for frequent fliers, ‘status’ with the airline means all kinds of perks: better seats, upgrades, shorter lines, more free miles for free tickets, and more. i’ve been a ‘1k’ with united for a handful of years (which means i fly more than 100,000 miles each year). but there was one milestone still out there: being a one-million-miler with united. when a flier reaches 1,000,000 actual miles, lifetime, united grants ‘premiere executive’ (their middle of three tiers) for the rest of your life.
i passed the 1,000,000 mile mark last night, flying to ft. wayne, indiana, for a couple promotional lunches for our national youth workers conventions. i’ll be at lunches at hungtington college and bethel college today and tomorrow (i can’t remember which is first).
this is a strange, bittersweet milemarker. it means more perks when i fly, and it means i’ll get good seats on united for the rest of my life. but it’s also an indication of the fact that my quantity of travel is still something i haven’t figured out. there’s a weird paradox here: my travel is critical for ys, for my job. and i love most of what i travel for. not going on most of these trips would have an adverse impact on ys. but, being gone as much as i am isn’t healthy for my family; and, in the truer part of the paradox, leaves me more out-of-touch with the staff of ys (which descreases my effectiveness). i’m psyched about reaching this silly milestone, but immediately, within a split-second of that feeling, move to guilt and frustration over my apparent inability to figure out this elusive balance.