know we can inspire one another.

Written By: Chi McFly

I don't love my job but I do like it.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I never once dreamed of being a flight attendant. The thought never crossed my mind as a career choice. To be quite honest, I don't even consider being flight attendant a career.

Plus, to be a flight attendant, I always thought you had to be a model and somewhat of an airhead. I didn't meet either of those qualifications and to this day, I still don't.

For me, flight attending is a job. A job that I like (most days).

Amongst ourselves, flight attendants are notorious for complaining and as I write this, it's easy to do just that. There's a lot of cons to what I do to earn a living (like dealing with #$#! delays all summer long and passenger shenanigans). But, there's equal number, if not more, of pros.

Every single time I begin to complain to myself or others, I make sure to bring it back around to gratitude.

I’m grateful for this job that I like and flight benefits that I love.

Loving a job seems like an oxymoron. In my opinion, the definition of a job is mainly what people do to make money but most of the time it's not one’s passion. It’s rarely enjoyable. It’s something you have to do. Flight attending (I love my new made up verb too) is not my passion. Writing and editing is what I love to do.  However, I like this job more and more every day because it allows me the flexibility and mental freedom to do what I love.

There are very few jobs that allow you to travel the world for damn near free. And when you get there, you don’t have to do much more but show up on time to leave. Your travel expenses are reimbursed and you don’t have to entertain clients or prepare to give a presentation.

Well, the safety demo is a bit of a presentation I guess.

Over the past few months,  I've been cultivating a spirit of gratitude by getting into a daily habit of making lists of things I'm grateful for. Some days, after being thankful for my family, friends and the fact that I have a job,  I get stopped. Other times, my list goes on and on to include the birds, the fish, the ocean, the mountains, the trees and those little geckos running all over the walls that keeps the bugs at bay at my little place in Mexico.

I think it is retraining my brain as experts claim. I do think about gratitude more and more these days.

So as I was dragging my bags through the Orlando airport, wallowing in pissed off-ness  after a 14 hour duty day that was to be followed by too short of a layover,  I began making a gratitude list on the shuttle bus that was late picking us up from the airport.  This list was started in a state of annoyance and specifically related to my job that I had to remind myself that I liked a lot.

What to hear it? I’m happy and grateful that:

  1. Of tens of thousands that apply each year for this gig,  I’m part of the small percentage of people that are hired.
  2. I have a uniform so I never have to figure out  what to wear to work anymore. It’s machine washable too!
  3. I never have to work with someone I don't like for long periods of time. The silver lining  when a flight attendant gets on my last nerve is that I probably don't have to see them again for at least another six months to a year or more. Unless I’m very unlucky.
  4. I have a super flexible schedule. There are some times around the holidays where it's hard for me to get all the days off I want, but most of the time I can.
  5. Easy trips to Cleveland that are less than an hour.  Simple service and no drama. Passengers get on and passengers get off. We don’t do a beverage because there's not enough time.
  6. Being released with pay. Yes, it took me an hour to get dressed, but I got the day off.
  7. No one has died or been arrested on any of my flights.
  8. I get per diem when I’m sleeping away from home. It’s not much, but I'm racking up a few dollars in a comfy bed, I’ll take it.
  9. I stay at nice hotels (well, most of the time).
  10. Some trips have deadheads. I talked about this before. I can watch free movies, write a blog post and catch up on missed sleep.
  11. I get to hook up my family with travel benefits too. My parents and my brother have saved a few dollars and traveled a bit more.
  12. I get to travel frequently in first class on long international flights.
  13. The travel benefits, the travel benefits and oh, the travel benefits.  I’ve been to the desert, rainforests and snowcapped mountains. I’ve met so many people from around the globe, seen some amazing things and there are so many more places to explore that are only a plane ride away.

Chi McFly is a Chicago-based, domestic flight attendant for an airline which shall remain anonymous. She’s also a former marketing professional, freelance writer and a serial entrepreneur with a passion for trying new things and living life to the fullest. When not traveling or catching up on my sleep in Chicago you can find her working out, editing other people’s books, or or playing with her niece and nephew. She has a love for everything outdoors, except bugs, family and friends, books, red wine (Malbec), live music, great photography and internet memes. You can reach her at fearlessbliss@gmail.com

You can find Chi McFly on her blog, Released To Crew Rest  and on Facebook .

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