“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

Michael Altshuler

Some days, life feels like you’re stuck in a budget airline, doesn’t it? Crammed into a middle seat with precisely zero legroom, nestled between a man snoring like a chainsaw and a toddler armed with an impressively loud toy. Every hour seems to be the in-flight meal service, which you swear is just last night’s leftovers. You peer out of that tiny window, watching the landscape of hours, days, and maybe even decades just whizzing past, all while you’re contemplating the life choices that led you to pick the peanuts over the pretzels.

Now, if life were an actual airline, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re just a passenger—with fate as your pilot, blindly taking you through the turbulences of late bills, forgotten anniversaries, and those cringe-worthy teenage years. The raw reality: time does fly, often faster than that baby’s pureed carrot hitting the back of your head.

However, twist the lens a little, sprinkle some transformative truths (with a side of airplane peanuts), and you’ll see: you aren’t just buckled up in 27B, waiting for the in-flight movie. You’re the pilot! The cockpit, the fancy buttons, and the intercom system? All yours. While we’re at it, toss out that flight manual, because you’re in charge. No more autopilot; the speed, direction, altitude—that’s all up to you.

Sure, we can’t make the clock tick any slower. I’ve tried—it just gets annoyed. But, oh, the places we can go and the detours we can take when we realize every tick is a choice. To fly aimlessly? Or to deliberately head towards that metaphorical tropical island, complete with a good book and a piña colada?

The airspace of life is, of course, laden with its fair share of challenges. Those turbulent patches when you wished you’d opted for the train instead? We all have them. But, let’s remember, even when caught in the headwinds, our wings can adjust. We can navigate through, head held high, tiny bag of peanuts in hand.

So, put on that pilot’s cap, friends. Adjust your aviators, and for heaven’s sake, make sure your seat is in the upright position. It’s high time we not just flew, but soared. Remember, as much as we love a good in-flight snack, it’s the journey that counts. Let’s make it spectacular.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.