Happy New Year! It's going to be a good one, 2013. After the last few weeks of 2012, there's nowhere to go but up, wouldn't you say? Let's go!
With everybody posting their New Year's Resolutions all over Facebook, it's made me think about a flying cliche. Go to Sporty's Pilot Shop, My Pilot Store dot com, or even CafePress, and you'll find all kinds of T-shirts with a picture of an attitude indicator and the phrase "Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude!" These things are cliches because they ring true and they stopped being fresh ages ago.
An attitude indicator is an instrument on the panel in an airplane's cockpit. During my first couple flying lessons, looking at that instrument panel would stymie me. They really do look like a wall full of stupid, weird-lookin' clocks. But they start to mean something, and that attitude indicator can save your bacon when you're in a cloud or in another position where you can't tell whether your nose is up in the air or pointed straight for the ground.
In a plane, that's what your attitude means: whether you're nose-up, nose-level, or nose-down, although your actual attitude always plays a part when you're flying, too. You can either decide you like practicing cross-wind landings and emergency landings and turns around a point, or you can decide to be miserable, in which case, it's a good idea to hang up the flying until the stinkin' thinkin' lets up.
So, the higher your plane's nose, the higher your altitude is going to be. Unless you don't have enough power, and then you're gonna stall. Keep that part in mind.
So that's what I'm going to do in 2013. I'm going to remember that my attitude determines my altitude. I'm not going to walk around with my nose in the air, but with my chin up. I'll make sure I have enough power to stay buoyant, by eating right, getting enough sleep, enough water, enough exercise. You can't be powered up if you're living on fumes!
"Your attitude determines your altitude." You can't decide what happens to you, but you can decide how you react to the happenings. This year, in 2013, I'm going to try my hardest to react with grace and optimism. Darn it!
Happy New Year, everybody!