I’ve always been a bit of a loner. I think it’s attributable partly to my introverted personality and partly to all the moving around my family did when I was a kid. (No, neither of my parents was in the service; they just liked to relocate.)
Because of that loner mentality, I’m perfectly happy having time to myself to do what I want to do. Having raised five kids, I didn’t get a lot of me time during their developing years. And actually, I had to learn to like myself again because I forgot what spending time on my own was like. But I digress.
My husband went back to school a couple of years ago to get a degree in aviation maintenance technology and switch careers. Since he’s not quite yet ready to retire from his long-term, full-time job, he decided to pursue the airplane thing on the side. He changed his work schedule to four 10-hour days to free up time to devote to this second career.
When he couldn’t find a company to hire him a day or two a week, he decided to volunteer as a mechanic at the Commemorative Air Force. That was more than a year ago. Today, he works four 10-hour days at his full-time job and devotes two long days at the airplane hangar every week.
That meant I had Saturdays to myself. And I used those Saturdays to the fullest, watching TV or a movie in bed, doing chores, catching up on projects, spending time with my kids, and even writing my book proposal — which took much longer than I thought it would.
During this past year, I’ve gone with my husband to a number of events at the hangar and have gradually gotten more familiar with the place and with all it has to offer. I volunteered to help at an air show a number of months ago and really enjoyed that. And my husband never forgot about it.
A few weeks ago, he finally talked me into volunteering regularly at the hangar with him. I was adamant I did not want to give up every single Saturday, and he agreed that wouldn’t be required. And it hasn’t been. But I find myself enjoying the time I spend there and not being a in a rush to leave when I am there.
Plus, it’s afforded me some pretty remarkable opportunities. I’ve heard a Pearl Harbor survivor speak about his experiences. I met one of the forgotten 500 airmen who were stranded in Yugoslavia when their planes went down. I met two of the Tuskegee Airmen. And I got to take a ride on the C-47 and the B-25.
But that’s not the best part. What I’m enjoying most is being able to spend more time with my husband doing something he loves. It’s a huge blessing that he wants to spend time with me and wants me to be a part of his world. I’d be crazy to pass it up.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"