944 days and 1,043 articles ago, I scribbled out 532 words about some changes happening in my life, how I should try to do more writing, what I was thinking of writing about, why my brand new website was called “We Love The Stars too Fondly,” and welcoming everyone to join me.
As you now know, at that point I was 104 days into what would become 1,048 days without a regular, paying job. I remember by that point realizing this particular time of changes was not going to be easy to endure or quickly resolved. I also realized there was a path paved with poor life choices leading to a quart of ice cream daily, Judge Judy, Oprah, and looking a lot like a 400-pound version of Howard Hughes. Not wanting to end up on that path, I chose to create a new path for myself, forcing myself to get into the routine of writing and publishing every day.
This website was one of the keys to staying focused, staying disciplined, staying true to staying on the alternate path, and never giving up. There were of course other keys, especially the undying support of The Long-Suffering Wife and my family. Getting involved with the Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing as their finance officer also has been critical, as well as my involvement in NASA Socials over the last year.
Now we’re at the crossroads of another “Time Of Changes.” This one is as firmly based in good news as that previous one was in bad news, but that doesn’t mean the scope and depth of the changes won’t be as significant.
It’s not rocket science to see that a major component separating the two fates is simply how time was spent during those 1,048 days. It’s also obvious that some of those activities will have to take a back seat as the new job takes its spot near the top of my priority list.
The new job will no doubt involve a significant commitment and many hours. This is a good thing. (And by ‘good,’ I mean ‘fantastic’ and ‘spectacular.’) There will be many changes and a learning curve to deal with, but again, good thing! It’s a time of changes.
My CAF schedule will shift, but I’m confident I’ll still be able to fulfill my duties there. The new day job office is very near home and not significantly out of the way from my home-to-CAF route, so I’ll be able to get out to the hangar in the evening if it’s occasionally necessary. I will have to allocate more of my evening hours to keeping current there from home, but that’s what telecommuting is all about. There will be many fewer hours hanging out at the airport and playing with the planes, but that’s a necessary trade off I’ll live with. It’s a time of changes.
It’s likely there won’t be any NASA Socials for me for a while. Since they’re normally on weekdays and I won’t have any vacation or personal time for a while, most of the Socials will be victims of the time conflict. Again, a necessary trade off I’ll live with. There is always the possibility of a Social being held at Vandenberg or JPL for some event on the weekend (the next SpaceX launch from Vandyland, perhaps?) if I get lucky, and eventually I’ll have the option to take a day or two off if I need to go to a Social, but for now – it’s a time of changes.
Finally, while I’ll continue to try to post something here every day, I won’t be as obsessed about it if (when? yeah, it will be when) I have to miss a day here and there. But I will not be abandoning or shuttering this website in any way. It may be a time of changes, but that doesn’t mean I’ll easily walk away from something which has become such an integral part of what I do and who I am.
I expect in the short term I’ll often be more harried, busy, and occasionally within shouting distance of overwhelmed. That will be balanced by being more happy, confident, and secure.
Emotionally, I’m often not a huge fan of change, but intellectually I know it’s always inevitable and usually necessary. When I’ve faced those fears and doubts (it’s that whole “being an adult’ thing), I’ve survived all sorts of changes in the past ten years, including graduate school, flight training, and the aforementioned 1,048 days.
This is not an end, but the beginning of a new chapter.
I’m going to kick this transition’s ass!