Nothing gets done without doing. Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? Thing is though, stuff happens, without doing much. Life goes on, and some muddle through it, letting things happen; many times wishing for the better.
That’s been me. I’ve let life move on, carrying me through it, reacting to the ebbs and flows, sometimes taking the helm and actually directing things. There have been a few times that I decided that I was in charge, and decided what I wanted, figured out how to get it done, and did it.
Probably the most exciting example was my deciding to earn my pilot’s license, learn to fly, build and airplane, and then do it. My dad, for years had said he wanted to earn his pilot’s license, but never did. I decided that I was going to, so I could take him up; building my own airplane would be icing on the cake.
That was the early ’90’s. I was a shop teacher, didn’t have much money, but had some side gigs. I made vacuum forming molds for one company, and wiring harnesses for another company. With my side income, I paid for flying lessons, taking them when I had the money. That’s the only way I could do it, even though one instructor, that I interviewed, said I couldn’t learn to fly, unless my lessons were weekly, or bi-weekly. The instructor I ended up choosing proved the other wrong.
Now, as a teacher, I wasn’t going to be able to buy an airplane, nor was I going to be able to build anything that cost much. I kept my eyes open, and lucked into an abandoned project, an Evans Volksplane VP-1, a wood and fabric, single-seat, VW powered small airplane. Luckily I had just earned my first “Career Ladder” check, the very last year it was offered, for the whopping amount of $1350.00. How much was the abandoned Volksplane project? It happened to be $1350.00.
So, with my one and only Career Ladder check, I bought my “airplane.” Not much to look at, basic parts of wood, metal and bits, but it did have an engine, prop, and most everything to finish. I was in heaven, I was an airplane owner/builder! It was an exciting time, as I had a dream, and the means to accomplish it.
I finished the Volksplane, and named it”Passed ‘Round,” as it had been passed around for some time before I bought it. “Passed ‘Round” was finished in July of 1997, just before my Dad died in September. I had done two things that my Dad wouldn’t allow himself to do, earn a pilot’s license and build an airplane. Dad didn’t let himself do much, outside of work, but that’s another story. At least he got to share in my accomplishment.
To complete “Passed ‘Round,” I bought materials as I had money, and worked on her after work, weekends, and summers off. What a ride! Many times I had to engineer how to do something, then do it. The whole experience was very rewarding, as I learned quite a lot through this project. I was “Doing,” and it was awesome.
All the long hours, and money, was well worth it. My family helped with the project and we spent some great times in building “Passed ‘Round.” I couldn’t have finished the grand task, without their help. Son Joe helped with much of the assembly, lending second hands when necessary. My daughter Tiff was my photographer, shooting photos for my builder’s log. My wife allowed me to build the engine in the dining room, rib stitch the wings in the living room, and helped with final assembly at the airfield. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to “Do,” and finish “Passed ‘Round.”
It took from July of 1993, to July of 1997 to finish “Passed ‘Round,” between work, grad school, family, and making extra money. (I never used household funds for “Passed ‘Round,” only money that I earned on the side.) I found something that I wanted to “Do,” so I did the “Doing.”
I’m not the only one, that has done so, but it’s one of my personal victories. I even flew “Passed ‘Round” to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Air Venture, in 2003, in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, and the 35th anniversary of the Volksplane VP-1’s creation. What an adventure that trip was!
Due to health issues, I can no longer fly, but I have more “Doing” to do. While it was easy to figure out what I had to do to build “Passed ‘Round,” I’m having to work on figuring out what I need to do to get my current “Doing” done. I’m learning how to build and maintain web pages, I’m working on my blogging, as well as other projects, and I’m trying to help as many folks as possible, with finances, personal growth and such. What I’ve got to figure out though, is how to coordinate everything. I’m going to figure that out and I’m going to continue to “Do,” for sure.
So, how about you? What do you plan to get done? Are you “Doing?”