Pilot Lifestyle

A friend introduced me to the idea of the pilot lifestyle. His dad is a pilot. He figures the reason his mom and dad’s marriage survived all these years is because his dad is often flying off to some exotic location for 3/4 days at a time. I liked this idea.

“She packed my bags last night pre-flight,
Zero hour nine a.m.”

At some point in 2007 I figured I had it all waxed. A very cute daughter and a loving partner, but only over weekends. In the week I had work I loved, all my friends around, Cape Town, my exercise routine.. total freedom really.

The best of both worlds. The dad and the bachelor. Security and excitement.

Too good to be true?

I figured my idea might be a bit flawed when my cousin pointed out the obvious over a beer. He asked me something like.. how the hell do you pull this off.. you are a new dad and you are living it up in the Spanish summer?

So in 2008 the partner had some a sig-11 moment. She did not want to tell me why, but she walked away[1].

“And I think it’s gonna be a long long time,
till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home.
I’m a rocket man”

Be careful what you wish for.

So now, I’m kinda back on the “hot cars, hot clubs and hot chicks” lifestyle. Actually not that much has changed. Food, fun and friends.. chasing exciting ideas. I still think I have it pretty sorted.. even though I realise I cheated[2].

In fact, I probably spend more time with Mia this way. I recently told the ex-partner.. I’m a 30% dad.. but 100% of that 30% and I have a strong suspicion that’s above average.

“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did”

I guess this is not the ideal environment to grow up in. Then again maybe it’s easier to have your parents separate before you are two. At least I realised that I’m a better father than a husband. Honesty helps.

So, what’s my point?

Well, it’s not always easy being happy. Make room for the exciting things that keep you happy. Sometimes we just have to accept our nature. Life is too short.

* [1] She (much) later told me she was jealous of my lifestyle.

* [2] Yes I realise(d) I’m a selfish brat and that’s my nature.

* Lyrics from Rocket Man, Bernie Taupin.

1 thought on “Pilot Lifestyle

  1. Well you seem young, however, if you have an available single colleague pilot who is 50 years or older…let me know..I suppose if I could choose again, I would like to have become a pilot, so I’m tooooo old for that now and instead I’ll trade my dream for a husband pilot

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