During my time as a U.S.-based flight attendant, traditional weekends were nonexistent for me. They were an inevitable part of my workweek. My fellow crew members and I didn’t refer to days of the week by their given names. Rather, each day was deemed Day 1, 2, 3 or 4 of a working trip. My weekends began at the end of each four-day trip, after landing in my home base of Oakland or Denver. From there, I’d begin the process of commuting home. The anxious wait for an empty seat on a Raleigh-bound flight could last anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on flight loads, the number of crew members competing for those limited seats, and Mother Nature’s temperament.
Now that I’m grounded in my newspaper career, I celebrate my return to the press and the consistency of my workweek. Yes, there are times when work extends into my two-day break, but I do my best to honor that Sabbath so holy to us with positions that afford us a five-day workweek.
I doubt I would have thrived during those flying days without my daily doses of coffee. Since there was no consistent workday schedule, my circadian rhythm was always confused by varying time zones, along with alarm clocks set for as early as 2 a.m. I recall one morning having completed four flights by 10 a.m. And so explains the inception of my coffee addiction, which involved searching for any airport coffeeshop that was open during those wee hours of the morning while racing from gate to gate to work my next flight.
Now that I’ve traded my airline wings for news ink, Saturday mornings have become among the most treasured moments of my week. I’ve abandoned darting across the country clad in skirts, scarves, nylons and heels for relaxing mornings at home, sipping that coveted cup of coffee in my cozy pajamas. While I no longer share airplane pots of coffee with my airline family and passengers, I savor those slow sips of coffee in the comforts of my home with my feline family, Waylon and Willie — both of whom nudge my mug for a lick of its rim. My Saturday morning coffee sessions are a time of quiet reflection for me, giving thanks for the journey that brought me back home — likewise reminiscing on the flight paths I shared with crew members whose journeys have diverted from my own.
Gina Eaves is advertising director for The Daily Dispatch.